How A Law Firm Created A New Narrative for Domestic Abuse Law


The Goal

Across the UK, IBB Law’s (“IBB) Private Client and Family Law practice support families and provide

legal expertise covering a wide range of issues, including pre-nuptial agreements and other wealth

protection, high-net worth divorce, parent and grandparent alienation and domestic abuse.

Whilst IBB wanted to create awareness around the practice’s legal expertise, one of the core

objectives for the communications campaign was how the practice could provide valuable insights

to clients, prospects, media, the legal profession and Government to support the evolving UK

domestic abuse law. This included how to educate victims, families and other audiences to ensure

they knew their legal rights around coercive controlling behaviour/domestic abuse and, if necessary,

call for action within the profession and the UK Government. Given the nature of advice, any PR and

marketing activity had to be handled with extreme sensitivity.


The Action

Sam Pepper interviewed IBB Law’s Head of Marketing and Business Development, Jo Cunningham

and partner Kate Ryan. She recommended the firm spearhead a thought leadership campaign

around Domestic Abuse legislation: Making the law work more effectively to support victims –

particularly as the Domestic Abuse Bill, was showing little sign of becoming an Act of Parliament. In

addition, she recommended the firm conduct both quantitative and qualitative research to gauge

the UK population’s knowledge/lack of awareness about the current law in the UK, whether they had

been a victim of coercive and controlling behaviour and to look at the differences across different

demographics including gender, location and age.

Activity highlights undertaken by Sam included:

o Creating all the questions for the quantitative research agency Atomic;

o Analysing the field data amongst 2000 men and women in the UK aged 18-65 and providing

media headline/content recommendations before drafting the press release. This included

focusing on one research finding that that more than a third of men had been victims of

coercive control in their relationship – providing a fresh narrative about domestic abuse in

the UK; Conducting all qualitative research interviews with male victims of domestic abuse, police

and detectives in domestic violence units, forensic psychologists, family barristers and

charities about the barriers to making domestic law work effectively and

o Writing the White Paper around all the research findings. with recommendations on how

domestic abuse legislation could work more effectively for victims and families.

Full Report


The Results

Securing an exclusive with Gabriella Swerling, Social Affairs Editor at the Telegraph. The

news was headlined on the front page and appeared as one of the main stories in the

paper - along with a more in-depth analysis of the White Paper in Telegraph Online.

On the day the article appeared, it was featured on the Home Office’s website, creating a

fresh and pragmatic narrative for the Domestic Abuse Bill.

Other media coverage appeared in the Sunday Times, Metro and many other consumer

and charity titles/social media channels.

   Five years on, the firm is still contacted by National broadcast and print media, academics

and other professionals supporting domestic abuse victims following this thought

leadership campaign.


The Domestic Abuse Bill became an Act of Parliament in 2021.



Jo Cunningham, Head of Marketing and Business Development at IBB Law comments:

“Sam has an amazing ability to draw the relevant information out of our lawyers and to grasp the

pertinent points quickly. Sam has come up with some excellent ideas for campaigns for IBB, including

one around Coercive and Controlling behaviours which received coverage in the national press, opened

up a dialogue with government and directly led to us getting further instructions from new clients. Sam's

energy and passion for what she does makes her a joy to work with. She is the only person I would turn

to for PR advice.”