Nick's Story

I’ve been into martial arts since I was young, and when I was 19, I was offered a grant to teach self-defence at a girls’ school.

The classes made me realise that I knew nothing about domestic abuse. I arranged to speak to some refuge workers in Essex, to help me understand it more. They opened my mind to this thing that is happening right under our noses. Why hadn’t anyone taught me about it before?

I also had an experience that stuck with me and drove me to go into the area of work I’m in now.

I used to help a friend who owned a specialist cleaning business, and she’d often clean up crime scenes. We had to clean a flat in London where a woman had been killed by her partner. When we finished and stepped outside, we stepped into a normal day, on a normal street. If you’d walked past, you’d never know what happened there.

This is going on in our society today. It made the statistic – that 2 women a week are killed by their partner every week – really burn into me.

I wanted to continue my self-defence training company. I set up my company, Stay Safe Global, and we were going into a school delivering it as a full package with training on safe relationships and behavioural awareness. We soon realised that the advice we offered wasn’t tailored to teenagers; things had moved on by then, and we needed to touch on things like online dating and location tracking.

That’s where Hestia came into the picture. I got together with Hestia’s Domestic Abuse team in Hackney, and they helped us update the training. As a thank you, we offered to work with Hestia’s service users, providing safety and confidence-building workshops. The term ‘self-defence’ can sometimes have negative implications, but we approach it differently. It’s not about telling service users what they already know. It’s a more open and honest discussion about potential realities and how to stay safe. We’ve also worked with Hestia’s Family Fitness Project, providing martial arts sessions.

Now, we work with Hestia’s UK SAYS NO MORE campaign, exploring more preventative methods of ending domestic abuse. We’ve worked together on how to engage men on the issue, and ran an ambassador programme in universities, encouraging young people to get talking. I want to be part of the solution.

Because of COVID, all our face-to-face training has stopped. We’ve had to adapt to provide digital training and information on domestic abuse and sexual violence. There’s always something we can do to help, even during lockdown.

I have also taken this time to volunteer with Hestia in a completely different capacity. When COVID landed in the UK, I started doing supermarket runs for service users who were isolating. It was humbling – some people were having to get everything they needed that week on such little money. It put everything into perspective for me. It made me think.

I tried to do little things to cheer people up. There was one lady living with severe anxiety. I bought her a bunch of flowers, like I had done for my mum while she was self-isolating. The lady loved them – it was lovely to see such a big smile on her face.

When things get back to normal, there is so much that I want to get back on track. I want to get back to teaching martial arts classes and safety training in India – I have been going over there to do that for a long time now. I’ll also be teaching across America, Australia and Europe too.

I’ll continue working closely with UK SAYS NO MORE too.

Stay Safe Global wants to be the link between multi-national companies we work with and charities and campaigns like Hestia and UK SAYS NO MORE.

We want to make sure these employers understand the needs of their staff facing domestic abuse. It’s important now more than ever, with a big rise in domestic abuse and mental health challenges through lockdown.

We want to keep our new digital offer too, alongside our physical training and safety awareness programmes. We want to keep providing relationships advice and information on domestic abuse, sexual violence and consent through our online platforms, working with everyone from young people to business leaders.

It would be a pretty great legacy to be able to say you have played a small part in making a global change.


All around the world, Stay Safe Global deliver workshops that help individuals own their space, gain confidence and empower them with risk avoidance, awareness and escape skills. Find out more at staysafeglobal.com