Out of the Shadow of Domestic Violence by Natalie Smee

In this Friday Afternoon Video Natalie demonstrates her work with four women using narrative therapy principles and practices to respond to women who are impacted by domestic violence. The video describes the interview process and explores the impact and ‘acts of resistance’ the women described throughout the sharing of their stories. The use of externalising metaphors and stories introduce a way of viewing domestic violence and other difficulties in their lives, in a hope to decrease the influence of domestic violence in the women’s lives and to increase their personal agency in dealing with it. The video draws on the migration of identity, collaborative documents and insider knowledge to build a witnessing resource for abused women. It invites the audience on a journey with the women through the viewing of an interview which combines elements of all four women’s responses. Although each woman’s experiences and journey had been torrid and unique, they were committed to the notion of sharing stories of migration to be collated into a collaborative resource for the witnessing purposes of other women who are considering their own migrations from violence.



Natalie has worked in the field of domestic violence for 10 years and currently works as a ‘Safety Action Meeting’ Coordinator for Warrina Domestic and Family Violence Specialist Service on the North Coast of New South Wales in Coffs Harbour. Natalie’s work involves drawing on the experience and expert knowledge of women she works with to develop safety planning and collaborative engagement to cater support for the needs of the clients. Natalie can be contacted by email: natalie.smee@warrina.org.au.

When Natalie presented this work in Adelaide, Mary Heath then sang a song that she wrote called ‘Questions’. 

Published January 26, 2018. 

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    The power of story telling. The power of support. The power of having someone prepared to listen. The power of women continues to astound me no matter how many stories I hear. Our society has a lot to answer for and finally women are speaking out and taking risks of judgement and disbelief. What a wonderful initiative of Natalie to encourage women to share in such a safe and non judgmental environment.

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