The Polari Programme

The Polari Programme 

We are currently pilotting a group work programme, the Polari Programme, which is a 12 session recovery programme for LGBTQIA+ survivors of domestic abuse. The group itself will run over 12 weeks, and attendees are expected to attend each session. The programme is a trauma-informed ‘psychosocial’ group. The aim is to foster learning, self-awareness, peer support and resolution in a contained environment. It is important not to confuse this with a therapy group.

The programme is predominantly aimed at those who have left an abusive relationship from an intimate partner as we acknowledge that it may also be more difficult for attendees who are still ‘in the trauma’ to work through some of the exercises. Due to the additional support that might be required, the pilot will only be available for those that are no longer in the abusive relationship. 

For the purpose of the pilot, sessions will be delivered face to face in a safe space in Brighton. It will be delivered once a week and sessions will run for 2 hours. Delivery of the group will be in the evenings. 

Sessions will focus on the following;

Session 1 : Introduction to the programme

Session 2: Understanding LGBTQIA+ identities

Session 3: Understanding LGBTQIA+experiences of domestic abuse

Session 4: Identifying healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships 

Session 5: Understanding coercive control 

Session 6: Understanding trauma, triggers and building resilience

Session 7: Exploring LGBTQIA+ experiences in a heteronormative society

Session 8: Understanding the impact of abuse on mental health and wellbeing

Session 9: Setting healthy boundaries 

Session 10: Understanding and communicating emotions

Session 11: Exploring self-esteem 

Session 12: Moving forward safely (closing session)


This programme is for victims of abuse and should not be offered to perpetrators of abuse whose partners have used violence in self-defence or have used any form of violent resistance. It should not be offered to people who are in unhappy relationships where there is no violence or abuse present. Unhappy relationships where there is no abuse- Reported ‘abuse’ in these situations is generally very childish and petty, it is not done to gain power and control, and does not take place in a cyclical manner as domestic abuse does. This is more frequently seen as a relationship is breaking down rather than there being any domestic abuse.