Self-help groups with women victims of intimate partner violence
The “social” importance of the debate concerning the phenomenon of intimate partner violence and the possible forms of intervention feasible in its regard is now well established within various scientific disciplines, including the psychological one. The specific contribution that psychology can give, as well as the understanding of the phenomenon, is specifically linked to the area of intervention, both at the individual and group level. In this regard, an interesting methodology, still relatively little explored in its implications in relation to situations of violence in an intimate relationship, is that of self-help. The self-help groups, putting the people living certain difficult existential situations as protagonists, allow the assumption of an active role with respect to the proper condition of discomfort. The assumption of this active role is the precondition of any process of empowerment. The present contribution, reporting an experience developed in an anti-violence service centre in the city of Rome, aims to discuss some aspects specific to self-help groups with women victims of intimate partner violence. It will also aim to promote a reflection about critical issues, resources and transformative possibilities inherent to this specific type of groups.