Power to Change Programme


Women’s Aid is running a 12 week free support programme for women who are survivors of domestic abuse

The formal programme is a psycho-educational group process run in weekly 2-hour sessions over a period of 12 weeks.  

Programme Summary Sessions:

Session 1: Basic Rights
This session aims, among other things, to create a warm, safe and welcoming environment for everyone attending, and ensure that everyone has a good understanding of their basic rights as women.

Session 2: Definition of Abuse
This session develops an understanding of domestic violence as an issue of power and control, involving sexual, emotional, financial and physical abuse, and which is solely the responsibility of the perpetrator. Participants will be encouraged to build trust in the group so that they feel comfortable about sharing their stories.

Session 3: Why is it so hard to leave?
In this session, participants will look at the complex reasons why women find it hard to leave abusive relationships, and analyse how women’s place in society contributes to these difficulties. The Duluth ‘Power and Control’ Wheel model of abuse will be introduced.

Session 4: Families and Children
Participants will be helped to connect emotional patterns that may be learned in childhood to difficulties in constructing healthy adult relationships, and will also learn some practical ways of supporting children experiencing domestic abuse.

Session 5: Boundaries
The aims of this session include: defining boundaries, identifying potential situations in which boundaries could be challenged, looking at positive ways of asserting boundaries (and the potential dangers in this), and understanding the link between the lack of clear, healthy boundaries and domestic abuse.

Session 6: Coping with grief, fear and guilt
Participants will be helped to acknowledge, start to understand, and learn to manage the feelings of grief, fear, guilt and anxiety that accompany abusive relationships.

Session 7: Coping with anger
Participants will start to realise that anger is a natural emotion, understand the potential dangers in unresolved anger, and learn how to manage angry emotions constructively.

Session 8: Assertiveness skills, boundary setting and assertiveness techniques
In this session, participants will gain a better understanding of assertiveness (including the difference between assertiveness and aggression), discuss the ‘Bill of Rights’, and learn how to maintain safety while being assertive. Participants will begin to learn practical ways of being assertive. These issues may be addressed either in one session, or in two, depending on the time available and the needs of the women in the group.

Session 9: Dealing with requests and authority figures
Following on from previous sessions, participants will gain a better understanding of why it is difficult to make and refuse requests, earn how to make and refuse requests, and to deal assertively with authority figures. This session may, be combined with Session 10.

Session 10: Practicing assertiveness
This session will continue to build the participants’ confidence in using assertiveness skills, and will help them identify and overcome the stumbling blocks they may face when being assertive. This session and the preceding one may, if appropriate, be combined into one session.

Session 11: Healthy relationships
The aims of this session are to identify the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships, distinguish between healthy and unhealthy forms of conflict, and gain an understanding of the lack of realism in stereotypical representations of romantic love.

Session 12: Ending and new beginnings
The final session will recap what has been learnt in the course, celebrate how far the women have come, recognise individual strengths, and accept the ending of the course, while anticipating new beginnings.  The Power to Change programme is free of charge and run specifically for female survivors of domestic abuse, and is based on the idea that women working together in a safe, friendly and non-judgement environment can change their lives for the better.

Further Details

  • Starting Date: 27th of November 2019.
  • Location: 5 Wilton Place, Dublin 2.
  • Day and Time: Sessions will be held on Wednesdays, 10am to 12pm.
  • Criteria: Prospective participants should be living free from their abuser for at least 1 year and could see themselves
    benefiting from taking part in this support group.
  • Maximum Group Numbers: Places are limited to 8 people.
  • Programme Contact Details: For further details, please phone 01-6788858 to speak to Linda or Laura to arrange to meet and further discuss the programme in more depth and to establish if the programme is appropriate for you at this time.
  • Meeting dates and times: tobe arranged week beginning the 11th November 2019.