The Shark Cage: A practical framework for addressing revictimization in women and vulnerability in girls is a skills based training for those in helping professions.
Many women who have seek assistance for depression and anxiety have a history of abuse. Research shows that women who have experiences of childhood physical or sexual abuse are almost twice as likely to experience domestic violence in adulthood (Mouzos & Makkai, 2004). The terrible impacts of abuse are often compounded by messages from perpetrators of abuse and society that women are in some way responsible for the abuse they have experienced, especially if it has happened more than once. The women themselves have often internalised these messages and believe that they must be to blame if it keeps happening in their lives. The Shark Cage Framework will assist professionals and their clients to understand re-victimisation in a way that does not blame the victim. It can also be used in a preventative way to increase young women’s understanding of their rights and awareness of abusive behaviours.
In five easy to follow steps the Shark Cage Framework gives professionals and client’s the knowledge and tools to feel empowered to actively decrease the likelihood of further victimisation in the client’s life.
At the completion of the training participants will be able to:
- Use the Shark Cage metaphor with girls and women to externalise the issue of gender violence and challenge victim blaming in a simple and engaging way
- Assist girls and women to identify what bars they want to install or strengthen to renovate their Shark Cage and link this to a Human Rights framework
- Help girls and women to fix the alarm system in their renovated Shark Cage. This involves helping them to safely tune in to body sensations and emotions
- Help girls and women to prepare for and respond to Shark Cage breaches when it is safe to do so. This involves assertiveness training.
- Help girls and women to distinguish between Shark and Dolphins. This involves identifying behaviours that indicate that a person is disrespecting or respecting their rights.
In acknowledgement of the challenges in working with issues of male violence against girls and women, some time will be spent at the beginning of the training for reflection on the meaning and rewards in this work and the day will conclude with a focus on how professionals can look after themselves in this work.