‘Full Stop’ – DV Healing Groups

Rationale

Many existing DV support courses and groups exist. From what I have seen they are far less constructive than they could be.

They often deliver education, but one that is tailored towards labling someone as a victim or a perpetrator of Domestic Violence and adopt a good/bad perspective that drives relationships apart.

The ‘Male Behaviour Change’ courses that exist, by their name start with the assumption that the male behaviour is faulty. – While this is likely true in many cases, it is not a context in which people feel safe to examine their behaviour and make significant changes.

The ‘Female Behaviour Change’ courses that exist, ummmm, they don’t, so further comment is irrelevent.

Very rarely except in the most boring stories, are characters one-dimensionally good or bad. Real life and real relationships aren’t like that. Domestic Violence is almost never limited to physical abuse and although physical violence has the capacity to immediately end life, far more common and except in the most extreme examples possibly more destructive, is the slow permanent psychological, emotional and other damage caused by non-physical forms. Many victims have said to me “if only my partner hit me, then I could do something”.

The reality is that Domestic Violence is multi-facited, multi-generational, complex and based on interpersonal power dynamics, often between different genders. In some cases, victims have also been perpetrators and vice-versa. Particular types of power are recognised while other types are not. Particular abuses of particular types of power are targetted while others are ignored.

The ‘Full Stop’ DV Healing Group approach totally abandons the existing paradigm and creates an environment that actively encourages relationships, self-awareness and personal growth in a safe environment. Every participant of any gender can reflect on their participation in the complex dynamic of Domestic Violence.

The ‘Full Stop’ DV Healing Groups:

  • are NOT for general complaints about the other gender.
  • do NOT label people as “good” or “bad”, victim or perpetrator.
  • do NOT seek to divide genders or perpetuate gender wars.
  • do NOT discriminate on the basis of gender or on any other basis.
  • are entirely voluntary, free and community based.

Organising

The ‘Full Stop’ DV Healing Groups will, where possible, be established at every location where a public speaking engagement is organised. We request that engagement organisers invite qualified people to volunteer to facilitate the groups and be a published point of contact for the public wishing to participate.

Purpose

  • The group exists for personal recovery through love, respect and sharing.
  • The group exists for inner ­work, self-awareness, personal growth and healing.
  • The group is for all people affected by domestic violence.
  • The group is for all genders, preferences and relationship types.
  • The group is for victims, perpetrators, both or neither.
  • The group will develop it’s own definition of domestic violence.

Structure

  • Attendence is free and facilitators are volunteers.
  • Each group session will last two and a half hours.
  • Each group runs for a period of three months.
  • Two Full Stop for Males will run at any one time.
  • Two Full Stop for Females will run at any one time.
  • Two people in a DV relationship cannot attend the same group.
  • Attendance after the first session equires agreement with the guidelines.
  • In the last month each gender-based group will split into a half-group.
  • Each half-group will then join with a half-group of the opposite gender.
  • The new group will be called simply Full Stop.

Guidelines

  • The group is NOT for general complaints about the other gender.
  • Everything that occurs within the group is confidential.
  • Any persons name or story is not to be shared outside the group.
  • Everyone is an equally important peer regardless of external measures.
  • You may however share your experiences and insights however you wish.
  • Take ownership of what you share by using ‘I’ language or similar.
  • Differences of opinions and thoughts are welcome and encouraged.
  • Personal attacks, criticism, shouting and disrespect are prohibited.
  • Please refrain from abstract and impersonal philosophising and moralising.
  • Be aware of your own triggers and try to grow through them by not reacting.
  • Giving unsolicited advice is rarely useful and strongly discouraged.
  • Loving challenge is okay to support someones truth, ­awareness or healing.

Joanne and KnotAMan

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