He uses certain words to make it all sound less than it was. “It was only a slap. It was only a push. It was just a joke. We were only playfighting. It’s six of one and half a dozen of the other. She gives as good as she gets. I only hit her when she is drunk.”
He lies about what happened
"I mistook her for a burglar!"
“I had to restrain her because she was hysterical. I thought she was going to hurt herself or the children. She fell and hurt herself. She bruises easily. She was drunk and fell over. I was not using sexual violence. I have a huge libido; I need sex all the time.”
“I was defending myself. I am the victim here. Where did she get those bruises? Who did that to her? It certainly was not me. Someone must have broken in and attacked her in the night. We quarrelled.”
He lies about why it happened. He blames everything, and everyone, except himself.
“I was drunk and don’t remember a thing. I always have a bad reaction when I drink spirits. I had taken too much heroin or cocaine and it made me aggressive. It always does. I also had a bad reaction to my prescribed medication.”
“I suffer from this medical condition which makes me lash out in my sleep. I don’t know I am doing it.”
“She made me so very angry. She pushed my buttons. She wound me up! I have a short fuse and just lost it! She nagged me until I just lost it! The red mist came down and I was so angry that I blacked out. I just snapped.”
“She is mentally ill and it is so difficult to live with her. Now and then I just lash out from sheer frustration.”
“The strain of living with a handicapped child finally got to me. The strain of caring for a disabled woman finally got to me. She is such a bad mother that the children suffer because of her. “
“She is the violent one. I am the victim. I need some help. There should be refuges for abused men. Who is going to help me?”
“She is a slag. She made me do it because she was having an affair. She was having an affair and she left me and I was heartbroken. I only did it because I love her. I was out of my mind with jealousy! She deserved it. She had it coming.”
“I had a terrible childhood. I suffer from Gulf War Syndrome. I am insecure. I have low self-esteem. My mother abused me. My ex-wife was such a bitch and a slag that I find it impossible to trust women.”
“I am suffering from anxiety. I am on four different kinds of medication for my stress. “I had a migraine.”
“I am autistic. I suffer from attention deficit syndrome. I suffer from Tourette’s syndrome. I have a borderline personality disorder. I suffer from Othello syndrome (morbid jealousy). I suffer from an obsessive compulsive behaviour disorder.”
“I have been working too hard. I am unemployed. My team lost. I have learning difficulties.”
The Freedom Programme has been the most useful tool ever, in our aim to help the women understand ‘how did this happen to me?’ But so, so importantly how to hopefully see the traits of a future perpetrator, that they now know as ‘the Dominator’, before they are trapped again.
This truly has been the most wonderful enhancement to our work here at the Refuge, and leaves us, as Staff feeling we are giving our families the best chance of a safe, happy future. Many, many thanks for this Pat.
Hi Pat My apologies for not sending this feedback before I left work...I just hope my feedback gives your training the justice it deserves.
I have attended a variety of training courses over my time in employment and all delivered in much the same way (death by power point) but the delivery of the Freedom Programme by Pat was by far the best I have ever had the privilege to participate in. Pat and her colleagues gave the training life...a heartbeat...by using real life examples of all sides of the spectrum that is domestic abuse...from child...to mum...to perpetrator...no one left that training course without food for thought...be that their own reflections of how they work, deliver their work and of how this topic has impacted in their own lives in one way or another. Pat, you are such an inspiration and I don't say that statement to anyone lightly ( I can count on one hand)...you may be retiring, but you have started a movement in the many women, children and men who have accessed your material in whichever way possible...a movement towards freedom of power and control...my respect to you and all that you do and continue to do...no more silent voices.
Pat, I don't feel this statement even begins to express what attending your course meant to me...thank you for listening and sharing your time with me. Love and respect. Fantastic three days and enjoyed every minute. It was a real pleasure to meet such wonderful people from all areas and fields of work that want to make a difference to individual lives when they are unfortunate enough to get tied up in these horrible situations. Superb training Pat, you are a real diamond!
Enjoy your holiday everyone.
Love & hugs to all of you.
I found the training amazing, I was thinking about ways to deliver this in my own style all the way through. I felt sad leaving the 3 days as I felt a bond had been created with all that attended.
It's a shame you are retiring, those fantastic shoes will take some filling. I am glad that I had the opportunity to have sat in your training sessions. Nottinghamshire Women's Aid Ltd
For your blog…
“It was the best training I have ever received and I am not known to exaggerate. Pat was a warm and natural facilitator and absolutely knows her stuff. The freedom programme is an amazingly useful tool for women who are experiencing (or who have experienced) domestic violence. It is feminism without the “f” word, for those who may be out off by the label. Very powerful”
You may use it all or just some.
It was very powerful, Pat, I’m reeling a bit still from three days of hearing the abusive words/tactics men are using but thank you and I was very glad to be part of your last one in Birmingham. Young Women's Outreach Support Worker - 'You're Not Alone' Leicester
The best training I have ever attended, by far. I love the concept of taking the delegates through the same course material as the women we will facilitate to do the programme. Lots of laughs, lots of tears and lots of food for thought. Having worked in the field of Domestic Abuse, both front line and strategically, locally and nationally, I realise I had become blasé towards my work. Not anymore! This course really made me think about the dynamics of Domestic Abuse afresh. I feel inspired to take on the cause anew that is Ending Violence against Women and Children. Pat Craven is an incredible and wonderful woman.
Senior domestic Abuse Consultant – City of Westminster Council.