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Freedom Programme online course - click here
Where is the Freedom Programme? - click here

Tuesday, 9 December 2014


The Freedom Programme Charitable Trust.

WAVE Domestic Abuse Centre merged with the National Freedom Programme in April 2013 and became the Freedom Programme Charitable Trust. Its directors Pat Craven (creator of the Freedom Programme) and Christine Ashton formally director of Wave Domestic Abuse Centre have come together to ensure the programme is available to as many of those impacted by abuse in the UK as possible.

The trust incorporates IDAC the Wigan Independent Domestic Abuse Centre and the National 24hr Helpline.

We are so pleased that our official Freedom Programme Charitable Trust is currently providing 5 rolling Freedom Programmes per week in the Wigan area.

Mondays Atherton
Tuesdays Leigh
Wednesdays Hindley
Thursdays Wigan
Fridays Platt Bridge

A woman can contact our helpline number 01942 262270 to join any of the programmes immediately.

 The 2 day Male Programme “How Hard Can it Be” for men who wish to become nicer men is being developed in Wigan.

The next programme will be run on the 23/24 April 2015.

Our wrap around service in Wigan includes –
• Support through family and criminal courts
• One to one outreach
• Support for children in primary and secondary school
• Work with male victims
• Housing support and advice

The trust is self-funding and we are not dependent on funding from the Local Authority or Government grants. Funding is raised by:
1) Providing CPD training throughout the UK who wish to facilitate their own Freedom Programme
2) Providing CPD training to professionals covering the Introduction to the Freedom Programme, coercive control and the effects of domestic abuse on children.

If you wish to book any of the training please visit our website to keep up to date on new developments follow us on twitter @freedomprogramm.

Email us at

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Feedback for Facilitator Training Birmingham from Teachers and Head Teachers


Trainer Clare Walker thank you An absolute eye opener!! Very empowering! Go on the training!! Thank you! Teachers Assistant

This was an emotional journey which has made an impact on my life and role as a TA, working with parents and others. To be able to do a program to help others in gaining knowledge and knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel and to give an impact on others. Teachers Assistant

It is an eye opener. Everyone should do it. Recommend early intervention such as trying to get into primary school. This has encouraged me to go out and promote FP to everyone and do what i can to support women. would like to encourage a network. Family Support Worker

Fantastic, amazing, inspiring, uplifting, educational, heartbreaking, yet so incredibly knowledgeable and honest. Thank you again, may god bless you for your great work x. Outreach Worker

Life changing experience, and an eye opener. Family Support Worker

Most definitely, it has been such an eye enlightening journey. The fact that Clare had so many 1st hand experiences and scenarios that brought things alive really brought home the key messages. Thanks for the privilege of attending this course. Head Teacher

Excellent program- learn about DV how individual can dominate through strength, role etc. life changing experience for ladies + men. Safeguarding

Its informing and enables all staff working with people, both young and old know how to support. As an educator, it enables one to understand youngsters going through an abusive term and empowers one to be able to give appropriate support. Deputy Head Teacher

How empowering the course is. How much it can help/ support our moms and their children. How much ladies can gain from taking part in the course. Fantastic. Family Support Worker

Go on the training! Book a place now! Its life changing! Everyone should/ needs to do the course! Family support It was very good, I will tell them to attend. Unknown

I would strongly recommend them to take part in the course as it gives you a clear knowledge on domestic violence and equips you as a facilitator to pass on skills for victims to recognize this. The course is flexible enough to allow you to not make heavy judgments on whether it is happening or not. Thank you xxx Family Support Worker

Yes, work for Walsall Council part time, hope to introduce to children from a targeted group I work with. Senior Family Support Worker It is a very wonderful, eye opening course. It empowers you to work to make a difference to women/men in this situation. Clare was amazing! Teachers Assistant

Its great, it will improve awareness and insight and help parents to make choices to positively improve well being of families. Family support worker/ Lead Father’s Work Coordinator

I would explain how good this program is. I would talk about my experience in this program. I would really persuade them to ask more questions about what it is about etc. Language Support Assistant

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Feedback from men's programme 13/14 October Thank you Chris Ashton

Men and partners wrote:

My god what can I say, life changing/attitude changing. I will change and will carry on reading. Learned so much about myself

Although the programme was only two days long it was intense. It was well demonstrated and open my eyes as to my beliefs. I know I can be a better man and benefit from what I have learned.

I am pleased and honoured to be allowed to do this programme. It has been a great experience and I have learned a lot about my manners. Thank you very much to the very brave lady Chris who was superb.

I'm happy I attended the course I learned a lot about how I impact on my children and how that shapes their lives. Looking at this was very distressing I did not know how painful emotionally this could be for them. I will be withdrawing my application for residency of the children from court their mother is an excellent mother and I will support her.

This course opens your mind.Chris was brilliant and helpful. It has been great I would definately recommend to other men.

The course was interesting gave lots of time for discussion around the men over women agenda. I didn't know what I was doing was abusive but I have been abusive to my partners.

I think the programme is very good. It has taught me and made me understand a lot about how I have been putting so much pressure on to my family without me knowing what I was doing. I will go from here and be able to be a better father and partner. I really couldn't believe there was a part of me and what I've done in this book. It is my time to change

Many thanks for this programme. You were very honest and didn't hold back on the impact of my behaviour. It was a hard thing to be faced with very upsetting, but nothing compared to what I put my wife through. It was a shock when I saw images of me reflected back.

It was a good course. I learned a lot about relationships and how adults behaviour affects all the family

Thanks for delivering such an informative programme which has certainly put things into perspective for me. Chris is fab so welcoming and really made me feel at ease from the start and comfortable at all times especially broaching some difficult subjects which made me feel emotional at times.

I will be going home and apologising to my partner and my kids. I don't expect them to forgive me and realise that I will have a long way to go but I will try my best to undo the damage I have done. Thank you

I never saw myself as one of those men - how stupid was I 

So glad I attended with my partner, wow how much have I learned. I often wondered how I ended up here now I know and have knowledge 

Thank you for the programme. I am not going to stop here I am going to continue to work on my behaviour, before I even think about being in any relationship.

Very emotional to hear how my behaviour was shaping the future of my children. Very powerful 

I blamed social workers for removing my children I blamed her for having me thrown out I blamed the police for arresting me. I blamed her friends for putting ideas into her head. I blamed her family because they never liked me.  I blamed everyone except the person whose fault it was ME
Just wanted to say thank you for the training, it was life changing.

Thank you also for accepting me at short notice, I will read and re-read and change.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Feedback from Facilitator Training in Oxfordshire September 2015

Amazing training, thank you.
I was a little apprehensive at the start, not quite knowing what to expect….. however you delivered the course with such passion and feeling that I became so engrossed I didn’t want to leave! (It was also nice not having to be pc)
Being “in role” is a fantastic way to work through the book as it really brings the effects home.
I am planning on delivering a course early next year, if not before, and I can’t wait to do it!
Thank you!

Huge thanks to Pat the training was amazing and I have taken lots away from it and feel very inspired to now go out and deliver the programme.
 Best training I have attended in a long time.

It was an amazing few days. Pat we love you.

Just wanted to thank you for a fantastic 3 days on the Freedom Programme Training, I thoroughly enjoyed it and took a lot away from it and cannot wait to run a programme. I can honestly say it is the best training I have ever been on! Your delivery style is second to none which made it engaging and fun.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

I should have stayed quiet for Mum & Dad’s sake

As I walked in the house, all the faces were new
They smiled at me and the dog came in view
Then they sat themselves down in what they called the lounge,
With pictures of children and family around.
They speak of my Mum and my Dad and my Nan,
They speak like they think that they know who I am,
It’s private, my life but they talk on an on,
She tells them of all of the things I’ve done wrong.
I didn’t ask to be here but they tell me the rules,
They tell me they’re firm and will be no fools,
So I look at my lap, and turn off from their voices,
Then they mention some more about me having choices.
The dog still looks happy so I stroke on his head,
The life of a dog would be better I said,
They looked at me then and they squinted their eyes,
The fact that I spoke must have been a surprise.
I won’t say anymore, I don’t know what they’re thinking
I hide tears in my eyes by repeatedly blinking,
I’m sorry for Mum and I hope she’s alright,
I hope that my parents will not start to fight.
The worker stands up and says she must head,
But before she must leave we must go see my bed,
So we go on upstairs and walk into “my space”,
“Made up for a boy” but that isn’t the case,
It isn’t my room and I’m feeling so numb,
The house looks quite nice but it’s not got my Mum.
The worker then goes and I’m there by myself,
I stay in my room and put things on my shelf,
I think of my school, and my friends and my Nan,
I think who would care if I turned round and ran.
I think I got it wrong and have made a mistake,
I should have stayed quiet for Mum & Dad’s sake,
And now they are sad, so I breathe with a sigh,
I can’t hold it back and I’m starting to cry.
But Liz hears the sound and she comes up to see,
She doesn’t say much but she holds onto me,
She ushers me down and offers me food,
I’m not really hungry but don’t want to be rude,
The fridge is so full there’s so much to choose,
And plates and the bowls and glasses to use.
I end up with some toast which slowly I pick,
My chest’s feeling tight and I’m still feeling sick,
But Dave makes me chocolate, places down with a grin,
He tells me I’m safe and will want for nothing,
I don’t really believe, because I’ve never felt safe,
But for the moment at least, I might like this place.
Written by Tim McArdle – UK Fostering – with experience of placing over 1500 children over 12 years.
- See more at:

Thursday, 4 September 2014

"real training for a real course" Feedback from facilitator training in Wirral.

Wirral Training Feedback

Very interesting course, looking forward to delivering the programme.  Facilitator lovely very knowledgeable. Liked the way facilitator brought bits of her experience into the sessions.  

Was an eye opener. Nice to get together with other professionals. Good knowledgeable trainer. Enjoyable. Will use this in programmes and on 1-1 basis in client’s homes. 

I found the training valuable both personally and professionally. My views on society stereotypes have come into question. Valuable insights on warning signs. Looking forward to delivering and also sharing the information with my daughters as they mature.

The training was enjoyable. Interesting to learn different tactics of dominator and gain insight into effects on children.  Group work mixed with case stories/examples from Chris were a good balance.  Would recommend to colleagues. 

Fantastic training Chris was brill, made it fun and knew here stuff. Loved the course and really looking forward to running it. 
I think every professional working with children and families should have knowledge of the programme and its content.

Thank you for the training it wasn’t a boring sit in front of a power point training. I felt it was real training for a real course. Chris was approachable and down to earth. I enjoyed learning about the freedom programme and I look forward to running it. I hopefully will make a difference to the families in Birkenhead. 

Enjoyed the three days very much. Have wanted to attend this training for a few years and this is my first opportunity. Valuable training experience. Better able to help and support the mums and families that I work with. 

Fabulous training, I have learned valuable information. Tutor relaxed and doesn’t put you under pressure (like some courses) Really enjoyed this training. Would like to observe “How Hard can It Be” Thank you.

Enjoyable three days. I found the practice running a session very useful and supportive.  Look forward to putting what I have learned into practice and supporting families who may be in an abusive situation. I feel the course will empower families and allow them to help themselves. 

Really nice feel to the training group.  Chris ran it at a good pace with plenty of pause for though and opportunities for questions along the way. Chris had good knowledge of the programme and was confident in her delivery. A really excellent three days which have opened my eyes and helped me understand issues from men, women and children’s perspectives. 

This training has been powerful, lots to take in. I look forward to using my training and helping others. The training was delivered in a good relaxed way and was explored really well.  Thank you so much. 

Totally raised my awareness with regards to tactics especially subtle/early warning signs. Trainer very knowledgeable, felt relaxed and comfortable and able to participate without being nervous. 

Great training very informative, good resources, great facilitator, lots of information given during the sessions. Group work was good, I liked moving into different groups getting different people’s opinions. Thank you Chris I can wait to deliver the programme and start supporting women. 
Useful course, feel more confident about running a programme. I would like further training to facilitate a men’s programme and how to respond to situations that may arise. Would appreciate observing one. I feel the dynamics would be very different, especially with partners present. 

Informative and useful training that was engaging and had a good amount of participation for the leaners. I feel confident to deliver the programme now, thanks to the practice session and interesting questions from colleagues.  Chris was great and gave lots of practical advice for running the programmes. 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Freedom Programme Charitable Trust

The Freedom Programme Charitable Trust
The Freedom Programme and WAVE DV Centre have now joined forces to form a new charity:  'The Freedom Programme Charitable Trust'
The Charity provides the following services

Freedom Programmes for Women
These free programmes are available across the Wigan area. They are run by volunteers
who are trained Freedom Programme Facilitators and led by Christine Ashton the former project leader from WAVE DV Centre now IDACNW. These courses are provided free as a public service.

The 24 hour help line and help desk. 
01942 262 270

These are also staffed by Christine and other trained volunteers. They can provide
legal and practical information and signpost callers to Freedom Programmes in their area.
Our volunteers are there to help in the Family Court.

Freedom Programme for Men 
who want to become better partners and fathers. 
We provide these free courses as a public  service. More information on

These services are funded by charitable donations and from Freedom Programme Ltd who are a private training and publishing company.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

What is the Freedom Programme?

What is the Freedom Programme?

Information about the Freedom Programme
We provide information not therapy. 
The Freedom Programme is a domestic violence programme which was created by  Pat Craven and evolved from her work with perpetrators of domestic violence.
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.


Any woman should be able to phone the contact numbers on my website and be
told where and when the next session is taking place and whether crèche
facilities are available. I do not endorse intrusive questions, referrals or risk

Women must be actively welcomed to the programme.
We never give advice or tell any woman that she should leave. If it were so easy
we would have all left.

Judgemental statements such as ‘I would never let anyone do that to me’ or ‘this
has never happened to me’ are not acceptable.
Facilitators refer to all women as ‘us’ and never use the dreaded words ‘These

These programmes are only for the women who attend them. I do not endorse
the presence of observers.

Ideally, every woman who attends should be given a copy of the book ‘Living with
the Dominator’ and the supplement ‘The Freedom Programme Home Study
Course’ as soon as she arrives. This will enhance her learning. Clearly she will
know if it is safe to take these publications home or to leave them in a folder
with the facilitator.

This programme lasts for 11 or 12  x 90 minute sessions. It is a rolling programme, so
women who attend can miss a session and do it later when they are ready. Some
women can take years to complete it. 

Session 4 is about the ‘Effects of Domestic Abuse on Children’. It is repeated in session 8. Facilitators who only want to run this once can shorten the programme to 11 weeks.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Job vacancies in East Surrey

Please circulate to colleagues and friends who you think you may be interested

East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services are recruiting!

Would you like to join our team and support survivors of domestic abuse and their children to cope, survive and recover from their experiences? We are pleased to offer two exciting opportunities to make a real difference in someone’s life!

£28,820 - £29,820 for 35 hours per week
Could you supervise and support our Adult & Children’s Outreach team to deliver the highest quality services to survivors of domestic abuse and their children? You will have previously held a position of responsibility, including the management of personnel, projects, performance & finance. You must be able to support staff working within a challenging and complex area of work and to work effectively and diplomatically with a range of different statutory agencies, voluntary organizations, groups & individualsSome knowledge of working with survivors of domestic abuse, or other disadvantaged/marginalized groups and an understanding of the importance of risk identification, assessment & management is desirable. A current driving licence and use of a car is essential.
Closing date for applications: noon on Tuesday 2nd September 2014
Interview date: Monday 8th September 2014 in Redhill
*We offer the post subject to Section 7(2) (e) of the Sex Discrimination Act (Women Only)

£9,600 (FTE £21,000) for 16 hours per week
Want to join an innovative, highly motivated & professional team? You will be required to work with children & young people (5 - 16 years) who have experienced and/or witnessed domestic abuse and to provide therapeutic support services that will enable them to make sense of their experiences, come to terms with their situation and develop and grow in self-esteem and confidence. You will have experience of working directly with children, young people and their families through a range of difficult situations and supporting them accordingly including a relevant qualification. You must be willing to work outside of normal office hours on occasion including once per month at our Children’s Saturday Club. A current driving licence and use of a car is essential.
Closing date for applications: noon on Tuesday 2nd September 2014
Interview date: Friday 5th September 2014 in Redhill
*We offer the post subject to Section 7(2) (e) of the Sex Discrimination Act (Women Only)

Please email either Leigh at or Janine at or call us on 01737 771350 for an application pack

Kindest Regards


Chief Executive
East Surrey Domestic Abuse Services
Direct Dial: 01737 771780
Main Office: 01737 771350
Mobile: 07958 371280

Friday, 1 August 2014

Feedback from Facilitator Training Northants Women's Aid



“What would you tell a friend or colleague about this training?”;
Interesting, informative & exhausting. Good explanation about beliefs behaviour & tactics of the dominator
Teachers Assistant
An amazing programme that makes you aware of the different forms of abuse & constructively look at how to deal with a situation and survive!
DAP Worker
I gained an understanding of the abuse, tactics & the affects. It is a complete programme that supports women to understand the men they live with. This enables them to make informed decisions about their futures.
Social Worker
The Freedom Programme training is absolutely fantastic! I would recommend it to anyone, regardless as to whether they have been in an abusive relationship or not. Clare you are a wealth of knowledge & experience. The delivery of the training was brilliant!! Thank you
Advice Worker
An insightful, well designed course for anyone working with or supporting families enduring domestic abuse (even if you think they’ve seen it, done it & got the t-shirt!) It puts everything into perspective. I would highly recommend this training.
DAP Worker
Be prepared to be exhausted. Be mindful of the Mr Right & Mr Wrong men out there. Be prepared to recognise certain traits in men you know!
Family Support Worker
That it is an excellent opportunity. It is very emotive & informative. I feel that it was a rollercoaster & supported me to recognise that ‘this’ is what individuals will bring to attending the programme. And that they live with a lot of complexity/fear/abuse & how brave of them to have taken the 1st step in to the room.
The strong importance of taking/respecting the pace of others.
Centre Social Worker
I would encourage them to try & attend themselves. Very interesting & worth while to attend in person, rather than just reading the book as you gain a greater

understanding of the programme from the facilitator & you learn how to facilitate it yourself.
Refuge Support Worker
Every women should have the opportunity to attend this training. Excellent training & an amazing facilitator.
DAP Worker
Training is interesting & educating.
DAP Worker
Clare was open & friendly during the 3 day course; training will further add to knowledge on domestic abuse & the effects on victims & their families. I would encourage any staff member to come on it, as knowledge is power!
Domestic Abuse Practitioner
Helps to focus on understanding what the impact is for women & children & how difficult it is for women to step away from the situation. It is not just the course, women & children need ongoing support.
Head of Family Support
It will give you a better understanding regarding the different persona’s of the dominator. Enables you to recognise early signs of a new partner. And clarifies the effects it has on children which I did not fully understand before.
Family Support Worker
The training really goes indepth into the Dominator & all the effects of his behaviour. I feel very well equipped to deliver the programme. It has been a very emotional & uplifting 3 days. Thankyou very much Clare, fantastic facilitator!
Domestic Abuse Prevention Worker 

Monday, 28 July 2014

We will never stop trying!

John Humphrys on the Today Programme said to Yvette Cooper 'You will never stop all Domestic Violence!"
We say ' We will never stop trying!'

Friday, 11 July 2014

New Domestic Abuse Services Wigan

 New Domestic Abuse Services

An Introduction to the Independent Domestic Abuse Centre
The Independent Domestic Abuse Centre (IDAC) is a new Borough wide service designed
to reduce the level of domestic abuse and improve the safety of victims and their families.
By providing an outreach service in all localities we aim to reduce the number of high
risk cases and cases where people are forced to flee.
IDAC will provide the following services throughout the Borough
The Freedom Programme
Training Packages for Professionals
Support for Children and Young People
Programmes for Abusers
One to One Support to Victims of Abuse
24 hour Helpline
Our staff are currently visiting groups and
organisations in the Borough.
Book us now to attend your next staff meeting
and find out more about our work.
 The IDAC Team
Tel: 24hr 01942 262270
Twitter @IDACNW

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

I walked into that first session, and I remember thinking, I shouldn't be here.

Thank you Single Mother Ahoy
This is the link to this great blog where you can read more of her writing.

The Freedom Programme

I've written before about my health visitor, and how I believe she saved my life.

Shortly after I split from S's father, I visited the health visitor for a regular weigh-in/check up. She was her usual supportive self, telling me I didn't have to speak to him if I saw him, that I didn't have to let him see S, that I didn't have to take his phone calls or read his texts.

Before I left, she wrote three things in S's red book, and told me she wanted me to have done them by the next time we spoke:
  1. call the police and make them aware of my situation
  2. change my phone number
  3. call my local children's centre and ask to join the Freedom Programme.
I thought my health visitor was batty and over-reacting to what was just a relationship breakdown.  
I hadn't been abused, I was just difficult to get on with; we had just been incompatible; I had just been hard work. 
I shouldn't change my phone number; S's father should be able to contact me (and send me abusive nastiness) whenever he wanted to. Changing my number would make him angry because I was deliberately being difficult again. 
I shouldn't call the police; that was clearly making mountains out of molehills and deliberately trying to cause trouble where there wasn't any. And there definitely wasn't any real trouble, because everything was my fault, and my responsibility, and I really should be making more of an effort to maintain communication with S's father so that he could see her, even though he wasn't paying maintenance or showing more than a passing interest now that he had replaced us with a new girlfriend and her 3 month old baby.

But I was scared of my health visitor. Not because she was nasty; she was (and still is) lovely. I was scared because I had absolutely no confidence in my ability to look after S. I didn't want to say or do anything that would make the health visitor doubt me. I saw her as a person who had the power to have my baby taken from me, and that petrified me. So I did as I was told.

Single Mother Ahoy Freedom Programme

The Freedom Programme is a set programme of sessions. When I started, they'd already done a few sessions but I think after speaking to me on the phone, the organiser realised I couldn't wait until the next one. I started in the middle of the programme. They didn't have a space in the creche for S, so she came with me. 

The sessions were run on a Tuesday morning, at my local children's centre, which happened to be just around the corner from where S's father worked. I felt sick sneaking in there, and was glad they had a policy of keeping the front door locked while the session was running. I was so scared I would be seen, and he would tell me off for trying to cause trouble for him. 

I walked into that first session, and I remember thinking, I shouldn't be here. I am not one of these women. I do not belong in this room. And then the group leader began talking about the character they called The Dominator, and all the ways they use to control us. This week's session was on The Sexual Controller. She gave us a handout with a list of things he will say or do to keep you in your place. I started to read it, and I felt my stomach drop. I was shaking, almost in tears. 

I wasn't making it up; I wasn't over sensitive; I didn't just bruise easily, I wasn't mad. This piece of paper read as if someone had been listening in on our conversations over the last few months. This piece of paper made me feel instantly justified in being there, and sick to my stomach with guilt that I had stayed there for so long. 

It was abuse. 

I had been in an abusive relationship. 

I had been abused. 

I did belong there after all.

I spent most of that first session crying, telling the group leader that I was scared to change my phone number, that I didn't know what to do, that I felt guilty for leaving his children. 

But I left the session feeling empowered. I left feeling positive and strong. I remember walking out of the building with S in the sling, not caring whether I was seen leaving or not. As I took my mobile from my pocket I saw several new texts, all from him. I read them, but I didn't respond. When I got home, I called the network and changed my number; it was easier than I thought. 

Then I called the police and told them what had been going on. They sent an officer round, who spent a while filling in forms and asking me specific questions about whether I felt that I was in danger, whether I had felt threatened in the past etc. As she left she suggested I buy a curtain to go over my front door, so that anyone coming to the door couldn't automatically see whether I was in. I remember saying goodbye to her, closing the door and going back to the living room, to wait. Although I had told the police I didn't want them to speak to my ex, because I was scared of repercussions, I was convinced he would somehow find out I had "told" on him and that I would be in for some trouble.

As it was, nothing happened. I continued going to the Freedom Programme. Each week we looked at a different persona that abusers will adopt in order to control: the king of the castle, the bully, the bad father, the headworker. Each week it really was as if the group leader had been watching my life, had met my ex before. She and other women in the group were telling me stories that sounded so incredibly similar to my own. The examples we were given of the things an abuser (Dominator) will say and do in order to control you were him, word for word. Seeing that it wasn't just me, that I wasn't over-sensitive or trying to cause trouble, made me realise how important it was that I stay away.

The Freedom Programme finished a year ago. 
When it finished, it was still hard. It was still a daily struggle to stay strong, to not go backwards. Every time I heard from him I started to slip a little. 
But as time went on, I grew stronger. I spoke to a few people, who told me a few things. We compared notes, compared things he had said and done. And with each conversation I grew a little stronger. With each week that passed, I grew stronger. 

I bought the book that goes with the Freedom Programme. I've found it unbelievably useful to be able to read and re-read the descriptions, the lines they come out with, the actions. And also the descriptions of what a non-abusive, reasonable man will say and do.

I will not lend you this book; I still need it. I still read parts of it from time to time, and it is still very important to me. I need to keep reminding myself, so that I never allow myself to be in that position again.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Feedback from training in Liverpool

Amazing training with fantastic down to earth people.
 Hope we can all get together again.
 P.S. had all my mates singing the love your vagina song at the weekend…… and why not 

I just wanted to say it was fab meeting you all, It was probably the most enjoyable and memorable training I have ever had.

Loved the training, I’m proud to call myself a freedom programme facilitator and can’t wait to run my first programme !

I’ve already arranged some training sessions for my colleagues and planning to deliver an awareness session with a family.

What a fantastic course with such lovely people – thank you

Pat is an inspiration and i am eager to share my knowledge with others

Well what a fantastic course you held. It was no doubt the best training I have attended in the 13 years I have been working for the voluntary sector. We are at the moment putting together inhouse training and will be getting it out in around 2-3 weeks.

A trainee from Gibraltar says 
'I enjoyed the course immensely. I felt core issues where addressed sensitively yet so dynamically they left a huge impact. I hope to meet you all again. It was indeed a pleasure and Pat you my dear are unique!'

Friday, 4 July 2014

A song for every woman whose vagina has been insulted by the Sexual Controller

Abusers use sexual abuse as a weapon to degrade, destroy and defeat the women they control.
One of their favourite tactics is to tell us that our vaginas are too big and sloppy to give him sexual pleasure. I have travelled across the UK to train facilitators for 12 years and everywhere I have visited have a local phrase which is used as an insult.
'Witches Sleeve'  'A sausage up the Mile End Road' 'The Mersey Tunnel'  'The Tyne Tunnel'
to name just a few.

This song is for every woman who has heard this bullshit!

Love Love Love Your Vagina

In House Introduction Training


We can provide introduction training in house for your organisation for a minimum of 20 trainees as a full day event or a half day event. Each half day session costs £50.00  per person. Some of our trainers also charge vat at 20%.

Information about the Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme is a domestic violence programme which was created by  Pat Craven and evolved from her work with perpetrators of domestic violence.
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.

Introduction to the Freedom Programme. (Two to Three Hours)

This is Session One of the Freedom Programme. It is usually  followed by a Question and Answer session.  All trainees must be given a copy of ‘Living with the Dominator’ and the ‘Home Study Course’.  This training will give them the confidence to use these publications one to one with their service users. They will also be to make informed referrals to local programmes. Trainees can buy both these books from Amazon. They can also buy them directly from me at a discount price of £5.00 per copy plus 5% p&p for orders of 50 or more. 

The Effects on Children. ( Two to Three Hours)

This is Session Four of the Freedom Programme. It is usually followed by a Question and Answer session. All trainees must be given a copy of ‘Freedom’s Flowers’. This training and the book will provide information which is essential to good practice to anyone whose work brings them in contact with children. Trainees must be told that they can also buy the books from Amazon or directly from me at a discount price. 

Feedback from Conwy Intro to the Freedom Programme Training

Probation Officer
 Heard about programme, so glad to finally get an overview and learn about the material. Very relevant for working with young females I am currently working with.

Case worker CAIS
 Really enjoyed the course, gave me lots of information on new laws. Trainer was very clear and ran subject greatly.

Case Worker CAIS
 Good training and great to get the materials

IDVA  NW Womens Centre
 Very informative and thought provoking, Trainer made me feel very relaxed. I now feel more equipped to discuss the Freedom Programme with clients

Social Services Denbighshire
 Very informative. Very relevant for my service users. Excellent delivery

Social Care Denbighshire
 Interesting well presented and informative.

Flintshire Youth Justice Service
 Loved it ! Very informative and the trainer was engaging from the onset.

Denbighshire Children and Families service
 Good programme, trainer had a wonderful sense of humour

Outreach worker
 Very clear and informative. Time to ask questions. Thank you.

Monday, 23 June 2014

12 out of 16 women had their children returned from care.

Christine Ashton runs the IDACNW centre in Leigh who run the freedom programme and provided these stats. Here are all the contact details. 
01942 262290 
Freedom Programme Evaluation from WAVE DV Centre between June and November 2012
62 women were referred to the WAVE Freedom Programme. 48 women completed the programme. 
16 of them had children in the care of the local authority. 
28 of those children were subject to child projection plans and described as in need of safeguarding. (This was formerly known as the ‘at risk register’)
37 of the women who started the programme reported that they suffered from depression. 
24 of those women were taking prescribed anti depressants.
After completing the programme only 4 of the women still had children who remained in care. 
12 of them still had children who were subject to child protection plans. 
15 women now reported that they were depressed. 
12 women were still taking prescribed anti depressants. 
As a result of attending the Freedom Programme at the WAVE DV Centre:
12 out of 16 women had their children returned from care.
16 out of 28 women had their children’s names removed from the child protection plans. 
25 out of 37 women said they no longer suffered from depression. 
12 out of 24 women were no longer taking anti depressants.