The Freedom Programme is for women who are or have been experiencing domestic abuse. It examines the influence of attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusers and the responses of those who have experienced the abuse.
The programme helps women to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, to understand how their children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed. It gives women the space to develop ways of thinking and behaving to protect themselves and their children from harm.
The aims of The Freedom Programme are:
- To help women understand the beliefs held by abusive men and to recognise which of these beliefs they have shared
- To illustrate the effects of domestic abuse on children
- To assist women to recognise potential future abusers
- To help women gain self-esteem and the confidence to improve the quality of their lives
- To introduce women to other women who share similar experiences
Frequently Asked Questions – The Freedom Programme
What is the Freedom Programme and what does it seek to achieve?
The Freedom Programme was designed by Pat Craven and is for women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse. It usually runs for eleven or twelve weeks (but this may vary depending on your locality) and aims to:
- Provide women who are experiencing or surviving domestic abuse with a safe, supportive and friendly environment.
- Allow women to recognise the tactics and behaviours of ‘the dominator’ – that is, the tactics that typify a perpetrator of domestic abuse.
- Give women the opportunity to build connections with other women.
How are the groups structured?
The Freedom Programme focuses on a different theme each week based on the types of tactics that a perpetrator uses – ‘the dominator’. ‘The dominator’ is then contrasted with a non-perpetrating partner, ‘The Friend’, in order for the women to reflect through structured discussion.
Are there any contraindications that would mean that the Freedom Programme is not the appropriate service right now?
Due to the Freedom Programme being a recovery programme, we do not accept referrals where the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator is still residing in the family home.
We, as a service, are committed to ensuring that women and children receive the right support at the right time email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you currently delivering virtually?
Yes. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have turned our attention to delivering the Freedom Programme virtually via Zoom. We have ensured that the necessary precautions have been taken in order for delivery to take place safely online.
Should attendance be mandated as part of a statutory response?
No. Attendance should not be mandated as part of a statutory response. It is the women’s choice to attend – she must do so voluntarily.