This morning's guest speaker, Kathleen Brand, gave us an insight into the ways that people who are victims of domestic violence need support.
Kathleen who is a Social Worker for Starick spoke about the work she does with victims of domestic violence.  Usually the victim is the female partner, and their children.  Although Kathleen's work is mainly with adults, she does do some work with children; and works closely with others who work with child victims.  They get referrals from other agencies and the police, as well as the people who self refer for this support. 
The counselling program that they offer is a free service and provided over an extended period of time if necessary.  The service offers the victims the opportunity to be in a safe place to tell their story; and to be believed about what has happened to them.  The aim of the service is to build the self confidence and resilience of the person whilst reminding them of their own inner strengths.  These victims have very highly attuned adaptive behaviours, because they have learned how to read the behaviour of the perpetrator and take appropriate action to minimise the harm to themselves and their children.
Each person's needs are different and the service adjusts what they provide based on those needs.  One of the courses of action they take is to work with the women to help them to play with their children as this is a skill that they have neglected during the abusive period of time as they have been so focused on minimising any harm that may come their way. 
It takes time to build the level of trust been the counsellor and the victim, and/or their children so it is not something that can be resolved quickly.
Covid19 has changed some of their counselling practices.  They now use a lot more telephone conversations to keep those connections going.  There is no magic wand but giving these, usually, women a safe place to talk is essential. 
Kathleen would like to see more education programs on 'Respectful Behaviours' made available to more people as she believes that we all have a choice about what course of action we take.  Some people have never known a life without violence because it has been in the home for generations.  It has been a 'learned' behaviour which needs to be changed.
Thank you Kathleen for your insights into the work that you do.