“I recognise abusive behaviours for what they are and it has helped put things in perspective so hopefully I will make better choices in the future”.
“Shown me how to recognise abuse and educated me on it”.
“Mind blowing – in a good way. Finally someone understands!”.
“I would like to Thank the Freedom Programme and Sharon. You have given us a place where we can find our voices and heal. You are our first step on this journey to a new beginning, the Freedom programme helps in creating a road map to a new life.. Thank you Sharon, thank you for being an inspiration and giving us hope”.
“Sharon was so helpful, supportive, she helped all the ladies to feel comfortable with sharing and expressing themselves. She ushered a very positive healthy atmosphere for us all”.
“The programme has helped me on how I see myself, it has given me back my voice and confidence. I feel stronger than when I first started”.
“Having the group discussions and being able to talk with Sharon really gave perspective. The videos help me to understand the kind of life I want. To be able to recognize what I need to look for and what a healthy relationship should look and feel like”.
“Made me notice alot that I didn’t during the relationship, also you see alot you didn’t realise before as abusive. Good to have someone to talk to who has been through a similar situation”.
“I found The Freedom Programme very helpful because it reassured me that im not alone. It examined the roles payed by abusive men and the responses of victims and survivors. Domestic violence can affect children even from in the utero and i overall have a better understanding of what has happened to me and that i am not to blame for the abuse i’ve been through”.
“Sharon was friendly, kind, encouraging and very supportive. I think she did a great job at helping those who were less confident feel able to talk about their experiences and keep the theme of the sessions going while still allowing for freedom of discussion”.
“I am so glad to have done this course. I feel it’s taught me a huge amount – not just the course content itself but also meeting the other fantastic women who were my coursemates. I will always be grateful to the Freedom Programme for being there to support people like me and help us work through some terrible experiences. I know I’m still not completely recovered but I feel like I’ve made massive progress and taken some of the most important first steps to getting back to myself, which is something I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to do before joining the course”.
“Sharon is wonderful – She is so supportive and approachable – she makes the sessions welcoming and comfortable for all the participants. Her approach is calm and patient, offering support and clarification if you had further questions”.
“Having the weekly meetings and course structure as helped me to keep positive on my decision to end the relationship. The support of Sharon have been so much more than I had expected. Plus hearing others stories helped to get some clarity on what was abusive and that those behaviours were not those of a healthy relationship”.
“All the sessions were a positive learning experience, and I have learnt a lot about all the sessions in detail. It has changed my life and my relationship, and my household is much better”.
“I have learnt a lot about myself and the abuse I have been through. I have learnt to understand and recognise signs of domestic abuse and how to prevent it”.
“I learnt to recognise the warning signs and tactics of an abuser. Also a very important aspect for me was to stop blaming myself for getting involved in an abusive relationship.”
“It was a massive transformation. It helped me to turn my ways of thinking. The negative things my husband made me believe about myself have turned to positive things. The Freedom Programme has given me confidence. I am stronger and happier.”
“The hand books were very good at breaking down the reality of domestic abuse”.
“I constantly have in mind all of the ‘trigger’ traits of an abuser/controlling man. I feel that having completed the Freedom Programme, my knowledge of domestic abuse will remain with me forever”.
“The Freedom Programme is a fantastic programme to be on. The co-ordinator of the sessions, Sharon Bryan, has been brilliant in supporting us women on the group and always had our sessions planned so we could make the most of our time. All of the women on the group were very open and honest about their own experiences which made me feel not alone in my situation. I would recommend other women who experience domestic abuse attend this group. Thank you Sharon Bryan”.
“I loved the programme. It helped me to see things clearer. I am able to identify abusive behaviour and I don’t think the chances are very high that I will end up in another relationship with an abusive man. Overall, the impact has been very positive and I would recommend it to all women!”.
“Freedom Programme made me understand that Domestic Abuse is not just physical but mentally and emotionally. It can affect you physically, mentally and ruin your self confidence”
“All of the sessions were really helpful for my future and my children’s.”
“The Freedom Programme helped me a lot to change and improve myself.”
“I did really enjoy being part of the group. I just wish it was for longer.”
“There are no words for how domestic violence changes a woman’s life. I am so grateful to the facilitator of this programme as I was given the support and closure I needed to move forward during a time which I needed it most. It was the best thing to come out of this.”
“The Freedom Programme completely transformed me – I now have a greater understanding of domestic violenc, the beliefs of the abuser and those I share with him!. I feel very confident in identifying abusive behaviour and understanding the underlying beliefs of abusive men.!
“The facilitators were the best facilitators imaginable. I was shocked at how long they have been working with victims of domestic violence as they aren’t desensitised at all – they treat every woman with equal empathy as if it was the first time they had heard her story, despite how prevalent DV is.”
“I left each session eagerly waiting for the next one. I felt each session was crucial in showing the different faces of the abuser, how he could go from King of the Castle, to The Persuader, and helping me identify the different forms of abusive behaviour and the cycle of abuse.”
“I thought the programme was presented in a sensitive, yet humorous manner. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. I am so grateful that my son has also benefitted as I now know what a healthy relationship is and will not make the same mistakes.”
“I felt each session of the programme was critical in helping us to identify the patterns of abusive behaviour and the underlying beliefs of the abuser. I now recognise how consistent his abuse was.”
“I hope other local authorities begin providing this programme so other women may have the opportunity to attend. This programme has left a resounding impact on my life. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend. I have no words to thank you enough.”
“It has made me so much more aware of abusive traits of the perpetrator. There were things I did not realise were forms of abuse, but, I do now!. It has really opened my eyes.”
“A really lovely, non judgemental group. The facilitators are really amazing. They give examples, help us feel comfortable and the group sessions are always really interactive and informative.”
“Thank you for the work you do Sharon. I have difficulty putting this experience into words, but it was the best thing to ever happen in a long time. I will never forget the memories I made, the women I met, and the stenght that came from having this amazing support group. I don’t think I would have been able to cope without it. thank you!.”
“I now feel I am not alone going through this. I know the difference between a good and bad relationship. I know the next relationship I have will be my choice and I will be respected by my partner.”
“Thank you. I’ll miss going to the programme. After the sessions, I felt like a strong woman leaving the building, and more confident in who I am.”
“It gave me confidence and strength. I am not afraid anymore.”
“It helped me understand what I was going through and equipped me for the future. Meeting other women was very helpful and I felt supported. I am now fearless and strong!”.
“I just want to say thank you for everything. I really appreciate it. You have been an amazing teacher/facilitator for the group. You made me feel really comfortable, been empathetic, non judgemental, gave great advice and shared experiences. I have learnt so much and will take it with me for the rest of my life.”
“It offered me a space where I could learn more about domestic violence whilst supported by other women and knowing my child was receiving safe child care in the creche.”
“By identifying traits of an abusive man, it helped me confirm and realise that behaviours shown by my child’s father were indeed abusive – in the past I may have excused some of them!”.
“I think maybe an extra session could be added to the programme at the end on ‘well being’, in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, that many women experience. What can we do? What do other women do to look after themselves?. Having said that, all sessions were useful as they zoned in on different types of abuse.”
“I feel I have to say that although I really enjoyed the programme, some of the videos present a picture of perfect vision of happiness following leaving an abusive man. Life is not always rosy afterwards”.
“I don’t think that without the freedom programme I would be where I am now. The programme has changed mine and my children’s lives. It has opened my mind up to the ‘spell’ I was under!. It’s made me see what has to change and the effects DV has had on my children. It has given me the strength to stay away and given me the awareness to never go into another abusive relationship. It has made me feel empowered to be me without a man. The freedom programme has changed my life for the better. I think every woman who has or are going through domestic violence should do the programme to get awareness. Sharon has also helped me change my life. I can relate to her very well and am happy I have had the chance to work with her.”
“It’s a great way to understand that I am not alone and abuse is a real thing. I didn’t just imagine it! I felt I was nt alone anymore”.
“This programme is so useful for women who experience domestic violence. It’s like having a free space for myself. I feel I can talk freely and be more open. This programme is so therapeutic. The option to have childcare is such a relief for mothers like myself. So ‘thank you’ for helping women like myself”.
“I learnt a lot about domestic violence, that I never knew before. I now know about power and control and what I can do to get support if I need it”.
“I would like professionals like social workers to attend the programme as well so that they understand how difficult it is for women to leave abusive relationships. Perhaps then, we wouldn’t be judged as we are now”.