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The freedom program - just for physical abuse?

(18 Posts)
NarcsBegone Sun 15-Jan-17 13:29:43

I have seen many posts on the boards saying that people should access the freedom program and I was advised by a professional that it may be helpful for me too Often it's suggested even though there hasn't been physical abuse but I've looked on the website and it states that it is for people that have suffered physical abuse. Is there a particular bit for other issues? Am I missing something? Any guidance would be great fully received.

SunshineHQ Sun 15-Jan-17 14:33:50

I did the Freedom programme and found it really useful. And I had never suffered physical abuse from my Ex, just Emotional and Psychological stuff.

The Freedom programme covered loads of different aspects of abuse, and probably spent a lot more time on the non-physical abuse bits, as they are often harder to recognise initially when you are in the midst of things.

So I would definitely go along if I were you. Would really recommend it, and also made a couple of really good friends on the course I went on.

Dieu Sun 15-Jan-17 14:37:09

I have asked exactly this on my 'harassment' thread today, NB. Lots of suggestions to go for it, but when I went to sign up, found that it's for victims of DA. Think I'll just do it anyway though. It's only a tenner, and I'm sure I'll learn something from it. Plenty have found it very beneficial.

Namechanger2015 Sun 15-Jan-17 14:38:46

I went too and suffered emotional abuse as well as physical. The emotional abuse is harder to deal with as it's more difficult for you to understand and 'justify' in your head. It was for me anyway.

The Freedom Programme was extremely helpful for me to identify and understand his emotionally abusive behaviour and I agree with the poster above that the emotional stuff was covered in more detail than the physical stuff. Please do consider going to the course. Its an excellent support.

Dieu Sun 15-Jan-17 14:38:52

Oh, did you do it online or attend an actual course SunshineHQ? I live in a city, but not sure if they run them here, which seems unusual. Can't seem to find any details.

NarcsBegone Sun 15-Jan-17 15:14:40

Thank you so much for the replies.
So it sounds really helpful! I'm hoping that some sort of understanding and perhaps a bit of letting go may help and also how to manage things going forward with things.
I'd also be interested to know if anyone did the online course or both and which was more helpful?

abbsisspartacus Sun 15-Jan-17 15:17:22

I went in person to a group it isn't just for physical abuse ring woman aid and have a chat

everythingis Sun 15-Jan-17 17:20:46

Did the group course. I loved it but it was very hard to accept how bad things were with exh learning about his text book techniques

abbsisspartacus Sun 15-Jan-17 18:03:13

I bought the book too it's hard going over how you have been manipulated and believing it could happen to you

Namechanger2015 Sun 15-Jan-17 18:50:10

I went in person and found it very reassuring to meet other intelligent / successful women who had gone through the same. Helped me to forgive myself for not seeing the signs and for not standing up to him as I could see how other people had also been manipulated and scared in a similar way.

Greypaw Sun 15-Jan-17 20:16:13

All I can see on the website is that it's for people who have experienced "domestic violence". It doesn't specify physical, emotional, financial etc. They prefer not to section these things out, all abuse comes from the same place, so it would definitely be beneficial for you no matter what kind of DV you experienced.

Lelloteddy Sun 15-Jan-17 20:22:28

It doesn't just cover physical abuse.
Whilst useful, I found it incredibly draining emotionally and I didn't actually finish the course. The group I was in was dominated by a few very strong characters and the facilitators struggled to let other people have their voices heard. At least two thirds of people dropped out before it ended.

Offred Sun 15-Jan-17 20:34:48

This is what the freedom programme website says;

*What is the Freedom Programme?
The Freedom Programme is a domestic violence programme which was created by Pat Craven who holds the copyright (all rights reserved) and evolved from her work with perpetrators of domestic violence. We provide information, not therapy.*

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.

It is for all survivors of domestic violence which includes emotional, financial, sexual and physical abuse.

It is just for survivors of abuse.

Nowhere in it does it say it is solely for people who experiences physical abuse.

Is it just that the language used is confusing you? I.e. 'Domestic violence' meaning you have taken it literally to mean 'people who have been hit'?

Offred Sun 15-Jan-17 20:38:05

This is the govt definition of domestic violence btw;

*Domestic violence and abuse: new definition
The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:*

any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:


*Controlling behaviour
Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour.*

*Coercive behaviour
Coercive behaviour is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.*

SunshineHQ Sun 15-Jan-17 21:33:25

To answer Dieu, I went in person and would recommend that if possible, if you near a course. But having looked on the Freedom Programme website, some areas have better coverage than others. For example North London didn't seem to have any, whereas South London had 4 I thought.

You can also buy the book on Amazon.

NarcsBegone Sun 15-Jan-17 22:46:44

I will definitely investigate further. Thanks for all your responses.
The wording on the site as quoted by Ofred does give the impression that it is more for physical abuse and doesn't mention emotional abuse. The government definition also doesn't really cover the issues that I have experienced but, as I'm sure is the case with everyone, the situation is very complicated.

Offred Mon 16-Jan-17 18:34:29

Might be worth feeding that point back to the freedom program TBH!

Offred Mon 16-Jan-17 18:36:36

I mean it is clear to me, given that I know domestic violence includes all forms of abuse, but I think it is very common for people who are just realising something isn't right to feel it isn't domestic violence and that those terms only apply to quite severe physical violence.

I don't think they would want women to feel it isn't for them.

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