Currently, Safe House is piloting a new support group at the Huron Valley Women's Correctional Facility, and I'm assisting as a facilitator for Friday morning groups. The group is a 4 week support/didactic group, essentially DV 101, with safety planning and coping skills thrown into the mix. March 26 was our orientation session, which turned out to be fabulous.
The women are all thrilled that we are providing this group for them, and we received many comments about how important it is for them to receive this education and develop bonds with one another.
At first I was nervous about this. We had been told that the 'inmates' can be 'manipulating' and will 'try to push our buttons.' We questioned how this is different from everyday life. The language used to describe these women equated them to children, which was unappealing at best, but we dealt with it. Honestly, the women I've interacted with so far have been wonderful and very grateful. They have also been honest with us; I think it helps that we are not part of the correctional facility and that we go in with a supportive non-judgmental attitude.
So, I'm looking forward to this support group, and will keep you posted on how it's going. Obviously, confidentiality is of utmost importance, so no specific details. However, I will give my impressions on how successful the group is and the feedback we get from the women.