Don’t ‘like’ my posts….

As I say ‘don’t ‘like’ my posts (if you think by doing so will draw attention to you/your pain) Do, however, read, consider and make contact, in absolute confidence, if you have been affected by any of the issues discussed in today’s blog.

087 6959346.

Domestic Abuse and perceptions,

Last week we asked several questions about domestic abuse, with the aim of getting people to think about domestic abuse. We all have a perception of what domestic abuse ‘looks like’ and statistics reiterate this perception. Women abused by men, children abused by men, in the most men being the perpetrators of physical, emotional, financial, control and sexual violence. I acknowledge that our statistics tell us this. This was my belief, but then something happened….


Please allow me to tell you a story….

Some years ago, I began working with an alleged domestic abuser ‘Sean’ (not his real name) before I met ‘Sean’ I didn’t like him. I had read a referral it didn’t read well. Abusive physically and emotionally-a bully. I did not like him, obviously.

I met him, a confident, well educated, successful person but broken, absolutely broken. His relationship had broken down, he had been alienated from his son and had been accused of the most horrendous abuse, physical, emotional, financial and sexual. When the ex-partner went to court a barring order was issued and ‘Sean’ was escorted from the home with the clothes on his back. He would have been ‘allowed’ to go back with a Garda presence to collect his belongings. He was not asked in the court sitting to give his side of these damning allegations. The Barring Order was granted.  Without even a conversation with Sean.

Sean’s legal team advised him that there was little point contesting.

Do we as a society fail to recognise that abuse happens on many levels, male to female, female to male, societal, within our judicial system, legal systems etc.?


Sean changed my life.

Sean made me realise that I as a practitioner did not ask the right questions, I judged. I made a judgement based on societal indoctrination and expectations. ‘Men abuse, women are victims’. As a practitioner with an immense desire to find a way of looking at situations differently and in a more balanced way I returned to college. I completed a Masters in Arts in Conflict Management, Post Graduate Certificate in Mediation and Conflict Resolution and Separating Families Training, so as to always be open to the possibilities. I am by no means finished learning and I believe I will always be on a path of looking at gender abuse, in whatever form that takes- within the family- within society-within our legal structures, most importantly within our perceptions.


This lack of knowledge is atrociously dangerous when we work with family breakdown.  As a practitioner, after spending time working with Sean, seeing how he was treated by me as his professional, services and organisations has made me realise that  our bias and  our societal interventions may not always be correct.

At we work to ALWAYS be open to the possibilities that all is not what it seems, and we will not be bound by societal expectations on us.

All relationship breakdown causes hurt and turmoil, when does the hurt cross the line to abuse?  And what does abuse ‘look like’? I, as a Family Mediator am open to all possibilities.

Contact Sharon on 0876959346