Day in the Life: Victoria Watts

Development Manager at Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) on her typical day!


Employee since: 2017

Location, location, location: Sunderland

Previous employment: 20 plus years working in Local Government managing Private Housing Services


06:30 – Day tripper

Up early for a two day trip to London!  I am attending a new national policy group which looks at how partnership working across all sectors of housing can improve policy and result in a better response to domestic abuse.

09:30 – Opportunity knocks

Take the opportunity to catch up on emails and firm up meetings scheduled over the next couple of days.  I also enjoy a bit of ‘quiet time’ to think about new ways to engage with private landlords. Quiet time unfortunately doesn’t last long as the train gets busy!  With more people living in the private rented sector than social housing, the time to engage with private landlords and raise awareness of domestic abuse is overdue.

12:30 – See what develops

Meet Kelly Henderson. She is a co-founder of DAHA and a business manager (domestic abuse) at Gentoo. We catch up about new developments at Kings Cross over a sandwich. DAHA has grown from four to nine people in six months, so it’s so important to regularly catch up with the team and talk about the direction of DAHA.

13:30 – One vision

Attend the meeting with the National Housing and Domestic Abuse Policy and Practice Group. This group has representation from key stakeholders from the domestic abuse, LGBT, housing and homelessness sectors. The aim of the group is to ensure that the experience of survivors of domestic abuse is more prominent in the housing sector in order to shape improved services. It was fascinating to have all key stakeholders in one room with a shared vision of how we can work together to shape policy and influence.

15:30 – Time for tea

Had a cuppa and catch up with Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs. She is the founder and director of surviving economic abuse, a charity that has a mission of raising awareness of economic abuse.  It was really valuable to get further insight into economic abuse and embed links for future partnership working.

17:00 – Thrill seeker

Head back to the hotel and check schedule for the following day. I am thrilled to receive an email from the National Landlords Association to confirm a meeting for my next trip to London!

18:00 – Food for thought

Go for a welcome Fiorentina washed down with a cold Peroni at a well-known pizza establishment and digest the day in the process, feeling absolutely privileged to work with some of the most inspirational group of people around. Although early stages I strongly believe in the added societal value this work will bring by increasing awareness. Domestic abuse is across all tenures and an improved response across all housing sectors is so important as part of the Coordinated Community Response.



Going for a long run on a Saturday morning followed by a big brunch with my family, finished off with going to watch Newcastle United win at home!  The latter being less of a certainty of course!


To find out more about how you can #makeastand and help end domestic abuse, click here.