Empowering Women, Empowering Lives - Post-Separation and Beyond

Empowering Women, Empowering Lives - Post-Separation and Beyond

by Caryn Walsh

Chair 2016 Stop The Violence Conference Organising Committee

This article is an extract taken from her speech at the 2016 Stop The Violence Conference in Brisbane in December 2016

Significant focus and funding, both internationally and within Australia, remains on strategic measures to prevent (and reduce) the incidence, risks and impact of domestic violence on individuals, families, communities and societies in general. An additional priority is helping the survivor through the crisis.

Whilst this focus is critical, there remains a key strategic gap in funding and effort – the post-separation measures, education and assistance to help women create meaningful lives for themselves and their children. The recent announcement of a further $20 million Australian dollars as part of the National Plan to reduce violence, does not address this either.

Whilst historically individuals and families exposed to traumatic events (such as domestic violence) are provided with assistance by a multitude of service providers including refuges, mental health professionals, child protection agencies and the criminal justice system to assist them in their recovery, as service providers and a community overall, we need to also focus urgently on helping her reclaim her life, or increase the probability of her returning to her violent relationship.

The reality remains:  Whilst prevention needs to remain the focus, there are hundreds of thousands of people who survive each day carrying the scars of domestic violence.  Their daily lives and intrinsic sense of self-value (in every way) have been alarmingly affected because of the abuse of power and control over them, by another/s.

Long after the danger is past, traumatised people relive the event as though it was continually reoccurring in the present. 

They cannot resume the normal course of their lives, for the trauma repeatedly interrupts it.

Judith Herman 2016

The Psychological Struggle – Post Separation

Research indicates that abuse often escalates in the short term post-separation, adding to her fear and long term anxiety, depression and other forms of mental illness.  This, tragically, impacts her ability to create a peaceful and successful future for both herself and her children, and the cycle repeats itself.

As service providers and mental health professionals, there is an increasing need teach her to become empowered and turn her life around, without fear of ongoing abuse or at worst, death.

Empowering Women by helping them reclaim their lives

Women living with domestic often come to believe they deserve the abusive treatment they receive, as their self-belief and esteems spirals downwards.  The most powerful interventions are information and education.

Helping a women reclaim her life post-separation is where significant funding needs to be allocated.  To help her understand the impact of the trauma on her life and to teach and empower her to realise that she can live a happy life, turn her situation around and become a powerful and successful role model for her children.

A fey focus must be on helping her develop psychologically and learning key skills and a resilient way of thinking to move her forward with confidence and self-assurance

The Empowering Women, Empowering Lives Program

With this in mind, we provide a range of services to assist women to turn their lives around, and learn key communication skills to help them have their needs met in all aspects of their lives.

This Program is aimed at women from all walks of life.

  • A 12 stage Empowering Women, Empowering Lives Program
  • 3 Empowering Women’s Retreats a year
  • 1 and 2-day Training Programs
  • Monthly Webinars for Women (Empowerment, Resilience, Managing Fear etc.)
  • Bi-monthly Seminars
  • Monthly Meet-ups
  • 3, 6 or 9 sessions of Coaching for Women


Caryn Walsh is a psychologist, international leadership expert, business consultant and executive coach, with a focus and passion on working with women.  She has extensive experience in working with domestic violence over 30 years, with a focus on helping women become empowered and live fantastic lives.

In 2005 she was responsible for writing and delivering a robust training program to upskill 500 telephone counsellors on the national DV Hotline.

Her Empowering Women, Empowering Lives Program is used by countless women to help them live well and productively.

Visit www.carynwalsh.com.au or email Caryn on caryn@carynwalsh.com.au 

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