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Monday 30 November 2015


Its amazing!
Safeguarding Officer

Would recommend this to help others if they are in a difficult domestic abuse situation.
Teaching Assistant

Very challenging but enlightening and would strongly recommend.
Social worker

Absolutely, the more information out there the better. 
Social Care Worker

Valuable training
Social Worker

Clare is a sensitive and empathic facilitator with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field. She is motivational and inspiring.

It is in depth and informative.
Out of Hours Worker

The training is a must!
Social Worker

Excellent course. Trainer was fantastic- enjoyed all 3 days and feel confident in Delivering the Freedom Programme.
Family Support

Insightful, a chance to network and share knowledge and experiences with other officials. It all makes sense!! When dealing with families and being able to identify behaviours and the impact on the family. Training was excellent!! Thank You!
Family Support Worker

I would recommend they attend the training and to have a look on the website. I believe it should be taught in secondary schools and more widely explored in parenting classes.
Health Visitor

I would recommend this training to all social workers in my team. It is extremely informative and provides a safe and relevant environment to explore all of the issues of practice facilitating the course.
Practice Leader

Very clear ad well thought out, thorough grounding in The Freedom Programme.
Family Support Worker

Informative! About awareness/ re-framing thinking clever approach- I/we used statements from the perspective of women/perpetrator/women and men in society. Supportive group- great knowledgeable facilitator.
Family Support

I have learnt more and I have challenged myself! I want to take the experience into my work practice and develop school partnerships working with children and young people. Particularly the effects and impacts.

I felt empowered, I feel that I will be able to Deliver this training and empower other women.
Mental Health Nurse

Definitely Worth 3 days of your life!!
Nurture TA & Safeguarding Team

All the DASW should do this training as its so very useful. Helpful with all areas of support work!
Domestic Abuse Support Worker

The training is essential when working with and supporting women and young people who are in or have experienced abusive relationships. Clare is inspirational in sharing experiences and teaching The Freedom Programme. Thank you very much!!
Family Support Worker

YES!!! - Really life changing information!!
Senior Family Support Worker

Gives you a really good understanding of what domestic abuse is- what the tactics are and how life would be without a dominator. Definitely worth doing!
Family Support Worker

This is a valuable tool that will enable you to share with service users in order for them to gain knowledge and understanding that their situation can change.
Social Worker

Clare is an inspirational training facilitator. She is captivating in her delivery and uses her vast knowledge, experience and humor in an extremely engaging way. There was never a dull moment- though a heavy subject! Having fun and sharing our experiences has really helped to boost my confidence in an area I was feeling very unsure and in the dark about. Thank you Clare!
Outreach Support Worker

It is really useful training in particular the affects on children. It is beneficial to know the tactics and how this affects womens behaviour.
Family Support Worker

The training will give you a very good understanding of the dynamics and effects of Domestic Abuse.
Team Leader Support & Outreach

That although it is a heavy subject, it is paced well and is so interesting that it is enjoyable. Thank you! I look forward to being able to put what I have learnt into practice with my vulnerable client group, enabling them to independence. I can now see that those living in abusive relationships can protect their children and themselves by their actions and then overcome their situations, as some people from the training group disclosed about themselves.
Health Visitor

It is essential to their understanding of the dynamics of Domestic Abuse and the detailed effects.
Company Director

This training challenges perceptions and increases your awareness of domestic abuse.
Support Worker

The manner in which the course is delivered is outstanding. It enables you to be able to be equipped and deliver The Freedom Programme to support and empower women.


Friday 23 October 2015

Testimonials from recent Freedom Programme Facilitator Training by Clare Walker in Walsall

Testimonials from recent Freedom Programme Facilitator Training by Clare Walker in Walsall
This training expands your knowledge of domestic violence, its impact and the way we perceive the victim and dominator. It dispels myths and explains in a way that all who attend can understand. It also unpicks all the areas in a sensitive way. I will recommend it to everyone.
Child Intervention Targeted Worker

A very informative and thought provoking course that has highlighted the different aspects of the faces of the perpetrator, their thoughts and values, belief’s, where they originate from and how they are reinforced within society. I shall be sharing the book and contents with friends. The course itself was well presented with a friendly and professional approach
Family Support

A well-presented, informative course that has given me the knowledge/skills to support women attending the course. It has made me more aware of the impact of domestic abuse and the far-reaching effects it has
Family Support Worker

It gives a greater insight into the behaviours of controlling men and all aspects of the personalities, the long term effects and the depth of work needed to support and encourage them on their journey to a safer future
Senior Family Support Worker

I would strongly recommend, as I feel I was listened to and supported whenever I had a question. Clare was welcoming and enabled me to think about domestic abuse as a victim and how a dominator got to his belief’s
Targeted Child Intervention Worker

This training will enhance your skills and understanding about DV and the effects in the home - family life - relationships - childrens/adults behaviours. This programme will help to empower our service users to make healthy choices. Clare made this a fun and interesting 3 days
Family Support

Excellent training, provides a good insight into the tactics used by the dominator. It helps us to make sense of the situation in order to support women in this unfortunate situation. It equips us with the tools to offer support to becoming a survivor
Family Support Worker

The Freedom Programme is exactly what it says - it provides information, understanding and insights that can support victims and perpetrators and professionals become skilled in this area of work. An excellent training and I will be recommending this to all DA supporters, as it will help inform victims to make healthier choices
DA Co-Ordinator

It was a very thought provoking, practical and inspiring course. It really opened my eyes to the impact living with a dominator has on his victims. The training was run at the right pace and allowed me time to reflect on a variety of situations
Team Manager

Insightful and the book is a must read for everyone. From there they need to book on a course and attend sessions or direct them to website. Definitely something to share and get more information about
Support Worker

Everyone whether you’re a victim, survivor or neither, should attend the Freedom Programme as knowledge is power. If it’s not to support yourself you can support many throughout your work and personal life.
Family Support Worker

The training really breaks it down into understandable chunks and has given me a much better understanding of tactics, belief's and the impact of domestic abuse. The course has really made me think about my own beliefs.
Family Support Worker

Yes, the training is valuable. I have really enjoyed it & found it really useful.
Community Champion

The content of the training is brilliant! Everyone working with DV should have this knowledge. Clare encourages contact after the training & I would not hesitate in contacting her in the future.
8-12 Early Help

That it is very informative and empowering. Really interesting and useful. You will find out so much more information and also develop skills and knowledge to deliver.
Intensive Family Support

Very interesting/eye opening to abuse and types of abuse.
Early Help & Family Support Worker

very empowering for anyone in an abusive relationship. It is not oppressive and not judgemental - it helps practice delivery of the sessions. The pre course reading and book are excellent. It is fun!
Intensive Support Worker

Its an open approach to giving attendees a voice and an opportunity to prevent isolation. It also has lots of times to laugh and feel united, meaning if life is hard and traumatic, there is light at the end of the tunnel and a voice. Excellent opportunity to be the person that can put it all in place.
Intensive Family Support Worker

It gives valuable insight into tactics used and beliefs held by abusers. I was surprised at how little I knew in this area, even though I have attended many training sessions regarding

Senior Intensive Support Worker

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Feedback from Family Groups Bedford

Raleigh Centre, Ampthill Road
MK42 9HE
Telephone: 01234 316801

Update on the Freedom Programme

Family Groups have been delivering the Freedom Programme in Bedford Borough for women since October 2014. It was an in house service for the first 3 months although it was soon apparent that there was a local need for the service to be expanded to support any woman in Bedford Borough who has experienced relationship issues. In January 2015, we opened the doors for referrals from partnership organisations and started to deliver the ‘Introduction to the Freedom Programme’ for professionals who wished to understand the programme and refer women in to it.

We have trained 58 professionals over 3 sessions and will be hosting another course on the 18th September 2015.

Family Groups have 3 trained facilitators who are all qualified and experienced trainers to deliver the programme and to date, 44 women have attended from numerous sources as you will see from the table below:

Social Services
Family Groups

At present, 11 women are on the programme with a further 5 starting in September 2015. It is a rolling programme made up of 11 sessions so women can join at any time and if they cannot make a session or need to put the programme on hold, they can re-join or complete the next session which they have missed.
We are delivering one session per week every Wednesday 1.00pm – 3.00pm. We decided to reduce the weekly sessions from 2 to 1 as we have the capacity to support up to 20 women in each session and found that one large group worked better than two smaller groups.
Those of you who have attended the Professionals training will know that the Freedom Programme does not provide written reports on individuals who attend although we will provide you with the number of sessions they have attended and if they are engaging in the group.
We believe that the decision not to write reports and track outcomes makes the group more relaxed and improves the relationship with the women and their facilitators who will not disclose their personal circumstances to others ( unless it is a Safeguarding disclosure). We encourage referring agencies to stay in contact with the woman attending the programme and discuss their progression and outcomes with them.

We do however, have a guest book which women can write in (anonymously) at any time they wish. Here are some of the excerpts from our book:

The Jailer – This session made me look back on past relationships I was in and made me understand that I could not be his rescuer. I have ended the relationship and am now healing. (Nov 2014)

Warning Signs – because of attending the programme, I am emotionally stronger and I can recognise the possible signs of a Dominator. This programme has empowered me as an individual and it is only my 4th session! (Jan 2015)

Freedom has given me the confidence to challenge my partners’ behaviour before it escalates in to something serious. It has helped me to approach some issues more rationally rather than just shout at each other. (Jan 2015)

Having progressed through the programme watching and listening to the other group members’, I can see the extent of empowerment that the women reveal. (Feb 2015)

I have found the Freedom programme to be very beneficial. It is so helpful to be with other women who are in a similar position to me. Many thanks to all involved in the programme, it is invaluable. (Feb 2015)

I’ve met some lovely, nice, good girls. All going through the same s**t as me. Bless us and God help us to get on in life. (Feb 2015)

I think this course is one of the best things (organisation) has done for me by advising me to attend. It does good for women to see and understand what women are going through. It shows us how much we have put up with and teaches us to cope. (March 2015)

I love coming to the Freedom programme. When I cannot attend it is annoying but when I come it makes me feel good after like I have achieved something. (April 2015)

Freedom programme, Wow! What can I say? What an enlightening and empowering experience. I thought that I had never been challenged by DV before attending. I have come away feeling empowered and aware with open eyes and an open mind. Thank you. (Aug 2015)

I hope that you have found this short update useful and interesting. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any further information about the programme. We will be sending out more information about the next Professionals training course on the 1st September along with a booking form. Please be aware that we were inundated with applications for the last event and have a capacity of 20 maximum.
Lastly, thank you for your help and support working with us. I hope that we have made a small difference to some of the many women in Bedford who have experienced Domestic Abuse.

Kind Regards,

Derry Dynes
Chief Officer – Family Groups.

(The office will be closed from the 13th August until the 1st September)

Sunday 26 July 2015

Feedback from SOCIAL WORKERS who use Freedom Programme ONLINE

The online programme costs £10.00 to purchase from my web site. Purchasers can use it 
as often as they need it. We are constantly adding new animations to make it more helpful to users with learning difficulties. 

Click here to see more infomation about the 

SW Kelly
'i have been working through the 'FP on line' with a mum who has a 4 year old daughter on a Child Protection plan. Mum has been having casual relationships with risky adults and placed her 4 year old at risk of sexual abuse. Working through the online has enabled mother to understand how she has been vulnerable to abusive men, has ended all her relationships ... and is now able to safeguard and protect her daughter appropriately'. 

Siobhan SW
"working through the FP on line with a mother subjected to severe DV has resulted in her leaving her partner, protecting her five children .... preventing them from being taken into care'.

Mel SW
' I have been working with the FP online with a mother of 7 children (3-17years). Mother has been in repeated DV relationships. Working through the online slowly has shown mum how she has been subjected to abuse and sexual violence - and she is finally 'getting it' ..... that she has a choice?  She has now made her partner leave - and the children are much happier and healthier .... and the case has been de-escalated from Child Protection to Child in Need.

Sue SW
I have been working with a mother with the FP Online. The aspect of the Bully has really resonated with her and she has gained a great understanding and awareness of how she has been subjecting her children to violent and abusive men. She is now living alone with her children and the results are remarkable - we will soon be closing the case.

Martha SW
Working through the Sexual Controller with the FP Online with a mother who is a sex worker, has completely opened her eyes to how from an early age she has been groomed into believing she had no choice, other than to be controlled and dominated by men. Slowly she is awakening to the fact that she has a choice and is now working towards getting her children back!"

Caroline SW
I visit my individual families weekly and work through the FP online programme using an aspect of the Dominator week after week. It has amazing impact. The mothers I work with are now getting so much clarity on recognising the signs of abusive and violent relationships .... and are making more informed decisions about their relationships, which is preventing the department seeking legal planning? 

Feedback from women who have completed the course

'Only half way through and I already know it will be life changing'
'Until I did this course I had not realised how he had affected the children!'

Sunday 19 July 2015

Information about the Freedom Programme

What is the Freedom Programme?
We provide information not therapy. 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.

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. 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.

Where is the Freedom Programme?
There are programmes across the UK and in Dublin. To find contact details for a programme near you click on the Search Section on the web site.
You can also contact our help line /help desk
01942 262 270  /

What if there are no programmes in my area?

There are also links on my web site to  online programme and to the book section for the Home Study Course which is available from Amazon. Sales fund our charity. 

       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 crรจche facilities are available. I do not endorse intrusive questions, referrals or risk assessments.
       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 Women.
       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 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.