20. 6. 2016
In 2010 the Brno-based organization Persefona began implementing the idea of working with the perpetrators of violenc ein addition to victims. From our long-term experience it is unequivocal that only a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of domestic violence can be effective.
Persons who have difficulty managing their aggression cannot be easily pigeonholed. They are men and women of various ages, professions and social positions. At a general level, however, we can say there are two approachs they take towards their situations. Some perceive it has undesirable and are interested in saving their relationships, while others need a bit of outside help to understand that. Persefona’s services are open to all.
In the beginning, external therapists were invited to contribute to our work with violent persons. Thanks to our project called “Escape from the Labyrinth of Violence”, which is supported by Norway Grants, we hired a psychotherapist in the spring of 2015 to develop the service.
In the summer this service received a new name, the standards of the organization were updated to reflect it, and an information campaign ran about it. Our therapist then gradually began visiting most of the child welfare authrity offices in Brno together with social workers, and expanded our collaboration with the Probation and Mediation Service. Clients began to be referrred to us and the offer of aid for those who need it was expanded to assist those who need to change their usual approaches to resolving conflict so they won’t cause their loved ones any more harm. After we launched a new website with a section presenting the Anger Management Program, people began to easily discover the service and contact us. The launch of the service has been promising and 32 persons made use of it this year as of the end of May.
“We’re glad there is interest in the program. We see it as a benefit and we want this service to be permanently available to all who decide to use it,” said Persefona’s director, Mgr. Jitka Čechová. Persefona is offering these clients individual aid that includes counseling and psychotherapy. Together with the therapist, they do their best to discover the cause of their aggressive behavior and to work on their motivation to change it and their personal resources for doing so. When needed there are also trainings on how to handle crisis situations without using violence, and crisis intervention is offered as well.
The Project is being supported by the Open Society Fund Prague from the Let’s Give (Wo)men a Chance programme, financed from Norway Grants.