Freedom programme

(13 Posts)
midnightmuma Wed 02-Nov-16 17:06:57

Not sure if this is the right place to post.

Just wanted to know what people's experiences are on the freedom programme?

What kind of things did you talk about and did you find it helpful?

Women's aid recommended I do it as I was in an EA relationship.

midnightmuma Fri 04-Nov-16 11:45:24

Anyone?

Avpixie27 Sat 05-Nov-16 21:59:25

I cant believe no one has commented you. I did the freedom programme but couldnt finish it as i had no one to mind my child for the 2 hours. I found it so helpful. I was in an emotionally abusive relationship for 3 years. The women are so friendly, you can share as much as you feel comfortable with

midnightmuma Sun 06-Nov-16 07:38:25

Thanks AV is there a structure to the group? I'm still with him now but want to leave. Hoping this can help me

headinhands Sun 06-Nov-16 08:05:49

Hi op. I've not done it but I know the one in my area operates as a continuous cycle so you can start anytime and as long as you go for 8 sessions in a row you'll cover the whole material. And some attendees cover the material more than once by going through the cycle more than once. And some dip in and out.

skyyequake Sun 06-Nov-16 09:35:38

Hi midnight I was on your other thread!

I'm currently doing Freedom Programme and am on week 6. It is quite simply the most invaluable resource I've had access to!

I've shared some pictures of the resource we were given on week 1. It outlines different abusive personas, although many abusers cover multiple. Each week you cover a different persona in detail and discuss their tactics, beliefs, etc. There are also weeks that you discuss the effects domestic abuse has on any children, which is a hard one but very helpful, and at the end they go over warning signs and red flags for future relationships.

I have a wonderful group who are very supportive and we have an open door policy so anyone can join at any time and we have a creche for any children. Try asking Women's Aid for whether that's at your local Programme if you need it!

Freedom has honestly given me a huge source of strength and knowledge, and I can definitely say, hand on heart, that it has stopped me going back to him. I would probably have gotten sucked into his manipulation and minimising if it hadn't been for Freedom validating his actions as abuse and validating my feelings of being abused.

It's also introduced me to some wonderful people who really understand what you're going through. On week 3 I ended up bursting into tears, because I was having such a rough week but when I was there people were so lovely and I stopped feeling so alone in what I was going through.

You can also do the Programme more than once. So if you feel later on down the line that you need that validation and confidence boost again with regards to your abuser, you can go back and do it again no problem. There are about 2 or 3 women in our group who are on it for the second time.

All in all I would 100% recommend it, and sticking to it even if it gets emotional and hard. We've had a few women who simply haven't come back for whatever reason, but one woman has been there every week, despite crying in every session, and despite openly admitting to feeling like crap. This last week she was there again, she didn't cry (she even said at the end "I didn't cry this time!") and she seemed so much stronger and like she'd really turned a corner. And although I barely know her, I'm so proud of her and feel honoured to witness that stage of her recovery.

It creates a sense of community with others who don't look at you with complete shock and an "I don't know what to say face", but rather nod knowingly and offer there own experiences and a shoulder to cry on and a lot of the time we laugh a lot too! There is such a sense of humour and comradeship. I've heard so many women describe it as their "safe place". Its a place where you can discuss and share without fear or judgement. There are confidentiality rules and other safeguarding rules to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Definitely go along. If you find it's not for you then simply tell the organisers so they don't worry something has happened to you, and there's no pressure to keep going. I would suggest that you give it a few weeks before making that decision though as it can be a bit hard the first few weeks because some of the stuff is hard to hear, but can also be very empowering if you let it.

I hope you try it out. I find it's especially valuable if you've been in an EA relationship as you're often doubting yourself and being manipulated into thinking you're "overreacting" or "imagining things". It's so empowering to have people saying "no, that was wrong and you are right to feel this way".

Good luck midnight flowers

FV45 Sun 06-Nov-16 09:35:39

I really want to go to my local course, but it's nearly an hours drive away and I have a full time job. I don't know how people manage to go.

Avpixie27 Sun 06-Nov-16 09:43:02

You can do an online version or buy the living with the dominator book to read alone. But it is good to go in person as you are surrounded by other women in your situation

midnightmuma Sun 06-Nov-16 19:44:53

Sky thank you so much for sharing the info. Was a bit emotional reading as I would love to be around people who actually understand me. Sounds like the programme is really helpful. I enquired about my local one and they only run 3 times a year during term time. I really wish it was more of a drop in as that would be helpful now. I'll have to wait until Jan though.

skyyequake Sun 06-Nov-16 20:23:24

That's not too far away! Have you given them your details so they can contact you to give you exact dates, times and location?

Also see if your local DA charity holds a coffee morning. Our one has something called a One-Stop Cafe and it's just turn up for a coffee and a chat, completely informal but very supportive and all domestic abuse survivors with maybe one or two people from the charity running it. It's a long shot but maybe there's something like that near you to help till Freedom starts?

I'm glad I've been able to help flowers

Starlight2345 Sun 06-Nov-16 20:30:22

I did it like previous poster is was a rolling course..

I had left my ex but it helped me realise a lot of what I was excusing putting down to MH were abusive..

It was tough we cried and laughed in the group.

We also had a creche at ours.

If you want to leave you can now, make plans.. I did it as I never wanted to primarily put my DS in the same situation again.

midnightmuma Mon 07-Nov-16 10:19:07

I've done an intake form over the phone sky. She's sending someone at the charity out to come and speak to me too which will be useful. Thank you for the advice I'll ask about a coffee drop in.

Thanks starlight

skyyequake Mon 07-Nov-16 11:28:43

Oh good I'm sure the charity person will be able to give you access to all the support you need smile

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