The state of things to come.
With the latest news that Harrow Council are funding ‘couples work’ for cases where there has been domestic abuse, let us hope that they embark on this work with the utmost care. I feel that this is something a lot of local authorities will be doing in the pursuit of cutting down on their already limited resources.
It has long been the opinion of every trained domestic abuse practitioner, that this type of intervention is at best ill advised and at worst, extremely dangerous. If you ask any woman that has experienced domestic abuse whether this is what they would have wanted to do, they will react with horror!! Domestic abuse is not about couples disagreeing. It is about one person’s power and control over the other. This means that effectively, if you put these two people in a room with a therapist or similar, the person that is or has been abused will not feel able to say what they really want to say, for fear of repercussions later. And if that person does say what they want to say, they risk severe repercussions later! That takes away the purpose of couple intervention completely because the sessions are one sided.
I would really hope that this is taken into consideration and that as a bare minimum, both parties are fully risk assessed before a decision is made whether they are suitable for this work.