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What does the Ides of March have to do with Domestic Violence Intervention?

In addition to the usual curriculum in my domestic abuse intervention group, and to accommodate different learning styles, I bring in unexpected ways to present the concepts we’re discussing.  Like adding current events.  Not ninth grade civics class current events. (Is that even still a thing?)  I mean integrating ideas, events, and activities that are currently in our social environment and using them to bridge to new ways of thinking and living.

New Year’s Day and the concomitant resolutions was an easy connection.  But by now the energy that spurred those New Year resolutions may have dissipated.  Fortunately, March offers many opportunities – some obvious, some obscure – to integrate what’s known and mundane as the entry to new perspectives.

Among other opportunities, March offers the following.
Women’s History Month
I don’t even have to point out how these relate.
International Women’s Day -  a public holiday in over 25 countries (not including the USA)
By the way, years ago when I googled Women’s International Day, the first of the million hits was “International Men’s Day.”
St Patrick’s Day
We talk safety routinely, but this is a good time to lift up safety planning for self and others. Also a good time to discuss the link between DV and substances – and not-the-cause-of-DV.
Holi (Festival of Colors)
Not just valuing diversity but needing it, like Joe and Harry pointed out in the “blind” section of the Johari window.
World Sleep Day (you knew this one of course?)
We are sleep-deprived as individuals and as a nation. Sleep is essential self-care and talking about it can lead to other necessary self-care.
Also, it takes kids about five days to make that shift to daylight savings time, so expect them to be out-of-sorts for no obvious reason all week.
Juliette Lowe’s birthday
(shout out to the Girl Scouts out there)
Potential topics include privilege, historical sexism and disparity on fundraising regulations, keeping children safe and how to respond when someone has offended in some way against your child – the difference in protect and revenge.
March Madness
I don’t know sports – you figure this one out.
Planting, new beginnings.
Let’s try again with those resolutions to be our best selves.
In the first group session of each month, we take time to do an exercise in mindfulness or relaxation or meditation.  This month, and using the above philosophy for teaching and learning, starts with Spring Equinox.

Spring Equinox on Tuesday March 19 this year is all about balance.  It’s when there are equal hours of light and darkness.  In fact, it’s when the northern and southern hemispheres have equal amounts of sunlight as neither hemisphere is tilted more than the other toward the sun.  What a good time to examine the light and dark of our lives, the stability versus the chaos. What a good time to prepare for increased enlightenment. 

Next year I’ll think about how to add the Ides of March to the group agenda. Any ideas?


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