JUNO: Jill’s story
Following Jill’s referral by the police, JUNO practitioners had several telephone support sessions with her before the first workshop. Jill was very nervous and was therefore advised to arrive early in order to give herself plenty of time to settle in, have a hot drink and become comfortable with the environment before the other participants arrived – a strategy that worked really well as she settled in with minimal anxiety.
By lunchtime Jill had spoken about having been subjected to domestic violence and coercive control for many years; and even though she and her ex-partner had been separated for three years she was still suffering from spontaneous panic attacks and low self-esteem. She also shared that her 9-year-old son mimics his father’s behaviour and is displaying high levels of disruptive behavioural and developmental issues – these are typical signs of being impacted by the exposure to domestic abuse. Jill explained that the school had not offered any practical or emotional support and had advised her that he will not be able to attend mainstream secondary school. Jill said she had no support from external agencies, family, or her son’s father.
The JUNO practitioners provided emotional and practical support to Jill which she found reassuring as she stated she had previously been very reluctant to disclose her situation due to embarrassment and the fear of being judged. She also felt very ashamed to have found herself issued with a conditional caution as she has never been in trouble with the police before. Throughout the workshops Jill often commented on how reassured she felt to be able to talk to someone who she felt understood her situation.
Following the workshops, Jill was referred to a victim service as well as to Hampshire Specialist Parenting Support Service. With support and guidance, Jill found the confidence to challenge the school and her son has now been offered an Educational Psychologist assessment and an appointment has been made for a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service assessment.