We begin with a brief audio recording of a “Narrative Practices Adelaide” conversation. Toward addressing violence in their work with men, Maggie Carey, Shona Russell and Rob Hall reflected on their teamwork and Alan Jenkins framework for “Invitations to Responsibility.” In addition, we add below a number of projects and few (of many) Friday Afternoon Videos sponsored by the Dulwich Centre. Do you have something to contribute? We welcome other articles, recordings and reflections!
“We all work together” – Rob Hall & Alison Newton
Men who use violence in their relationships been the focus of Rob Hall and his partner Alison Newton’s work for many years. Since 1980, he has been working in the area of gender violence and abuse – in an emergency counselling service with a team exploring new approaches to inviting men to take responsibility for their violence to and to find ways to ensure the safety and well being of people they had abused. He then joined a colleague, Alan Jenkins, to further work with men who have perpetrated abuse, and more recently focussing on approaches to working with adolescents who have sexually abused. Together with others, Rob and Alan formed an organization called Nada, and have developed a partnership, in this work, with Maxine Joy and Alison Newton.
Rob continues to seek ways of further ensuring that intervention with people who have perpetrated abuse is practiced in ways that are consistent with, and that promote, responsibility, respect, fairness and accountability. A counselling approach which is consistent with these ideas entails the development of practice as an ethical journey. To quote from his article Pitfalls and Challenges in Work with Men who Use Violence Against Their Partners (on the Pratiques Narratives website).
In the last few years, Rob and his partner, Alison Newton have begun to give international workshops together (Shelburne,Vermont and Paris, France).
Recording & Transcript: NPA Conversation about men and violence
(Transcript is below)
My Happy Ending: A narrative group work to respond to children in situations of family violence by Jocelyn Lee
‘My Happy Ending’ group work uses narrative therapy principles and practices to respond to children who have experienced violence in their families. The video describes the two-days-one-night group work process and offers reflections on working with children in Singapore using narrative ideas. ‘My Happy Ending’ is an original creation, consisting of the performance and narration of an original fictional story written specially for the group work, storytelling, and several play- and art-based activities. Using child-friendly metaphors and stories to introduce children to the use of externalisation as a way of viewing violence and other difficulties in their lives, it hoped to decrease the influence of family violence in the children’s lives and to increase their personal agency in dealing with it. The video also describes the creative use of child-appropriate collective documentation and definitional ceremony, to present the children’s knowledges, and to develop preferred accounts of their lives and identities.
Jocelyn Lee is working as a social worker in Singapore. She is passionate about incorporating narrative ideas in her work, especially in co-creating collective and living documents with her clients to elevate their alternative stories on a public platform. She is fervent about finding new ways to work with cultural complexities and welcomes collaboration opportunities. She can be reached at [email protected]
Unearthing new concepts of justice: Women sexual violence survivors seeking healing and justice— Hung Suet-Lin and David Denborough
Justice and healing are closely linked. A strong sense of injustice can hinder healing. In the context of Hong Kong, and likely in many other places, where the legal system is seen as the only means for achieving justice, and legal/criminal justice is upheld as the only concept of justice, many survivors of sexual violence are left with few options for healing redress. Expanding concepts of justice beyond those rooted in criminal law systems may increase the possibilities for healing. This project describes one such collective process, enabling Chinese women who have experienced sexual violence to move from single story testimonies of harm done, to double story testimonies that include the responses, skills and values of survivors. The process involved richly acknowledging the multiple injustices and effects of these injustices, developing a storyline of surviving injustices including the steps taken by women to ‘break the secrecy’ and ‘not pursing any further’ in the legal system, and creating a forum of narrative justice. It was acknowledged that justice can be achieved in multiple ways, in the social and in people’s eyes and judgment, which may have historic cultural resonances.
Dulwich Centre Journal 2013: Issue 3($9.50 AUS)