12th Mar 2019

Helen Greenfield comments on the quashing of Sally Challen’s conviction

By Helen Greenfield

Family Law in Partnership director Helen Greenfield, comments on the quashing of Sally Challen’s conviction in relation to domestic abuse and coercive behaviour:

“A person coerces and controls a victim using a pattern of behaviour that isolates them from sources of support, subordinates them and makes them dependent upon the abuser. Using coercive or controlling behaviour towards an intimate partner or family member became a criminal offence under in the Serious Crime Act 2015.  The quashing of Sally Challen’s conviction by the Court of Appeal for murdering her husband Richard in 2010 will give hope to those who believe that abuse can and should reduce the level of blame afforded to those who kill their abusers.  It highlights the significant advances in society’s understanding about domestic abuse, and particularly the use of coercive control.  However, instead of waiting for victims to kill their abusers shouldn’t the focus be on ensuring victims are provided with all necessary support to help them escape and rebuild their lives?”

Helen Greenfield has been specialising in family law for over 10 years and advises on all matters relating to family breakdown, divorce and cohabitation. She has a particular interest in helping those who have been affected by domestic abuse. This can include anything from isolating a person from their friends and family, monitoring their time, taking control over aspects of their everyday life such as where they can go, who they can see, what to wear, their finances or when they can sleep to threats to hurt to kill or even physical assault. Helen recognises that the legal implications of this are accompanied by a plethora of emotional and other issues and aims to ensure that clients are able to work through them with the right advice and support.

If you would like any advice or information on domestic abuse or coercive control in the context of divorce or separation, please take a look at our website page on abuse in relationships or contact Family Law in Partnership director Helen Greenfield on T: 020 7420 5000 or email Helen at E: hg@flip.co.uk