Many stories of changed lives have emerged from, Beyond the Violence (BTV) For Wendy, Miranda and Simon, the changes have been significant.
Wendy* used to feel like a bad parent. As a result of extensive family violence, she experienced depression and anxiety and was not able to cope with the behavior of her children – Miranda* (12) and Simon* (8).
Feeling guilty about her inability to cope, Wendy allowed her children to live with their father but things eventually deteriorated, and Simon moved back with Wendy and Miranda moved to her aunt’s – visiting on weekends and holidays. Since then Wendy has continued to struggle, and the family have moved around and changed schools often. The children have been living between various family members.
Wendy reports that at this time, Simon was suffering with anxiety, was shy and withdrawn, and had been getting into trouble at school. He was also having fights with his sister that escalated to the point of violence . Wendy believes this was due to the frequent moves and lack of stability and safety the family had experienced.
Wendy and Simon attended the ‘Beyond the Violence’ program to help move forward from their previous trauma, work on positive parenting techniques, and rebuild family relationships. Wendy says that since attending BTV, Simon is calm, confident and able to have positive relationships with his sister and other children.
Wendy is also more confident as a parent, has a better relationship with Simon. They can talk without Simon reacting over “trivial things”. Wendy describes her approach as one of offering choices and consequences to Simon. Wendy wishes she had known about this approach to parenting year ago because she has felt guilty, blamed, and incapable as a parent. This was one of the reasons she had previously let the children return to live with their father. Wendy says that now she can cope with their behaviour and no longer feels guilty and incapable.
The facilitators have also noticed changes in Simon’s social and emotional skills in the children’s group program. His confidence has increased, and he appears a lot calmer. Wendy reports that the whole family are more at peace and relationships have improved all round.
By helping improve family relationships , safety and stability, the BTV model is consistently delivering real results for parents and children like Wendy, Simon and Miranda who are looking to a life ‘beyond the violence’.
*All names, ages and images have been changed to protect client privacy.