24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline 0808 2000 247
24 hour Freedom Programme and IDAC Team helpline 01942 262 270
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What is the Freedom Programme?
We provide information not therapy.
The Freedom Programme is a domestic violence programme which was created by Pat Craven and evolved from her work with perpetrators of domestic violence.
The Programme was primarily designed for women as victims of domestic
violence, since research shows that in the vast majority of cases of serious abuse are male on female. However, the programme, when provided as an intensive two day course, is also suitable for men, whether abusive and wishing to change their attitudes and behaviour or whether victims of domestic abuse themselves.
The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help them to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess.
The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed.
MISSION STATEMENT FOR THE FREEDOM PROGRAMME
- Any woman should be able to phone the contact numbers on my website and be
told where and when the next session is taking place and whether crèche
facilities are available.
- I do not endorse intrusive questions, referrals or risk
- Women must be actively welcomed to the programme.
- We never give advice or tell any woman that she should leave. If it were so easy
we would have all left.
- Judgemental statements such as ‘I would never let anyone do that to me’ or ‘this
has never happened to me’ are not acceptable.
- Facilitators refer to all women as ‘us’ and never use the dreaded words ‘These
- These programmes are only for the women who attend them. I do not endorse
the presence of observers.
- Ideally, every woman who attends should be given a copy of the book ‘Living with
the Dominator’ and the supplement ‘The Freedom Programme Home Study
Course’ as soon as she arrives. This will enhance her learning. Clearly she will
know if it is safe to take these publications home or to leave them in a folder
with the facilitator.
- This programme lasts for 11 or 12 x 90 minute sessions. It is a rolling programme, so
women who attend can miss a session and do it later when they are ready. Some
women can take years to complete it.
Session 4 is about the ‘Effects of Domestic Abuse on Children’. It is repeated in session 8. Facilitators who only want to run this once can shorten the programme to 11 weeks.
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