Domestic Abuse Campaigner
David Challen is a domestic abuse campaigner, writer and keynote speaker. He successfully campaigned to free his mother Sally Challen in a landmark appeal recognising the lifetime of coercive control she suffered in 2019.
David continues to speak out against men's violence against women, coercive control and the impact of domestic abuse on children, as well as men's role in tackling misogyny.
David is an advisor to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner of England and Wales, a Prison Advice and Care Trust Ambassador (PACT) and a Supporter of the National Centre For Domestic Violence.
On a Saturday morning in August 2010 my mother, Sally Challen, 56, killed my father, Richard Challen, 61, at the family home. The next day my mother drove me to work whilst my father’s body lay undiscovered on the family kitchen floor, I stepped out of the car and she made a point to tell me she loved me. Afterwards she drove to Beachy Head to end her life but was talked down, arrested and convicted of murder.
In 2015 coercive control was made an offence, in turn it not only helped provide a deeper understanding of domestic abuse in acknowledging psychological and emotional violence it helped provide a language for the abuse my brother and I witnessed from our father. We believed the abuse our mother suffered over 40 years resulted in a loss of control. Coercive control gave my brother and I a voice to speak out about the abuse we witnessed.
We campaigned for over two years to bring to light a true understanding of the events that led to our father’s death and in February 2019 we successfully quashed our mother's murder conviction. In June later that year our mother was released from prison on the grounds of diminished responsibility and returned to the family.
Guardian Op-Ed: 'It was right for Mason Greenwood to go, but football clubs shouldn’t be making such decisions alone'
22nd August 2023
David writes in The Guardian today about Mason Greenwood's exit from Manchester United and raises deep concerns over whether clubs can be trusted to act as judge and jury over serious allegations involving their talent. Is it time for the league to create an independent body to investigate player behaviour?
TALK: Women's Aid Belfast & Lisburn 'Silent Voices' Conference
26th May 2023
David speaks at the annual conference for Belfast & Lisburn Women’s Aid held at Titanic Belfast, with the theme of ‘Silent Voices: What is not being said?’. His talk centers on the voices of child victims of domestic abuse and the need to better understand the impact of cumulative psychological violence on victims.
19th March 2023
Why Mason Greenwood’s return to Manchester United would silence victims of sexual violence
The future of Mason Greenwood’s career at Manchester United has been hanging over the club since his arrest in January last year, as a lifelong supporter of United and survivor of domestic abuse, new reports that the club are now considering his return have left many fans including myself deeply concerned.
13th February 2023
INTERVIEW with Times Radio about his latest Substack on True Crime Voyerism
David speaks to Times Radio about his latest Substack about our obsession with true crime amidst the disappearance of Nicola Bulley and the arrival of internet sleuths/influencers to the village she went missing.
The Case of Sally Challen
Aired on BBC TWO.
Previously available on BBC iPlayer.
(Viewer link on request via Contact Me section)
A landmark film.
A landmark case in domestic abuse.
"THE CASE OF SALLY CHALLEN ON BBC2 SHOWS JUSTICE IS NOT GENDER-BLIND"
"INSIDE THE TRIAL THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR WOMEN"
- THE GUARDIAN
"This documentary takes us to the heart of one of the most talked-about British legal cases of recent years."
- FINANCIAL TIMES
- THE TELEGRAPH
Many other women who are victims of abuse and violence are in prison today serving life sentences, and I know this because I have met them.
They have suffered abuse and other miscarriages of justice and should be serving sentences for manslaughter and not murder - Sally Challen
No one should become homeless after fleeing domestic abuse in any society, but it is happening in ours right now.
Anyone fleeing domestic abuse must have a guaranteed safe, permanent home”
"2 in 3 families bereaved by fatal domestic abuse have had their grieving process damaged by the press.
In collaboration with Level Up and AAFDA we are calling for better reporting standards so victims feel safe to share their stories without fear of further trauma
Two women a week die at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. Yet less than 1% of perpetrators currently receive an intervention to challenge their behaviour.
We must publish a Perpetrator Strategy.
It’s vital to specifically recognise the bespoke nature of post-separation abuse by ensuring the Domestic Abuse Bill provides a complete acknowledgement of survivors experiences and protection in the future.
Having spent the majority of my life experiencing coercive control and domestic abuse in the home, I value the need for society to be aware of non-physical forms of violence that exist in all parts of our society.
I continue to actively speak out against violence against women as well as the need to promote discussion about healthy/unhealthy relationships and what men can do to help challenge misogyny in today's society.
I share my story, learning and awareness of these issues across all sectors and across a variety of clients. I share my voice in my role as a Prison Advice and Care Trust ambassador and Supporter of the National Centre For Domestic Violence to help others.
If you'd like to book me to speak at your event please get in touch via the Contact Me section at the bottom of this page!