To return to The Freedom Programme website, click here
Freedom Programme online course - click here
Where is the Freedom Programme? - click here

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Feedback from Kent facilitator training Clare Walker Cathy Press

  • Cathy & Clare were excellent trainers and both highly knowledgeable
    and experienced in domestic abuse. They gave numerous examples of
    ‘real life’ situations of domestic abuse which were very powerful. The
    activities and exercises too were equally powerful.
    Christina Brown, NSDAS
    Interesting, informative, entertaining facilitators made the course
    relaxed. It was a good pace.
    Alex Salmon, Home Start
    Fantastic! Really good for identifying the different personas of a
    dominator and what these involve. I feel more confident about
    delivering the Freedom Programme to women in our area.
    Becki Smith, Earlham Early Yrs Centre
    I would recommend anyone to come on this training, especially if your
    job was working with vulnerable adults. I would say it can touch your
    heart, but well worth doing.
    Julie Taylor, Community Outreach Officer, Rochester
    Very informative. A great course to attend. Eye opening.
    Dawn Foley, Saxon Way CC, Gillingham
    Training set at a good pace, clear and very interesting. Challenging and
    pushing me out of my comfort zone. Trainer was approachable,
    professional and animated which kept us all going.
    Debbie Klucznic, Hand in Hand CC, Gillingham
    The course is empowering, giving practitioners the tools to enable
    mothers who are experiencing or have experienced domestic abuse. It
    helps to identify the different aspects of the dominator, their tactics and
    beliefs which is a different approach to look at perpetrators of domestic
    Asibi Charles, Family Support Worker, Greenwich
    Course is useful, eye-opening, shocking, sad, vital – confidence
    boosting – fun!
    Julie Sawford, FSP, Rayleigh
    Great training. Thank you.
    Kate Lawrence, Chief Executive, Home Start, East Sussex
    Intense, emotional – everyone should do the training working in
    professional or non-professional fields who work with families/children.
    Would definitely recommend to work mates/friends.
    Emma Pattman, East Kent Rape Line
  • Great training. Has opened my eyes. Have recommended to two friends
    Tracy Hyham, Castle Hill Primary Sch: Folkestone
    Valuable learning, very well structured, empowering for ongoing
    representation of the programme.
    Cassandra Rose, Benenden Primary Sch
    Very full on, engaging, interactive, informative & educational. Makes
    me think about my own strengths, weaknesses, excuses etc. Can’t wait
    to get going!!
    Jan Baugh, FSW, Rayleigh
    The training was extremely well delivered, working through the
    personas and so preparing us facilitators to deliver it – this is definitely
    needed as when new to Freedom Programme the various personas of
    the dominator can blur a little.
    Sarah Jarvis, Co-ordinator, Home Start, East Sussex
    Has deepened my knowledge about domestic abuse and will be
    invaluable in my work with families who have complex needs.
    Mel Kirk, CC Manager, Gillingham
    Excellent training. Very informative.
    Nicola Davies, Home Start, Greenwich
    Excellent 3 day intensive training, which was powerful and encouraging
    that there is support for victims of DA.
    Amanda Stent, Wharf CC
    Learning the content of the Freedom Programme is invaluable on both
    a personal and professional level. I would encourage and recommend
    anyone and everyone to get themselves educated about the profile of
    ‘The Dominator’.
    Claire Boyle, Therapist, East Sussex
    Intense, candid, no nonsense approach to understanding and using
    information related to domestic abuse. Delivered in a friendly, patient
    and straightforward way.
    Sara Hammond Manager, ISW Company
    Excellent training and I would recommend the training.
    Andrea Baker, Nursery Manager, Hythe
    Programme is really good at explaining the different elements of
    recognizing an abuser. Really easy to follow and very interesting!
    Michelle Earls, FSP, Mulberry Park CC, London
  • Amazing training - giving me tools and guidance in how to support
    women. Giving me a better understanding of the subject. What women
    need to be aware of and encouraging me to reflect on my own practice.
    Karen Harper, CCC Manager, Rochester
    Informative, thought provoking & inspiring three days. Enthusiastic,
    supportive and inspiring trainers. I feel ready to deliver!
    Sarah Powley, Snr: Advisor, Children’s Centres, Chatham
    A very important training for all.
    Esther Alagiki, Choices DA Service, Dartford
    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Jo Smith-Miles, Family Group Facilitator, Home Start, Greenwich
    Very informative – delivers a good understanding of how the
    perpetrator operates and how the victim is affected. Facilitator had a
    very good style and delivers the course in an understanding way.
    Cheryl Gamble, Community Outreach Officer, Stroo

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Newsletter Update May 2016

Our next Freedom Conference will be in Birmingham on 29.09.16. It is sold out so we will book another in a larger venue for 2017

In the last 12 months we have made excellent progress here at the Trust. We have sold lots of facilitator training events and lots of books. Chris Ashton has created a new one day training event to teach facilitators how to run the two day programme for men who want to improve. The first of these took place in November 2015 and was a sell out! The second took place on 09.05.16 and was also a great success.

The profits from all these sales have funded the helpline, 5 free weekly Freedom Programmes and the expenses for the volunteers in the Family Courts. In June we start our first programme in Salford and are recruiting volunteers who live in Manchester to start another programme in the Autumn.

Last year we have also funded two free mens programmes. We are delighted that Knowsley Community Safety Partnership hosted our last mens course in Merseyside on 21/22 April.
Here is a testimonial
'Hi Chris
 I would like to say thankyou for allowing me to come on the course over the last couple of days, especially at such short notice. I found it extremely informative and helpful.  I now hope to use what I learnt and apply it to my relationship with my partner. We are currently separated but remain in daily contact for our daughter, and are on good terms. With time and considerable effort on my part, there is a strong possibility we will be together again.   
As you know we are expecting out second daughter very soon. I think the thing that hit home for me was 'the bad father' section.
I would have previously claimed to be a really good and hands on dad which is true on most levels. However, due to the way I have treated my partner at times over the past couple of years in terms of 'the bully' and some aspects of 'King of the castle', I cannot and therefore I am 'a bad father'. This really hurt me.  Until now I have also used excuses for my moods and behaviour such as alcohol or job worries. I now know this is totally unacceptable.'

We now sell teeshirts, fridge magnets and little cards to augment our income. We have not applied for any LA funding at all so we are not in competition with other charities. We are so proud of our independence and self reliance. 

We have also been able to fund the Freedom Programme in Leicester with the help of our wonderful Clare Walker who has volunteered her time free of charge to facilitate it. Sophie Walker who is Clare's daughter helps her mother to facilitate this course.

Chris is now using the Freedom Programme 1-1 with children who have survived abuse. The success of this intervention means that we will soon be developing a "whole class' approach.

We know of organisations such as Family Groups Bedford, Central Bedfordshire Council and the Allens Croft Project Birmingham who are also running at least 5 groups a week. Between us we are reaching thousands of women. We are especially delighted that thanks to the amazing  Lynne Smillie and the No Feart Community Interest Company the Freedom Programme for women has started in Glasgow after 15 years of being blocked by organisations with a different philosophy to ours. We are even more delighted that Lynne plans to roll out the mens programme in the city and in Scottish prisons  in 2016.

Brand New Development!
Bristol Freedom Programme for women with learning disabilities
Contact Hazel for info

We also send huge Thanks to all our followers on social media for helping us to spread the word about the Freedom Programme. I would also like to thank Amisha Surani from the New Day Newspaper for visiting our Leigh programme and writing about it.
Amishas article

There are millions of both women and men who need us but do not know of our existence. Thank you for banging on about us in 2015 and please continue to do so in 2016. Hugs from Pat Craven programme creator. xx

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Latest Feedback from Freedom Programme Birmingham

  • Freedom Programme Comments
    Your comments and suggestions are very important to us, please share any other
    information about your experience of attending the Freedom Programme:
    I am so glad I attended and have been inspired to give back to other in similar
    situations. It has been an eye opener and helped me move forward from certain
    issues that have been holding me back!!! We'll done and thank you x
    Life changing, so supportive, confidence boosting. Can't wait for the next group.
    This Programme is a really life saver! It should be advertised and provided more
    I learn a lot from the freedom programme
    Very helpful programme
    This helps you to see you are not the only one. the group gets you to reflect and
    hopefully future courses will help me to move on.
    I feel that if I was offered the freedom project in 2000 I would never have gone back
    to my ex partner
    This programme is the best around I just wish more people were aware of it.
    Freedom ladies are fantastic am so glad they were brought into life they have saved
    me and made me feel the happier and stronger person i am today!!
    I am a much stronger,confident individual. I have become a better parent and all
    round better person.
    Thank you for helping me to understand the risk to myself and my children and for
    helping me to understand his tactics and that i am not to blame
    Really enjoyed it and have gone on to other courses. More confident
    Having familiar faces delivering is a benefit
    A Group for us all to find people who have become our friends
    Power & control wheel extremely good. The card that shows on 1 side abusive
    person & the other side the non abusive person., the helplines & phone no's Info
    seeking & leaflets
    Fantastic training and supportive support workers. thank you for all you have done.
    I think all teenagers in the country should do this programme. My life would have
    been so different if I had done this as a teenager.
    Fantastic programme really helps you understand his motives and makes you
    realise that it's not your fault
    The Freedom Programme is life changing and is delivered in such a positive way. It
    is the best help I have received and Jacky and Donna are my hero's, helping me
    and so many others in my situation, move forward in their lives.
    It made me realise that I was suffering abuse and an understanding why I felt the
    way I did and why I did the things I did to survive it is an amazing program and I
    believe it saved my life and changed it fir the better
    Thank you, thank you domestic abuse remains the biggest public health issue in
    society . We need the freedom programme to continue every where. This work is
    critical for future generations of women and children.
    meeting people going through the same thing is really good. I have learnt to spot
    signs and feel better about myself
    Absolutely changed me, I'm more confident and out going. I don't think my life as
    empty and useless.
    What was the most helpful part of the Freedom Programme?
  • It has been good to learn I am not alone and that it is not my fault. I didnt have any
    idea i was a victim of domestic violence. I now know I was abused and I know all
    the signs to look out for of an abusive man
    thank you to all involved in making me have this extra knowledge I am very grateful.
    Before the course I was unaware of the signs and that's why the social worker got
    me to come
    this course has helped me feel good and don't get a bad bloke again. we had a
    laugh and that makes you feel good.
    It has made me stronger and feel good :)
    Felt safe and learnt to never look back and concentrate on the future. All sessions
    were good because when your in an abusive relationship you don't realise what is
    happening. Was good learning I'm not the only one going through it.
    The programme helped me realise that I am a strong person and don't deserve
    what I have been through and I now feel strong enough to find a trustworthy man!
    that is not abusive Thank you!
    Feel better because I have met and befriended women who have been through the
    same as me. has been helpful to listen to other women's experiences .
    my outlook has changed in every way i feel much better about myself
    the course is a life saver!
    the course has has made me aware of all the tactics. it stands out like a sore thumb
    to me since doing this course. I can spot dv/abuse straight away in someone else
    doing the freedom programme has made me better aware of what to look out for
    and has given me back my confidence and self esteem. Helped me find help with
    sorting contact with my children, enjoyed every session
    This was a great course, I feel a lot better with my choices and in my self. thanks
    the programme has made my thinking stronger and clearer .
    I now know i am not on my own and i am able to spot abusive behaviours in other
    men and people
    I am much more confident. I loved the course. I learned a lot, I got a lot of
    Has been good to learn new things
    Friendly people who attend. Looking at the tactics and warning signs are useful in
    protecting me in the future. I am so much stronger since i've been away from my
    strongly think the freedom programme has helped us all that attended. I will
    remember all that I have learnt on the freedom programme and I will continue to
    use it in my life The course has really helped me to notice abusive behaviours in
    other people. I look at relationships differently
    I have achieved so much. the course has help me stay separated from my abuser
    and make sure my son's safety always comes first.
    course was a very good course, it was fun very understanding tutors very friendly
    people always happy to help at the beginning of the course when I started, I felt
    embarrassed but was ok and made to feel comfortable.
    Feel so much happier and so glad I came and stuck with it
    Thank you for helping me survive
    Excellent programme has helped me to move forward and leave the past behind
    That it's not just you going though it
    Realising there is a lot more than just the physical side of abuse
  • learning about me
    the support from the group and the ladies running the group
    learning the traits and tactics of abusers
    Realising i was in a domestic violence relationship also helping me gain confidence
    an self worth.
    Realising the abuse wasnt my fault
    the rules of the game
    Warning signs
    Peer support
    That it is abuse
    Spotting that it is abuse & can go to Police if assulted
    Support of jacky and donna
    Learning it weren't my fault
    The fact that you can discuss it with others and learn together
    Learning that it wasn't my fault.
    finding out your not alone
    Learning the different types of abuse it's not just physcal but mental aswell
    exploring the different tactic's used by abusers
    all of it and meeting people
    learning about the tactics abusers use
    the members the whole course
    learning me more about dv
    talking about the different tactics and warning signs.
    all of it it , but liked the looking at warning signs
    all helpful
    discovering i was not the only one in this and others going through same
    realising and learning about abusive men, enjoyed headworker, persuader and liar
    learning and gaining knowledge - I've learnt things i didn't know or recognise.
    the quiz at the start of the group
    The fact i wasn't on my own and other women had been through this
    finding out more about the ways of abusive men
    all of it. It was fun and the people were friendly
    all of it
    all areas. i like that i was not alone and other women have similar or worse
    situations with their partners or husbands
    learning all the tactics
    we are encouraged to think in a positive way
    to realise the signs
    looking out for early warning signs for domestic abuser
    to spot signs of dv because i'm having my son. I like the fact that you don't pansy
    around the early warning sign's
    i liked the role play about our new man
    traits of the dominator, learning that i am not to blame, this is not my fault
    it teaches me to understand abusive behaviours
    Effects on children
    the warning signs
  • learning the different tactics of the dominator and the warning signs
    60 that every session although it was tough it was made fun and we got through it.
    Very supportive group
    learning all the warning signs and learning what I went through was abuse
    listening to other women who attend the programme
    Recognising the abuse and getting help when I needed it.
    All of it
    Meeting other women who have experienced abuse
    Rules of the game
    Role plays
    Would you recommend this programme to someone else?
    Please explain why you would or would not refer other women to the programme:
    This programme is valuable for any woman to help build confidence awareness and
    talk openly and safely about experiences
    helps women recognise abusive signs
    It's so supportive and helps you to realise you are not alone and that you're not
    going crazy!
    It's helpfull and it can change your life
    Already have done
    Gets your confidence back
    Because it makes you a different person
    Could save your life
    I already have
    Victims need more understanding of what has happened to them to enable them to
    move forward. without a doubt this is one of the best things I have ever done in my
    life. it is filtering through to all my relationships
    it has been very valuable and worth while experience. I have a cousin who has a
    partner who presents as a perpetrator and I have suggested that she should attend
    as she would find it extremely helpful
    i think it is important we all learn about domestic violence sometimes we don't even
    realise were been abused
    it is excellent
    for them to know about domestic abuse
    I have told other friends and they want to access it too
    knowledge and awareness are strength
    i have friends who need this course
    cos it would make them feel better about themselves in every session
    its helpful and friendly
    yes i would as its helped me and i know other women will benefit from it
    very good course, have done
    any women who's been abused should do this course
    so they can see the signs and ultimately could finally get away
    because it helps women
    helps to reduce isolation and the tutors can do safety planning if you need help to
    because it changes the way one is thinking. boosts your confidence that your not
    alone and there are other people also going through abuse.