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This is an exercise that introduces participants to the concept of ‘family’ as an integral element of their security and helps them to strategise ways to protect family members, to receive support from family members and to protect themselves when it is family members who threaten them.


Individual exercise, group discussion

Required materials

Family session handout, in appropriate language

Key explanation points

Ask participants to fill out the written exercise individually for 20 minutes, answering the three questions at the end of the handout:

  • How can we help our families to stay safe, sane and well?
  • How can our families help us to stay safe and well?
  • When family members (including our colleagues and friends) threaten our well-being and safety, how can we protect ourselves from them?   

Once participants have completed the exercise, have them move into pairs or triads to discuss for 20 minutes.

Finally, all participants can return to the group to discuss their reactions and reflections from the exercise for 20 minutes.

Facilitation notes

  • As with all exercises in the family module, facilitators must be particularly sensitive to participants’ reactions to exploring these issues – this will likely be the first time they have had an opportunity to discuss such ‘private’ issues in ‘public.’
  • As individuals and pairs/triads are working, make sure to circulate and actively support the discussions. In some cases, the pairs and triads should be deliberately chosen to ensure maximum support to participants who may struggle with these issues.