First Stage Groups
First Stage Groups at R.O.A.M are designed to help men define:
- abuse, identify its various forms (e.g., physical, psychological, sexual and economic abuse),
- understand how it affects adult victims as well as child witnesses,
- recognize that violence is a choice, and identify respectful ways of communicating.
During the first eight sessions, each man is required to describe his most recent and his most serious acts of abuse he has committed at least once.
He is additionally required to give weekly report (called short check-in) which includes whether he has had any abusive or controlling behaviors toward his partner or ex-partner during the past week, whether he has used alcohol and drugs ( and how much), and whether he has had any access to weapons.
Following an educational exercise in which abuse and related issues are discussed in a general way, group leaders ask men to describe their own abusive behavior.
Typically, some men spontaneously disclose their abusive behavior during these educational exercises, making it easier for the more reticent men to follow suit.
There is revolving admission to R.O.A.M First Stage groups; clients can join at any point.
Since the eight educational topics are repeated in sequence, it does not matter when the client begins, since he will ultimately be exposed to each lesson.
Instructions for teaching this curriculum, provided below, are preceded by a description of the typical agenda for a First Stage Group.