At SVS - Living Safe a group of women meet weekly to connect and share their experiences of family violence. The women are likely to have experienced significant distress and, as a result of
feeling vulnerable, they begin a slower journey back to themselves and back to safety. For some this may be the beginning of identifying their own needs, wants and thoughts.
The programme is called Inside Out. For many participants it precedes our Women’s Safe programme and allows them time to find themselves again or for the first time.
If you have been told you are worth nothing, you look ugly and are useless – it takes a lot of courage and support to believe you can make better choices for yourself and your children. When people feel disconnected and ashamed, they isolate and this can lead to more unhealthy choices.
Being a victim of family violence brings a lot of stigma. Finding a place where you can begin to talk about your experience requires a huge amount of courage. During Inside Out, for the first time, many women come to understand they have the rights to make choices for themselves.
SVS-Living Safe promotes a sense of safety, trust and care. Our approach helps sow the seeds of knowledge and choice.
After the Inside Out participants complete this phase of our programmes, they tend to have more confidence to enter the next stages where they learn more about their safety, about making healthy choices, and about how they can make changes for themselves and their children.
Women who recently participated in Inside Out offered these comments on surveys:
“I am becoming more aware of who I am and my needs.”
“It is a supportive group of people and [the clinician] is an amazing, caring, non-judgemental and humourous tutor. I really enjoyed the visceral aspects.”
“Every moment has been special. I am not the only one with problems. I am not alone.”
“Having a balance in all my four walls [Te Whare Tapa Wha] and I’m making an effort to keep this balance.”
“I can stand up for myself now.”