Last November we offered the Circle of Security Parenting Program specifically for mothers who have experienced domestic and family violence and/or trauma. Practitioners and clients had identified that there were barriers for mothers in this situation to attend a regular group. 
The impacts of trauma such as anxiety, depression, and feelings of stigma and shame make it difficult to discuss the experience and impact of Domestic and Family Violence (DFV) trauma, especially in relation to their parenting capacity.  There were concerns about how to best respond to, and support their children’s emotions and behaviours arising from the situation of DFV.
A group of 5-6 women attended the first series. The program was delivered by both a multi-trained Counsellor with a strong background in trauma and healing and a DFV caseworker. The program included information and resources specific to the impact of DFV trauma on the mother-child relationship. 
Often the perpetrators of domestic and family violence will target the mother-child relationship.  For this reason, it is important to address the relationship between mother and child for mutual healing and recovery.   Understanding and responding to the impact of trauma on children and adults is a significant part of the healing process. Individual support was provided during each session, along with warm referrals for counselling and other support services.  
The attendees reported they found the group highly supportive due to the environment where they could share and learn from each other’s experiences.   Feedback indicated that being in a group with other Mothers, who had also experienced DFV, created a sense of safety amongst participants.  They reported feeling comfortable, accepted, and supported in the group.