It has become fashionable for people to present their work in ways that don’t claim expert status. I must admit that makes writing this much easier as I do not feel like an expert despite working in the field since 1980. There is also a school of thought that says it is very important to outline, make clear and transparent, how central themes of work are derived. Others can then critique these themes and make their own decisions about the underlying values and the application of the themes to their practice.
In my work with men who have abused women, I have four central themes: safety, responsibility, accountability, and respect (Colley et al 1997). I did not develop these themes by myself. Neither was my exploration of their meaning and applicability to practice an isolated one. However, the way these themes have developed in my work and life, and the way they support and weave connections with each other, is the background to the work I do with men who have abused. This paper is an exploration of my relationship with these themes, and the dilemmas they raise.
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