16 Days of Action – Own My Life

During 16 Days of Action we will be sharing a collection of blog posts highlighting different topics Women & Children in our service are currently facing.

In this blog post, we would like to give you a full introduction to our Own My Life Course.

What is Own My Life (OML)

Own my life is an innovative and educational course for women who have experienced domestic abuse.  The course enables women to regain ownership of their life. 

Women’s Aid Orkney were the 1st organisation in Scotland to run the OML course and have been running the OML course since October 2020 and to date, have run 8 courses supporting 62 women. 95% of participants stated that they would recommend the OML course to someone else.

“I was very unsure whether to take part in the course initially but am so pleased I did, of course it was very nerve wracking to begin with but with time I felt at ease and even looked forward to Wednesday nights.  I was shocked at the content of the course as it literally replicated my experience, it could be very upsetting and triggering but also very educational, it confirmed to me that I had been abused and it wasn’t my fault.”

Participant in Women’s Aid Orkney’s ‘Own My Life’ course.

The course was initially run online via zoom and this year 2022 we started our 1st face to face session which is going well.  Moving forward we will be offering both zoom and face to face courses.
The course is designed to be friendly and informative where women can contribute as much or as little as they like.  There is no pressure to talk, in the zoom sessions, women are invited to use the chat facility if they don’t want to speak however we do ask everyone has there camera on.

We make a group confidentiality agreement during our 1st session and ask that what happens in the group stays in the group.

Everyone participating in the course whether online or in person receive an OML journal and welcome pack.  The journals are used for every session and is the ladies to keep and refer to forever.

The course has no homework or written work everything is covered in each session by the facilitators.

As Orkney is a small community and we understand that people may not want to join the course due to people possibly knowing them we are working in partnership with Ross-shire Women’s Aid enabling women from Orkney to participant in their online OML course and WAO offer spaces to women in Ross -shire who face the same difficulties of a small community.

“Own My Life has given me an opportunity to have something that is my own again, a safe place and source of stable comfort each week. What began as a journey of my own and despite the title signalling it is about one’s self the course is much more than that, it has become a group of women that each week I look forward to spending time with, chatting and where there is no judgement or pressure. Own My life has begun my new, better life.”

Participant in Women’s Aid Orkney’s ‘Own My Life’ course

Many women are hurt badly in abusive relationships and the trauma of this remains with them and impacts both the women and children and can have a long lasting dramatical effect.

The OML course helps women to make sense of what has happened to them and gives them the skills to move forward.

The course helps women to identify their skills and how they can move forward with their lives.

Women who attended were dealing with:

  • Difficult relationships
  • Nightmare ex’s
  • Horrible break up
  • Controlling partner, Ex

We do ask that women are no longer living with their partner to participate in the online course.

“This course will give you the tools to take back the power to be a strong independent woman who is amazing just as you are right now. The own my life course has begun my new better life”

Participant in Women’s Aid Orkney’s ‘Own My Life’ course

OML 14 – 25

Since facilitating the Own My Life course and with the input from young women in our community we identified a need for the course to be run with young women we therefore developed the OML 14-25 program that is being run from February 2023.  The course has been specifically developed to help young women learn about abuse, toxic relationships and red flags in order to help them make healthy choices in relationships and to help them heal and regain ownership of their lives.

If you would like to find out more about the Own My Life course, you can email info@womensaidorkney.org.uk