The Minister for Equality Samantha Sacramento has today launched the Freedom Programme training in Gibraltar.

The Freedom Programme is a very successful therapeutic programme for victims of domestic abuse in order that they may be provided with a supportive, safe and friendly environment. The programme examines the roles played by attitudes and beliefs on the actions of the perpetrator and the responses of victims and survivors. This training will help in identifying the signs and encourage the reflection required when dealing with matters of domestic abuse. The Freedom Programme was created by UK based Pat Craven who has drawn upon her work with perpetrators of domestic abuse. Among the facilitators with Pat Craven today are Christine Ashton as well as domestic abuse campaigner Rachel Williams.

This training session is a three day bespoke programme which is being delivered virtually. This initial session represents the launch of an important programme and is attended by the heads of all key stakeholder departments that form part of the national domestic abuse strategy and deliver therapeutic and support services to victims of domestic abuse with a view to establishing a consistent and holistic policy in the delivery of such therapy throughout Gibraltar.

'This therapy has been very successfully used by the Care Agency since 2014 and it was important to expand it throughout the public sector so that its success in empowering domestic abuse could have a wider reach.'

Minister for Equality, the Hon Samantha Sacramento MP, said “I believe this training will be imperative to those who provide practical and therapeutic support for victims as they will acquire specific skills and techniques in this area. The aim of this initial session is for all the key heads of department to acquire a good understanding of the Freedom Programme so that together we can work on the strategic implementation of it throughout all relevant departments so that it can have the maximum reach. The programme will thereafter be rolled out to all those who offer support so that they are properly trained in delivering it.

Today also marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women, emphasising the need to raise public awareness of the support that is available as part of our strategic approach to this. The objective of our strategy is to build a society that has zero tolerance towards domestic abuse and to be able to support victims and their families”.