Friday, April 20, 2012
FAMILY VIOLENCE TREATMENT HAS CHANGED
This week I attended the Knowledge Sharing Forum for the Alberta provincial Family Violence Treatment Program. It was truly an enlightening experience. The room was filled with probation officers, group facilitators, addicitions counsellors, social workers and psychologists. The mood was distinctly positive. I hadn’t really known what to expect, but I do know I wasn’t expecting that. The last time I attended such a meeting they were talking about confronting the offenders, forcing them to take responsibility for their actions. The tone was aggressive. It was hard to find a place for our hope and strengths strategies in that emotional climate. But that was then, and this was now. I met many hard-working people who are deeply proud of the work they are doing. The work is positive yet honest. There is a recognition that many offenders hope to be something other than violent, that they would do things differently if they knew how. There is an enthusiasm about working constructively with that hope.