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Turning the Spotlight

27 July 2018

Relationships are a necessary part of healthy living, but there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Relationships, from acquaintances to romances, have the potential to enrich our lives and add to our enjoyment of life.  However, these same relationships can cause discomfort, and sometimes even cause harm”  Hall Health Centre, University of Washington

Are you in a relationship that is causing discomfort or harm?

Turning the Spotlight supports couples and families in Cumbria where low-level conflict, violence or abuse has been identified. We also work with individuals who have (or are at risk of) causing harm. 

We provide support to the partners, ex-partners and children participating in this programme. We also advocate on behalf of people experiencing domestic abuse and can refer you on to other support services where needed.

What do we do?

Through a mixture of one to one and group work sessions we support clients to understand what a healthy relationship is and how to maintain one.  Our caseworkers support the whole family to address issues that are impacting on their relationship and enable them to reflect on their behaviours and develop skills for change. 

My initial thoughts and resistance to the course was replaced with an eagerness to learn.  The course has changed my perspective of myself, my actions and my behaviour as well as my thought process.

Our group work sessions include:-

  • A twelve session voluntary Healthy Relationships Course aimed at individuals who are causing harm, The programme will encourage people to share their own behaviours, preventing negative ones’ resurfacing. It will allow clients engaging with the programme to have adequate space to choose alternate behaviours working as a group and/or individually in 1-1 support sessions.

  • ‘I Matter’ – a seven session course for those in an abusive relationship. Running alongside the Healthy Relationship programme it supports the individual to understand the direction of change for their partner so they can work together to bring about positive changes in their relationship.  The programme will encourage people to share their own behaviours, thoughts and feelings. It will allow clients engaging with the programme to have adequate space to consider their relationships both when working as a group and/or individually in 1-1 support sessions.

  • Four-session parenting programme – for parents who have successfully completed the Healthy Relationship and I Matter courses and want to explore how conflict impacts on children and how to avoid it in the future to build a harmonious family life. 

Sarah and Peter’s Story

Sarah and Peter  have two young children. They  were referred to Turning the Spotlight in August  2017. Peter had been arrested for assaulting Sarah in the street, he was seen dragging her into a car and the Police were called. When we met Peter he was on bail and not allowed in the family home. Peter and Sarah were intent on resuming their relationship. 

Initial assessments were carried out with Sarah and Peter, Peter talked about their lack of communication and how he could be paranoid with people that he does not know. Peter agreed to attend the Healthy Relationships programme. In Sarah’s assessment she talked about her anxiety with people she did not know, it took a few sessions to complete the assessment tools but eventually Sarah agreed to some individual work.   Soon after assessment the bail conditions were lifted and social workers agreed that Peter could return home as long as they continued to engage with Turning the Spotlight.

Peter attended the Healthy Relationship programme and attended all 12 sessions even though he was anxious in the beginning. It helped having his caseworker facilitating the programme as it was someone who was familiar to him. 

We talk about things a lot more now. We both do. We used to bottle it all up – that’s when the drink comes in. I knew he’d react and I’d play up to it, as if I was rebelling. That just doesn’t happen anymore. I know he won’t react. He will just walk away. He’s changed a lot.

Get in touch

If you'd like to find out more about our services, please email: turningthespotlight@victimsupport.org.uk  Tel: 07919 393 311.

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