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Scared into Feeling Safe

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05 Jan 2017 15:32 #1 by Sally Ann
Scared into Feeling Safe was created by Sally Ann
I’ve been pondering recently, and once again this morning, over the idea of being able to scare people into feeling safe, as this is something I believe is inconsistent with the principles of the Protective Behaviours Process. My understanding is that by teaching and enabling people to have a good idea of what safe physically feels like, they can then recognise what not feeling safe feels like. Then, when they are not feeling safe, they will be more able to apply the empowering strategies of perhaps Protective Interruption, Network Review, Persistence, Risking on Purpose, or One-Step Removed, while reinforcing the 2 core themes: they have a right to feel safe all the time; they can communicate with someone about anything, even if it feels awful or small. The Protective Behaviours process also provides the opportunity for ‘others’ who may get their early warning signs about a particular situation to do something, rather than just stand by and perhaps ‘point the finger’/victim-blame later.

I’m aware there are a number of productions such as Chelsea’s Choice, My Dangerous Lover Boy and, as featured today in the press, Kayleigh’s Love Story, which appear to teach young people safety skills through examples of fear and violence. This doesn’t sit comfortably with me, although I’m wondering if there is evidence to show that what might be described by some as a employing a ‘shock tactic’ is working.
I’m also inclined to agree with the point made by Jessica Eaton via Twitter, that this type of approach can be seen to reinforce victim-blaming. If a young person does not recognise any ‘early warning signs’ (or does, but doesn’t or isn’t able to respond to them) then how can they somehow be blamed for the fact another person chooses to harm them?:
https://twitter.com/Jessicae13Eaton/status/816620410104123392/photo/1
‘Showing films depicting rape & abuse to children who are being exploited is #Victim Blaming’

As ever, I feel interested in hearing the opinions of a wider audience and am looking forward to discovering and developing my thinking more.

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06 Jan 2017 03:53 #2 by dimar
Replied by dimar on topic Scared into Feeling Safe
Hi Sally Ann
Thank you for this post. I agree with everything you said. One of the first things Peg West talked about is "we cant scare people into feeling safe". I totally endorse this statement. Jessica Eaten says it is victim blaming, which it certainly is. I would add in the strongest terms it is far more than victim blaming, it is form of ABUSE in and of itself..
To show such acts of violence as a way of teaching about abuse or violence does little to help people understand what it is. All it does is say x,y,z is rape or a,b,c is violence or abuse. Once again it is an external definition instead of help us all recognise what feels safe or unsafe for ourselves, i.e. an internal definition.

It ertainly is the opposite of everything PBs teaches and stands for.
Well done Sally Ann for picking this up.

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06 Jan 2017 08:45 #3 by Sally Ann
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Thanks for the prompt reply Di - am also wondering about links with Restorative Approaches as surely there also needs to be input with people who behave in violent ways? Putting the responsibility totally on the person who had the 'awful' experience by showing and warning them what could happen misses an opportunity to change the behaviour of the person/s who did the 'awful' thing. And showing films/plays that depict violent behaviours to teach non-violence may inadvertently teach people how to hurt other people? Hmmmmm - think there's got to be a better way :)

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