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  • I want to attend the Own My Life course as a participant. How do I do that?
    We do not deliver the Own My Life course to women, we train practitioners within local services to run the course. This is because we believe that local services are best placed to support you. CLICK HERE to access the "Find A Course" page, and you can then contact your local organisation. Many organisations are running the course online, so if you can't find one that local to you, do contact your nearest course as they may be able to include you in an online course.
  • Can I still attend Own My Life if I am still with my partner?
    This will depend on the policy of the organisation running the Own My Life course that you attend. Our guidance to services running the course is that women can attend in-person/on-site courses if they are still with their partner, but if women are joining an online course, they need to have separated from their partner. This is because there are different safeguarding considerations when running the course online.
  • How do you ensure that the course is run safely?
    In Summer 2022, we introduced our Expectations of Sisterhood which all new facilitators and organisations are required to adhere to when delivering the Own My Life course. If you feel a course you are attending is not being run in ways outlined in the Expectations of Sisterhood, please contact us on info@ownmylifecourse.org and we can find a way to support those running your course to be aligned with our expectations of sisterhood.
  • I'm a woman and my abusive partner/ex is female, is Own My Life suitable for me?
    While our materials are generally focussed on women who have been subjected to abuse by men, we have some materials which are focussed on the ways lesbian or bisexual women may be abused by a female partner. Our organisational model is that we deliver train-the-trainer courses for facilitators, with local organisations delivering the course. As a result of this, it would be the organisation running Own My Life who would be best placed to tell you whether you will find their courses able to fully support your needs. You can find the nearest organisations to you that run Own My Life HERE.
  • I am due to be a witness in court, can I attend Own My Life?
    During some criminal investigations (particularly into sexual violence), if the victim has been participating in counselling, the police can request access to the counsellor's notes as part of the investigation. These notes may then be made available to the defence team (and the perpetrator) as part of a criminal court case. While Rape Crisis is campaigning to change this (see HERE), at present this situation means that women are often advised not to participate in counselling while a criminal investigation is ongoing. This should not affect women participating in the Own My Life course, as it is not counselling, nor a therapeutic intervention, and facilitators do not take any notes about the session or about individual women's participation in sessions. If a woman is attending Own My Life and either she, or the service supporting her, are asked by police to declare if she is accessing support; we would encourage services to describe her as "engaging in appropriate group support services". Own My Life is not therapeutic and isn't counselling, and so should not be part of the types of services that become difficult to access in advance of being a witness in court. We encourage services delivering Own My Life to develop a policy for managing this eventuality in relation to any group work and other support they offer.
  • I'm attending the Own My Life course, can I access the course videos outside of course session?
    It's great you want to watch the videos again. They are available for a small monthly fee on our Discovery platform: http://ownmylifediscovery.org. We also have the Own My Life Extra content that your facilitator should be able to tell you about, which supports each week's course material.
  • I want to book on training, but am unavailable during the current available dates. What can I do?"
    We regularly announce new training via our mailing list, which you can join by CLICKING HERE.
  • I'm based outside the UK, can I access your training?
    Yes you can! As all our training is online, you can join us from anywhere in the world. The training is live, so you would need to be able to manage participating on the UK timezone. We have had people join us from Australia, Mexico and Greece; and while the timezone difference was a challenge, their feedback was really good and said that our engaging training method ensured it worked, and it saved them all the costs of travelling to the UK etc. Win win! For those based in the Republic of Ireland, we have developed a full suite of Irish context materials, including an Irish journal and Irish videos. We are keen to partner with organisations to see our materials translated both for non-English speakers and also for non-UK contexts, so do get in touch with this is something you would be interested in.
  • Is your training CPD accredited?
    Yes! You'll find us on the CPD website HERE. Our training gives you accredited CPD hours.
  • Five days training on Zoom sounds like a lot! Is it going to be really boring?
    Absolutely not! We know you're probably thinking that is what our answer would be, but we can assure you the training is highly engaging and transformative. Lots of practitioners join our training dreading five days online, but by the end of the week they tell us that it's been brilliant, energising and has kept their attention. We promise that our training will definitely not be "death by powerpoint".
  • How are you different to existing initiatives like the Freedom Programme?
    We think courses like the Freedom Programme, Recovery Toolkit, Power To Change and others are doing a great job to enable women to move forward in their lives! We developed the Own My Life course to take women and practitioners further, to offer fresh perspectives and literacy about the latest research on trauma and abuse. We use lots of multimedia content, and while some organisations use the Own My Life course to complement their existing group work, others have been so excited about the Own My Life course that they have started solely using our course.
  • How many women’s lives have you changed through the programme?
    We don't want to create extra work for practitioners who are facilitating the course, so we don't require them to tell us exactly how many women have accessed the course. So far we have trained over 1000 Own My Life facilitators across the UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Each woman who participates in the course needs an Own My Story journal and by July 2023 we had provided over 9000 journals to organisations across the UK and Ireland. You can read more about the impact of the course on women's lives HERE.
  • How do you ensure high standards are maintained when the courses are conducted by other facilitators?
    Our training is incredibly successful at equipping practitioners to deliver the course well, with the course materials comprehensively covering all aspects of facilitation. Our guidance includes insisting that all facilitators have regular supervision and we offer group reflective practice sessions for facilitators. We provide regular updates to facilitators about the course content and require all those who are delivering the course to do so within an organisational contect that has appropriate safeguards to ensure the course is delivered to a high standard.
  • What are you doing to ensure you recruit a diverse range of trustees?
    As a new charity we are excited to have such experienced and skilled trustees who are a diverse group of women. When we need to recruit further trustees our policy is to ensure a diversity of skills and experiences are represented across our trustee board.
  • Can I use Own My Life in one-to-one sessions with women?
    Once trained, you can definitely use Own My Life material from our course in one-to-one work with women! THIS video tells you more about what women can expect to get from your work with them using the course materials, and THIS video, while focussed more on the group work aspect explains what our training involves. Although our Impact Reports (found HERE) evidence the impact of our group work course with women, women generally report that many of these benefits are still found when accessing the course one-to-one with a worker. Practitioners who come on our training report that it is transformative for their overall practice and is much more holistic than solely enabling them to run the course with women. You can read more about this in Impact Reports and also within THIS Evaluation Report.
  • Is Own My Life accessible to women whose first language isn't English?
    Some Own My Life facilitators speak mulitple languages and so can offer the course in those languages. At present our materials are available in English and Welsh. We can keen to see our materials translated into different languages, but the cost of this (per language) is around £9000. We would love to partner with organisations and individuals who may be interested in supporting materials translation through funding or gifts in kind.
  • How big should Own My Life groups be?
    Ideally, an Own My Life group works with 8 -12 women. When someone has trained as a facilitator, the first time the deliver the course, we suggest they limit course participants to a maximum of 8 women. After the facilitator feels confident in delivering the course, we would suggest that there should be a maximum number of 15 participants. The material can be delivered one-to-one and even in smaller groups (3 - 5 women), the course works well and can be transformational for participants.
  • Can Own My Life be delivered on Microsoft Teams rather than Zoom?
    We deliver Own My Life facilitator training on Zoom and our coaching sessions that enable facilitators to deliver Own My Life online are also run on Zoom. This is because Zoom offers the best interface for delivering courses with women online. We do aim to provide support for practitioners required to deliver Own My Life online, however due to the technical limitations of Teams, we're unable to provide coaching sessions on that platform.

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