“We have been using the Shark Cage framework individually and in group settings for several years. Participants reported feeling being more assertive, becoming aware of their rights and being able to identify characteristics of ‘sharks’….It is heartening to hear young women state that “It is now easier to say no, especially when under pressure”. I would highly recommend the Shark Cage framework as a powerful tool for use with women who have experienced trauma” Sharon Kirkman, Senior Counsellor/Educator, Wide Bay Sexual Assault Service, Piablba, QLD
“We have been using the Shark Cage Framework for the past 3 years in groups…We were so grateful to come across this way of explaining to women that what has happened is not their fault and there is a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of being in control of engaging in relationships (or not) in the future. Women have used words in feedback evaluations such as feeling “empowered”, “relieved” and “Hopeful” about their journey moving forward. We have heard many examples of women finding a voice for the first time in their lives within their and friendship circles and witnessed an increase in their self-esteem which has been so rewarding all round” Roz Smee & Michelle Avery, Case managers, Staying Home Leaving Family Violence Program, Lake Macquarie, NSW.
“The Shark Cage Framework makes it easy to talk to women about domestic violence. It addresses the cultural context that supports violence in our society, as well as supporting women to re-discover skills and knowledge that supports their safety, and the safety of their children. The shark Cage metaphor is creative, playful, and can be delivered in a way that is truly honouring of women’s experiences, expertise and preferred ways of being in relationship with others.” Ros Singleton, Group Facilitator, Family Support, Newcastle
“… An excellent addition to our practice framework. The team has found the metaphor helpful in assisting women to think broadly about their experiences in a manner that wrestles with the complexities they face. The Shark Cage empowers women at a time when they are seeking to make meaning of their experience of violence.” Kate Cannon, Manager Case Work & Initial Response, Northern Family & Domestic Violence Service|Berry Street
“The Shark Cage Framework is incredibly useful in explaining the dynamics of an abusive relationship and providing mechanisms for awareness and empowerment. As a tool for working with people who are experiencing/have experienced abuse in personal relationships, the metaphor is a gentle yet effective short-cut to opening the narrative of the experience and stepping out of the self-blame cycle that is essential for a person who wants to change their circumstances. The concept of the visual experience makes so much sense, and opens up conversations of its application across the sector.” Kristina Plummer, Manager, Anglicare, Tasmania
“Domestic violence is such a sensitive topic. Many families, particularly mothers, know there is an elephant in the room but find it difficult to talk about it or address the issue. The Shark Cage Framework, particularly the metaphor, opens the doors for discussion …
Mothers just get it! The framework takes the blame away from the victim. It allows the mother to see they have rights and how a person can fall into the trap of an unhealthy relationship with cycles continuing.
I recall one mother stating, “Well, my mother didn’t have strong bars in her Shark Cage to begin with and I need to strengthen mine for myself and my daughter.” She is now working towards achieving this, is aware of her internal alarm system and is looking forward to future healthy relationships. Without the framework, this mother may not have gained the empowerment she needed to make changes for herself or her family.
I will endeavour to use the framework with every family I support and highly recommend the training package. Thank you, Ursula, for changing the pathway for so many.” Paula Petrie, Brighter Futures Case Manager, The Benevolent Society, New England North