Group Programmes

Freedom Programme

The Freedom Programme course is free and provides a supportive, safe and friendly environment involving active participation in structured discussions about domestic abuse. The programme was designed by Pat Craven and each week focuses on the types of tactics that a perpetrator uses called ‘the dominator’ comparing this with ‘the saint’ characteristics. These are outlined below.

Group process aims to develop awareness, problem solving, assertiveness training, understanding and developing self.

The Freedom Programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of abusive people and the responses of victims and survivors. The aim is to help them to make sense of and understand what has happened to them, instead of the whole experience just feeling like a horrible mess. The Freedom Programme also describes in detail how children are affected by being exposed to this kind of abuse and very importantly how their lives are improved when the abuse is removed. This is run over 10 weeks.


Recovery Toolkit Programme

The Recovery Toolkit Programme is based on cognitive behavioral therapy and aims to support participants to identify, challenge and change negative thinking patterns that develop over the course of living with or being in a relationship with an abusive person.

The Adult Domestic Abuse Recovery Toolkit is designed to support participants to understand the impact of having experienced domestic abuse, explaining how they were prevented from leaving an abusive relationship and the thinking patterns they developed as a method of managing the risk which can hold them back from moving forward. The individual’s own strengths, resources and coping skills and resilience are reinforced contributing to their own health and wellness on a long-term basis. This course is designed to be strengths based and skills building. We believe that by giving individuals knowledge we enable them to better understand and deal with their previous experiences. Programme participants are given practical strategies to help them thrive in their daily lives by developing resilience, increasing hope and enabling recovery.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Recovery Toolkit 

The ACEs toolkit is similar to the Recovery Toolkit, in that it is a trauma informed empowering and educational programme for individuals living with ACE’s. Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are stressful events occurring in childhood including:

  • domestic abuse and violence
  • parental abandonment through separation or divorce
  • a parent with a mental health condition
  • being the victim of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional)
  • being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional)
  • a member of the household being in prison
  • growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing alcohol and drug use problems.

This course focuses on those with ACEs relating to Domestic Abuse. You will cover topic’s including understanding and living with ACE’s, understanding toxic stress and strategies to manage it, developing parental resilience, understanding attachment, managing emotions and a lot more.


Domestic Abuse Recovering Together (DART) 

The DART was developed by  the NSPCC and is a programme that provides a safe space for children and mothers who have been victims of domestic abuse and no longer live with the perpetrator, to come together with people who have been through a similar experience. This service is recognized by the Home Office.

DART allows victims to talk with one another, communicate and rebuild relationships. The service is run over 10 weeks, and each week there are 2-hour group sessions for mums and children ages 7-14 years old. They work as a whole team and in smaller groups and learn about domestic abuse, how it can happen, how it affects children and children also discuss how they feel about their experiences with domestic abuse.

Please note that as with all our group programmes, individual families should give their consent for the referral.  Only one sibling per family to attend the group at a time. Mothers can attend multiple times with a different child.



Peer Support/Social groups

DASU has a number of social peer support groups that clients can access, this is through our Coffee Mornings, Friendship Forum, Mutual Support Group and Mens’ Den. Please contact your nearest office for more information on what is available.