Domestic Violence and Family Mediation
According to a definition that is used by the UK government departments, domestic abuse or domestic violence represents incident or a series of incidents that take include threatening, coercive or controlling behavior, some form of violent or abuse (which can be psychological, financial, emotional, sexual or physical) that takes place between people who are in some way associated and connected with each other. Most domestic violence targets women and children and an organization called Women’s Aid produced an estimate in which it was shown that one in every four women have the experience of domestic abuse at least once in their lifetimes.
There is no doubt that domestic violence represents a very troubling experience that has the power to stay with a person for the rest of their lives. The same deep-impacting occurrence can take many forms, but all of them are very difficult to deal with during the period in which they are present. Sadly, later on, when this experience had stopped, the feelings it leaves behind often seem to refuse to go away.
But, when it comes to this grim phenomenon, a person who had this experience should not feel helpless. In fact, there are several ways in which anyone who came into contact with domestic violence can actively participate in their healing process. One of these ways is practicing meditation. Domestic violence and mediation are not a combination that represents something new. For many decades, many healthcare professionals used meditation for a wide range of personal and family issues, including domestic abuse. This is why in situations where domestic abuse or violence is present, meditation can be practiced. Of course, a requirement for this is that those involved feel safe and are located in a calm interpersonal environment where they can be heard.
Family meditation takes place in a confidential atmosphere. When clients come to their first meeting, a trained mediator will set about to discuss with them whether they had any experience with domestic abuse and how this might affect them during the meditation process. During this first meeting, sometimes also called an MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment) meeting, if the client’s former partner might be present, the client will get their time with the mediator and are free to discuss any issues or concerns they might have. In the case of any potential risk or a possibility of harm, the mediator will enter a discussion about the possible actions that might be taken to ensure safety for all involved.
When it comes to sessions themselves, domestic violence and mediation are interwoven in a way that allows a person to come to terms with the events that occurred. During the sessions, a mediator will encourage the client to develop a process of communication that is different from the one that is (or was) present in the relationship where the abuse took place. This provides a focus on the areas that are can be helpful for solving the problem and does not go into the process of simply restating the old argument that are of no use to the client. Often, people who experience domestic abuse or violence tends to push back their feelings, while meditation provides them with a space to express them, and then gradually work through them.
Family meditation is a process that is based on trust and understanding, but there are even alternatives that include the presence of both partners. This option is called the Shuttle meditation and in it, the client and their ex-partner are present in separate rooms, with the mediator moving between them. While Shuttle mediation is not easy, it has proven itself very valuable in providing resolution to specific issues that are limited in their nature.
Even in the cases of very substantial domestic violence, meditation can provide a client with a very effective and stable process that will help on their road to finding well-being once again. A presence of a skilled and trained mediator in a meditation room can allow the client to be heard on any important issue, including technical elements like providing contact arrangement for any future session. Domestic violence and mediation should be seen as an opportunity to engage with oneself, in a manner that is effective and very personal.
It was shown that even in the cases of a prolonged history of domestic violence, medication can have an impact. Through the same process, a person who experienced or is experiencing domestic violence or domestic abuse can gradually find a way to continue their life in a safer, happier and more content manner.