What is it?
The Freedom Programme is an adaptable, affordable and sustainable educational tool for identifying and understanding domestic abuse. It shows us how to look underneath the manifested behaviours presenting – whether those behaviours are from adults or children.
The model itself is based on the Duluth model of Power and Control; it consists of 8 different persona types in a positive and negative form;
- Bully / Friend
- Jailer / Liberator
- Headworker / Negotiator
- Persuader / Negotiator
- Liar / Truthteller
- Badfather / Goodfather
- King of the Castle / Partner
- Sexual Controller / Lover
See the personas graphic Freedom Programme Personas
Each persona has its own set of tactics and beliefs; the model looks at society’s reinforcements of those beliefs, the beliefs that victims share with their perpetrator and the effects that has on victims, be they adult or child. There is also a section specifically covering the Effects on the Children, who are often overseen as being victims themselves – sometimes the effects can be from conception onwards.
Essentially the Freedom Programme explains Human Behaviour – therefore it is applicable to us all, regardless of our age, gender, sexuality, disability, socio-economic status, race, faith or culture.
The Freedom Programme itself is written in the stereotypical form of adult male perpetrator and adult female victim, but that isn’t to suggest that the stereotype is the only form domestic abuse is present in – it’s just more prevalent in that format, globally.
Although based on Duluth as a framework, the contents of Living With A Dominator (the book that explains the Freedom Programme) are real experiences of victims and the actions of unnervingly honest perpetrators of domestic abuse, collated over many years.
The key difference in cases of domestic abuse, is that the perpetrators behaviours are motivated by their belief systems and their main aim is to gain power and control over another. This is more commonly identifiable in intimate relationships, but not solely.
These days there is more of a wider understanding that the dynamics to gain power and control, motivated by an individual’s belief systems are used in all relationships that aren’t healthy; such as in young children’s siblings or peer groups, in teen relationships, in lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender relationships as well as heterosexual. The common denominator here is people.
Who’s it for?
If you are working directly with people, adults, children or families, or you’re making decisions about people’s lives you need this training.
CWC is one of 6 handpicked Licensed facilitators of the Freedom Programme in the world; handpicked by Pat Craven herself, no less. Having the License enables CWC to offer the training to professionals’ who work directly or indirectly with victims or perpetrators, adults or children. CWC is happy to travel far and wide to give as much access as possible for professional’s to this eye opening model – enabling professionals to then make fully informed decisions, without inadvertently oppressing victims further.
The more professionals trained in the Freedom Programme, the more availability for victims to attend a Freedom Programme group. The victims are the most important people that this information needs sharing with and the Freedom Programme time and again has been the crucial part of enabling, empowering, saving and changing lives over the years. If you’re a professional thinking that you know all there is to know about domestic abuse – then think again.
Obviously the Freedom Programme was primarily written to be used in a group work format, but it is also effective in one to one work, with adults or children. The Freedom Programme really does clarify every element within the dynamics of an abusive relationship, to the point where we can identify it from the merest of clues, therefore in practice, professionals can get straight to the key issues – giving a more effective and productive way of working for victims but also professionals and their agencies.
When and Where is training available?
CWC now offers a Freedom Programme Women’s Support Group based in Leicester. This group provides a 12 week rolling programme, which is free to attend for women over the age of 16 who are living with domestic abuse. For more information about this group see Support Group.
If you can’t see what you are looking for, please do get in touch to discuss booking a training for your agency in your location on a date that best suits your workforce needs and activities.
Where can I access a Freedom Programme support group local to me?
On the professionals training that CWC has delivered over the years, the calibre and diversity of those professionals, we are pleased to say, has evolved hugely, initially delegates were predominantly from services dealing with DV directly. But now we have delegates booking on from statutory, private and third sector agencies. Coming from broader social care services of universal to targeted, school and college based staff, medical practitioners, even a sprinkling of police and judges over the years; as more and more agencies see the benefits of gaining the tools – but still there is plenty of demand for more.
A lot of Freedom Programme support groups are delivered from agency venues especially where there is a hub of agencies working together. For obvious reasons the exact locations are not always advertised, but if you contact your local Domestic Abuse Co-Ordinator through your local Council, they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Or, if you have safe access to a computer you may prefer to complete the online version – for women and for men.
Additionally if you would like to chat with others more to find out more before taking the plunge heres a safe chat room to do so. If you need more urgent help you can call the Freedom Programme 24 hour helpline 01942 262 270.
For more information about the Freedom Programme see www.freedomprogramme.co.uk