Research and our experiences of working with families show us that domestic violence often directly or indirectly undermines the relationship between mothers and their children.
It is really important that mothers do not blame themselves for this as the responsibility lies with the person who perpetrated the abuse. Some abusers deliberately attempt to interfere with and damage the mother/child relationship as a part of their pattern of domestic violence. There are many ways in which domestic violence may have impacted on your relationship with your child and the ReNew program will provide you with a safe and non-judgmental space to explore this. We hope that during the ReNew program you can share and learn from other mothers’ experiences of domestic violence including how it has affected their parenting and their relationship with their children. We also hope that you will feel safe and supported enough to explore and understand that you did the best you could as a mother under very difficult conditions. We know that many mums feel considerable guilt and grief and loss regarding their children’s experiences of domestic violence and we also know that they are not responsible for the actions of the abuser.
ReNew has been developed in a way that helps both you and your son understand that domestic violence is a traumatic experience which can impact on a young person’s development. The program specifically aims to support you by:
1. Addressing safety concerns resulting from your son’s behaviours.
2. Help you to reduce maternal guilt by uncovering the ways in which you protected your child throughout your past domestically violent relationship. We have found that mums are often not aware of the ways in which the have protected their children!
3. Acknowledge and explore the grief and loss associated with parenting within a domestically violent environment.
4. Providing you with useful information about trauma and the impact it can have on the attachment between you and your son.
5. Exploring how domestic violence has affected your relationship with your son and develop ways to improve the relationship.
6. Exploring how contact arrangements can continue to interfere with your relationship with your son.
7. Help both you and your son learn healthy ways to manage stress and difficult emotions
8. Help you to manage those times when your son reminds you of their father.
9. Help you and your son to develop different ways of communicating and sharing difficult feelings with each other that assist in enhancing your relationship.
10. Explore and map out a plan to move forward together as mother and son.