Exploring Domestic Abuse – A Survivor’s Perspective Helen Nelder - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Exploring Domestic Abuse – A Survivor’s Perspective Helen Nelder

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  1. Exploring Domestic Abuse –A Survivor’s PerspectiveHelen Nelder

  2. The Paradox of Problem Solving! “The world we have made, as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far, creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.” Albert Einstein • What does this mean to you? Discuss!

  3. The Paradox of Problem Solving! The problem with thinking outside the box is that the instructions for doing it are on the outside of the box!

  4. Different worlds (or planets!) What do I understand by the term ‘world’? • We can mean our home world, • Work world, • Society as a whole Sometimes they work well together, sometimes they conflict!

  5. Different worlds (or planets!) In DA we have Marianne Hester’s ‘Three Planet Model’ (British Journal of Social Work 2011 41) • Domestic violence planet • Child protection planet • Child contact planet


  6. What is domestic abuse? “In Women's Aid's view domestic violence is physical, sexual, psychological or financial violence that takes place within an intimate or family-type relationship and that forms a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour. This can include forced marriage and so-called ‘honour crimes'. Domestic violence  may include a range of abusive behaviours, not all of which are in themselves inherently 'violent'.”

  7. Why I wrote w@rn: • KEY POINT: To ask people to really understand how it feels to be trapped in a violent relationship and to humanise the issue • To give people who experienced abuse a voice • To show leaving is not a simple, easy option • Explore the complexity of abuse and control • Break down myths surrounding domestic abuse • Show how abuse affected the children

  8. Part 1:What is domestic abuse? ‘If it’s that bad why don’t women leave?’

  9. What is domestic abuse? • Physical • Sexual • Emotional / psychological • Financial • Technological • More?

  10. What is domestic abuse? Physical Abuse • Physical Torture • Stockholm Syndrome • Shock (medical) which can cause organ failure and death • Long term injuries and medical conditions – scarring, miscarriages, infertility, deafness, blindness, depression, alcoholism, brain damage, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's

  11. What is domestic abuse? Emotional/Psychological Abuse • “I love your mother but she just makes me so angry” • The definition of emotional abuse – degrading the word love and using it to control and manipulate another. • The use of insults, blame and threats - psychological torture • Home office research shows people who identify that they are victims of domestic abuse and crime are more likely to report to the police; those who think it is their fault are less likely.

  12. What is domestic abuse? Financial Abuse • What clothes they buy • What times they are allowed out of the house • When to come home by allowing them so much money for transport. • What purchases they can make • How much of their own money they can spend • Debt

  13. What is domestic abuse? Technological Abuse • Tracing • Social Media • Hidden threats • Humiliation

  14. Exercise 1 • AIM: To discuss in detail what the term ‘domestic abuse’ really means. • On separate post-its write as many specific examples of domestic abuse as you can, based on your prior knowledge and what you have seen and heard so far • Please stick them onto the relevant posters around the room

  15. Exercise 2 AIM: To discuss in detail ‘Why don’t women leave?’ • Open the envelope and read out the question, instructions for the exercise and the 15 statements. • Put the statements in a triangle with the most significant at the top

  16. Part 2: The Impact on the Children • Children in the same family can react differently to their situation from violently acting out, normalising and outwardly functioning to complete withdrawal. • They will be deeply conflicted about their feelings towards both parents • They may consciously or unconsciously contribute to the abuse of the victim • They may side with the perpetrator • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder • They lose their childhood

  17. The Impact on the Children Section 20 of the Adoption and Children’s Act has extended the definition of harming children to include harm suffered by seeing or hearing ill treatment of others especially in the home.

  18. The Impact on the Children • 30% of abuse often starts and/or escalates when a woman is pregnant. • An unborn child can incur injury through physical abuse leading to miscarriage and still birth, or birth defects. • The psychological impact of the abuse on the mother, affecting her hormones and/or mental health can inflict brain damage on the unborn child (Professor Vivette Glover, 2007). • Prevention accessing ante or post natal services. • The abuse may affect the mother’s attachment to a child particularly if the child is the result of rape by her partner.

  19. The Impact on the Children • In a Women’s Aid survey, 47% of the children in refuges were under five years old. • On the Women’s Aid census day they recorded that 19,836 women were provided with refuge services and 24,347 children. • The statistic for use of all domestic abuse services: 196, 205 women and 129,193 children

  20. The Impact on the Children Negative material consequences (In addition to psychological and emotional) • No social life • No friends • Poverty • Isolation from peers

  21. The Impact on the Children • Research has shown children can be abused as a way of abusing and controlling the mother, that this can happen in up to 60% of cases. • Research has also shown that child contact is often the major flashpoint for post-separation violence “women are most at risk of life threatening or fatal violence when they have left their violent partners” (Strauss 1988). • ‘Child contact planet’ –historically finds it difficult if not impossible to take a perpetrator's violence into account so courts often order the woman to allow contact post separation

  22. The Impact on the Children It can happen that a parent with a court order against them will still seek access to children, maybe on your premises. • Do you have sufficient security procedures in place for dealing with this eventuality? • Do all your staff know what to do if this occurs?

  23. Exercise 3 • Under ‘Incidents’ record the incidents or any possible incidents that you think the children experienced in your given scene. Try to specify the kind of abuse they are experiencing. • Under ‘Effects’ try to explain what impact you think the abuse might have on the children.

  24. Exercise 4 • As a group on a separate piece of flipchart paper, mind map what children might say or do to communicate that they are in distress both consciously, if they have been asked to talk about what it is like at home, or unconsciously if no-one yet knows about the abuse. • On another piece of flipchart paper mind map what possible responses might there be from members of staff who suspected that a child in their care was at risk – try to imagine what someone experienced and inexperienced might do.

  25. Your Contribution • Stop asking the question: why don’t women leave/prosecute? • We know now: • It is because they are terrorised • It is not a solution • It doesn’t prevent or protect from further violence and murder

  26. Your Contribution Start asking different questions: • What can we do to prevent this happening? • What can we do to challenge ‘worlds’ that characterise women as culpable victims? • How can we, where possible, support violent and abusive men to change their behaviour?

  27. Your Contribution How can we protect women and children in what should be a place of safety: their own home?

  28. Thank youHelen NelderTheatre Maker & Workshop LeaderE: warn@helennelder.comT: 01273 685998M: 07941 377549www.helennelder.comfacebook.com/helennelder