​Facilitator of The Freedom and Freedom Forever Programmes

Facilitator of The Freedom and Freedom Forever Programmes

The Freedom Programme is a 12-week course providing support and learning for female survivors of domestic abuse. The programme, delivered in two-hour sessions, is held up to nine times a year and is designed to be both transformative and informative, helping survivors to examine the beliefs held by abusive men, challenge any shared beliefs, raise self-esteem and give women confidence to improve the quality of their lives.

The Freedom Forever Programme is a 10-week course, delivered in two-hour sessions, which continues the programme of support and learning offered by the Freedom Programme, covering the areas of initiating change, practical life skill development and solutions. Both courses are offered to women virtually and face-to-face and can be accessed alongside a free creche facility on specific days of the week.

We talk to Anna who works as a facilitator for The Freedom and Freedom Forever Programmes on behalf of a support charity.

How long have you been in the role?

I have been providing domestic abuse support for the past 16 years.

What was your (professional/voluntary) background before taking on this job?

I was working as a family support worker within the voluntary sector for a small charity offering family support to local families since 1998. I then trained as a facilitator to run the Freedom Programmes in 2007 and helped to shape and develop and grow the Life After Abuse services six years ago.

What sort of support do you offer?

Female survivors of domestic abuse can self-refer or be referred to our services. We offer a comprehensive, trauma focussed, person centred, holistic package of ‘Life After Abuse’ activities for both women and child survivors of domestic abuse in Cambridgeshire. Our activities enable women to start their recovery journey at any stage in their lives and help them to understand what has happened to them, how to identify the traits of a perpetrator and how to protect themselves and their children from further harm. We both empower and walk alongside them on their road to a happy, safe, independent life of their choosing.

Can you think of a victim/witness that you recently supported and describe what you think helped them recover/report/seek support?

We recently received the following feedback from a female survivor who attended the Freedom Programme:

‘Since the course I’ve developed the confidence to have limited to no contact with the perpetrator. It’s also encouraging me to put forward for a move of home that will hopefully allow me to have my own room. I’m certainly more aware of what DA is… I now no longer feel so isolated and feel able to share my experiences without being judged, being able to find my voice and processing what has happened and being believed. I really appreciate the time and preparation that has gone into these programs, I wish I’d done it sooner and to have staff always there to support and give advice.’

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