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Domestic Violence and its impact on the child and family

This Pedagogic Intervention examined domestic abuse in a powerful performance by Geese Theatre, titled 'Stay'. Students from both social work and counselling and psychotherapy courses were encouraged to interact with the perpetrator during the performance and to observe the cycle of abuse and the attitudes and beliefs supporting it. Small group discussions, where students from different disciplines were encouraged to work together, focused on the impact that the perpetrator's behaviour has on his female partner and their child.

The students were also able to take part in a debrief following the performance. Sharing knowledge and experience in reflecting on the performance provides an opportunity to understand the complex dynamics of power and powerlessness, especially from a child's perspective. The performance and subsequent discussions emphasised the subtleties of domestic violence and the need to consider all perspectives when intervening and building therapeutic relationships.