The Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme is a rolling 12 week course open to any women impacted by intimate partner abuse who wish to learn about the dynamics of domestic violence and abuse. The programme is open to women who have left the abusive relationship or those who remain living with their abusive partner. See link http://www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/
Several programmes are offered in the Waveney and Suffolk Coastal regions. To find out how to join a group or make a referral, please contact us on 01502 572143 and we will be happy to give you some more information about programmes running in your area.
Some feedback from clients who have attended this course:
Miss A had moved into the area a few months previously after fleeing domestic abuse. She was isolated from her friends and family and in a town unfamiliar to her and her child. Miss A had six children, five of whom had been removed from her care due to repeated partners who were abusive. The child still with her was 8 months old and under the watchful eye of the Social Care system. Miss A joined our Freedom Programme and made regular attendance, she made friends and reduced her isolation, and she became familiar with the town and more settled in her new environment. Miss A attended the session on ‘Effects on Domestic Abuse on the Children’ and had a ‘light-bulb moment’. Miss A is determined not to return to the child’s father who was in prison at the time of her attendance to the programme. Miss A knows that if she returns to the child’s father, this child will also be removed from her care. She feels the Freedom programme has been ‘difficult, but worth it’ – ‘it has made me stronger’.
Miss B attended a Freedom Programme which we delivered to her on a one to one basis as she lived very rural location and was unable to attend a group. Miss B had suffered repeated sexual abuse. Miss B was 18 and had a young child. Miss B engaged with the programme fully and welcomed the support as she felt very isolated and embarrassed by her abuse. Miss B was not aware that she was being abused until she worked with a domestic abuse professional and started to realise that her relationship was indeed very abusive. This was her first relationship which commenced when she was 15. Although Miss B found the Freedom Programme very difficult, she attended every session and she felt she benefitted hugely. Miss B is still coming to terms with her abuse but feels she now knows the sort of partner to avoid. ‘It was very intense, interesting and eye opening’. ‘……….. really understood me, she knew a lot about sexual abuse and I felt safe to tell her things I have never told anyone before’.
11 week Freedom Course 2018:
Kirkley Children’s Centre, Kirkley Street, NR33 0LU
Referrals for the Lowestoft course can be made by contacting WDVAF
Awaiting programme dates and availability
Power To Change
Power To Change is a nationally recognised programme to help survivors of domestic abuse to identify abusive situations and develop the confidence to take control of their lives, and keep themselves and their children safe.
The group is activity based and focuses on empowerment in a supportive environment to help with the understanding of experiences and how to move on positively.
The course Covers:
- Basic rights and definitions of abuse
- Why is it hard to leave?
- Families and children
- Coping with fear, grief and guilt
- Assertiveness skills, techniques & boundary setting
- Coping with anger
- Assertiveness techniques
- Dealing with requests and authority figures
- Healthy relationships
- Endings and new beginnings
Awaiting programme dates and availability
Caring Dads Programme
Children can be deeply traumatized if they see violence between their parents or carers, even if they aren’t physically harmed.
It aims to help dads:
- stop their abuse
- recognize the impact their behaviour has on their children
- improve their parenting
How it works
Fathers work together in a discreet, supportive group. They attend 17 sessions focusing on topics like:
- how your behaviour as a parent can be affected by your own childhood experiences of parenting
- what emotionally abusive, controlling or violent behaviour between parents feels like for a child
- what children need from their dads to improve and strengthen their relationship.
Waveney Caring Dads Case Studies
Bob was referred to the programme further to a police call out to Daisy’s (ex-partner) address due to an incident where their 4 year old son John was present. No further action was taken by the Police, however John was under the watchful eye of Social Services and a referral was made to the Caring Dads programme for Bob.
Bob had a long history of poly-substance use and offending. At the beginning of the programme Bob identified how he wanted to be consistent, reliable and nurturing towards his son. In week 4 of the programme Bob spoke of the difficulties in his relationship with his child’s mother (Daisy), he explained how he had argued with her prior to attending the session, as their 4 year old son did not wish to speak with him on the phone. Bob learned about the stage of development for children at his sons age and was able to recognize that John’s behaviour was normal and this helped him to understand why his son was not ready to speak to him on the phone that day. In the sessions that followed Bob reported that he had been able to have positive communication between himself and John’s mother and how this had been of benefit to his son. Towards the end of the programme Bob told the group that he is seeing himself change as a father and is now considering things he had not thought of previously e.g. it is not about being John’s best friend, it is about showing him boundaries and being a good positive role model. Some of the other comments were that “It’s a good change and it feels great to not be paranoid about what the professionals might say about me, and just enjoy the time I have with my boy”. He just wants to have the best time he can with the time he has with his son, listening and accepting the support and guidance of social workers with positive effects. His communication became increasingly positive between himself and John’s mother and the case was closed by Social Services.
Fred was referred to the programme further to concerns with regard to police call outs to his ex-partners (Mary) addresses and impact on the children. Fred spoke of an abusive upbringing where he felt singled out by his father and spoke of regularly being subjected to violence and did not experience physical affection from adults as a child. Fred is a father of 5 children.
Fred wanted to show his children affection, particularly he wanted to be able to cuddle his son who lived with him (7 years old). Fred said he found this difficult believing this is due to him not experiencing affection himself as a child. He wrote in his workbook how he wanted to “create a safe, trusting, solid relationship with all of my boys”.
During the initial session Fred spoke of his fears about starting the course saying that he really did not want to do so. He said that his hope for the course were that he would be able to show more affection towards his sons. Fred stated that showing physical affection towards his sons had increased since the course started. Fred also identified that he takes more time to think before he acts. Fred spoke about how he now feels like a better person, not just as a father, but in general. He said that he talks to people more positively, realizing the importance of family and friends and showing them more respect. Other members of the group stated Fred sounded more respectful when talking about his partner Jane. They also suggested that he seems more confident and less ‘clammed up’.
Our 2018 caring Dad’s programme 09 commenced 31st January, we are still accepting referrals at this time.
Please contact us on 01502 572143
or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
for details of courses.