This 6-week Trauma-Informed programme can be delivered in a group setting or one-to-one. Domestic abuse is multifaceted, and many women will have hidden symptoms of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). Failure to recognise the cognitive impact of psychological distress associated with long term Gaslighting is a barrier to any sustainable change.
Some women leave abusers; however, others may never realise their partner is controlling, and their lack of boundaries and self-awareness puts both them and their children at risk.
To safeguard children and finally break the cycle of domestic abuse, we have designed a programme that responds to women’s realities by providing meaningful knowledge and skills absent in many domestic abuse interventions.
Session 1: How did I get here?
This session explores the different types of abusers and identifies the coercively controlling techniques used to isolate partners from family and friends. We look at the early warning signs of abuse that were missed and help survivors understand why they stay in toxic relationships.
Session 2: Patterns of Abuse
This session will educate women to recognise the tactics their abusers use to keep them trapped in the relationship. Women will gain insight into behaviours are designed to increase the dependency between them and the abuser and how to respond in the situation.
Session 3: Gaslighting and Isolation
During this session, women who struggle to break free learn about intentional psychological abuse known as gaslighting and the reasons they become trauma bonded to the abuser. We will explore why women fail to acknowledge they are being manipulated and learn about the long-term damage caused by this debilitating behaviour.
Session 4: Setting Boundaries
During this session, we encourage women to set their boundaries, having spent all of their time walking on eggshells trying to please the abuser. It explores the long-term psychological impact of being in an unhealthy relationship on the abused mental health. Participants in the session will learn the signs to avoid being hooked into a new relationship and how to keep themselves safe from ex-partners.
Session 5: Safety Planning
This session allows women to safely explore the advantages of leaving an abuser however, we know that not all women will be able to end a toxic relationship. Therefore, the session will discuss de-escalation strategies required for co-parenting with an abuser and offer strategies to keep their children safe. It will explore the long-term impact of domestic abuse and the links to mental health to prevent relapses and identify and avoid potential triggers. Additionally, it will explore safety planning and responding to risks of imminent harm.
Session 6: Be Kind to Yourself
This final session focuses on self-care and building resilience. Participants will be encouraged to apply grounding and self–soothing skills and techniques to implement firm boundaries. We will educate them about the different stages of recovery and show them that there is life beyond Coercive Control but let them know there may be setbacks on the way. Giving women strategies to deal with those setbacks will enable them to continue on their journey of recovery and prioritise the needs of their children.
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