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Deepening our Understanding of Victims and Perpetrators of Abuse

Why would anyone be attracted to, tolerate, and even love someone who mistreats and abuses them? Why do victims of abuse end up in multiple high-risk relationships or have difficulty breaking free from a highly destructive relationship? These questions have plagued victims of abuse, family members, friends, and advocates for a long time.  We often have set ideas about the profile of a victim of abuse, and the profile of an abuser, but what if we took another look at the personality and temperament of both victim and abuser...? We would discover that many abuse victims are not “co-dependent” but people with abundant empathy, compassion, tolerance, and responsibility.

Rather than labelling a victim or focusing on what a victim of abuse lacks, this presentation focuses on a victim’s strengths--their ‘super-trait’ personality. This change in perspective empowers an abused victim to break free from a destructive relationship and may keep them from entering another. What about the perpetrator of abuse? Here too, we need a change of perspective that recognizes that not all abusers are the same. Abusers range from being difficult, to dangerous, or destructive. Recognizing when an abuser is simply difficult as opposed to dangerous or destructive is important information for both the victim and their support system.  

Available as a public access course
This course is a non-credit public access course. Public access non-credit courses are offered at a reduced rate, and you do not need to be a King's student to register. 


Joanne Van Beek and Petra Lewing
Joanne is a Spiritual Life Coach and has a passion for women to experience social justice, gender equality, and spiritual wholeness. These passions have inspired her to work in the area of domestic abuse recovery and spiritual healing. Joanne founded and directed a registered charity for seven years in Leduc for women impacted by intimate partner abuse. Her efforts earned her the City of Leduc Community Spirit Award for Citizen of Distinction in 2012. In 2015 and 2016, she ventured to Kigali, Rwanda to help establish Rise Up Women of Rwanda, a not-for-profit organization for women survivors of genocide, violence, and domestic abuse. Joanne has a Master of Divinity degree and a Women’s Shelter Crisis Worker Diploma. She is a Certified Life Coach, an Affiliate Faculty member at Taylor Seminary, and is presently studying with the Living School for Action and Contemplation, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Petra has a Master of Divinity degree and has specialized as a Clinical Pastoral Counsellor working with women impacted by domestic violence and abuse for well over 10 years. As a counsellor, retreat facilitator, and celebrant she works intuitively with her clients using a range of therapeutic models, including art therapy and healing rituals. In 2015 and 2016, she also ventured to Rwanda to provide support for women survivors of abuse, war and violence.

Both Joanne and Petra have worked with hundreds of victims of abuse. Their uniquely combined experience and research has afforded them the opportunity to present their material in local, national, and international settings.

Deepening our Understanding of Victims and Perpetrators of Abuse

February 13, 2018

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.


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