Own My Life Course

Taken from http://www.ownmylifecourse.org

The Own My Life course is an innovative, creative and educational 12-week course for women.  It supports women in regaining ownership of their lives when they have subjected to abuse or violence by partner.  This is done through short videos, structured discussions, group and individual activities, and a comprehensive learning journal.

It uses multimedia content to explain complex concepts about trauma and abuse in easy to understand video clips, along with videos which evidence how popular culture reinforces or perpetuates sexism, rape culture, violence, misogyny, disrespect in relationships and abusive behaviour.  The Own My Story Journal provides women with space for reflective practice, and includes all the information provided throughout the course.  This becomes an ongoing resource for women after the course has finished.  The course explores how women can regain ownership of our lives including owning our

-Mind

-Body

-Choices

-Relationships

-World

-Feelings.

The course includes the follow-on “Own My Future” group which supports women if they would like to begin self-organising in continued support and learning together.

Aims

1. To educate and empower women who have been subjected to abuse to regain ownership of their own lives.

2. To equip and resource practitioners with the most up to date research and understanding about male violence.

3. To provide a replicable, easy to use resource for working with women.

Men’s abuse and violence towards women is rooted in their beliefs of ownership and entitlement. The course is called the Own My Life Course because it aims to enable women to take back ownership of their lives from the abuser.  It goes beyond the what and why of abuse, to give women space to critique their environment and consider women’s rights throughout history.

The Own My Life course was created by Natalie Collins.  She has previously created and is the Director of the DAY Programme, a domestic abuse and exploitation education programme for young people.  The Own My Life course has been funded by the Sir Halley Stewart Trust, however the views expressed within the project belong to the Own My Life Course and are not necessarily those of the Trust.

Method

  • Problem-posing education: Based on Paola Friere’s work, problem-posing education recognises that education is not simply deposited from a teacher to a student, but instead should be a dialogue between the two people.  It is not the teacher working for the student but WITH the student. Problem-posing education within the Own My Life course will include listening, dialogue and action.

  • Reflective practice: For both facilitators and participants on the Own My Life course, reflective practice is encouraged.  This practice involves the ability to reflect on our actions so that we can engage in a continuous process of learning.  Within both the WoManual content and the Own My Story journal, exercises for reflective practice are included.

  • Group work: The Own My Life course sessions include work in a large, in small groups and in pairs.

  • Individual work: The Own My Story journal includes space for individual writing and/or drawing throughout each session.  Also, the course can be delivered on a one-to-one basis if necessary, though this will decrease the full benefit of the course with the community elements not included.

  • Fun and laughter: Abusers steal our joy, and so we ensure that fun and laughter is part of how we deliver the Own My Life course.

The Own My Life course is under the governance of The Women’s Liberation Collective CIO (registered charity no. 1184411).