Western Reserve Counseling Service, Inc. - Counseling/Extended Treatment for Children, Adolescents & Adults
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Domestic Violence Awareness: It’s an Issue of Respect and Control

Why Do Batterer's…
Do What They Do?

"Healthy individuals and families help to build strong communities"

Since when is it right for someone to shove a pork chop in their partners face?  Or, for for one partner to tell the other who to see, how to act, what to wear, when they can go out, etc?  Or, for someone to go off in anger over an incident or disagreement, sometimes resulting in them hitting their partner? Or, to come home drunk, and use this as their reason for extreme yelling, hitting, sexual abuse or other negative behaviors. Even worse, to do any of these in front of their own children? 

While the answer to this question is pretty simple for each of these situations, unfortunately, the solutions to resolve these problems are not!  No matter the circumstances for any of these incidents, or many other similar examples of domestic violence, the answer is NEVER! 

Unfortunately, while these examples appear to be extreme, the first incident of abuse isn't likely to be a physical encounter or an extreme act of emotional abuse, such as challenging or even "suggesting" who you go out with, when, or even how you dress/behave.  These seemingly innocent incidents can start early in a relationship, and don't necessarily end in abuse at that time. Unfortunately, these simple types of incidents,  over time, turn into more frequent and compounded circumstances that are true incidents of domestic violence.  These incidents will often lead to a partner leaving after multiple acts of abuse, an arrest and often times, other more extreme legal outcomes that adversely impact the victim, the perpetrator and many other "indirect" victims, including family and friends. With proper training and early awareness, individuals in a relationship can look for these and other signs of potential problems, and remedy them, or choose to leave the relationship before it is to late.

Domestic Violence destroys individuals and families, and tears at the core importance of our need to build stronger communities through strong individuals and families.  Treatment professionals agree that battering is largely a learned behavior.  According to statistics, an estimated 70% of the batterers had witnessed abuse between their parents and half had experienced abuse themselves as children.  Some of the very simple core reasons suggest that complete control is essential to the self-image of many batterers, so much so that even minor transgressions can trigger brutal emotional and physical abuse.  Many batters grow up in an abusive environment where abuse was the norm, so they truly don't believe they have a problem, or even know how their behavior affects others.  They also justify their behaviors in various ways, including blaming alcohol/drugs, a lousy childhood.  Many deny, even in counseling sessions, abuse ever happened, or attempt to minimize it.  Lastly, the batterer hasn't learned necessary behaviors that support a mutual respect with their partner, or how to control their anger.  Anger itself is NOT the reason for the behavior, as anger is a normal human behavior.  Getting angry is not the problem, rather it is what they do with it, once they have it.  There are ways to control anger and behaviors to ensure that Domestic Violence abuse does not occur.

Lake County is blessed to have many supportive resources available to victims, perpetrators and families involved in domestic violence incidents.  These include Forbes House, an organization which offers a safe home to victims/children of a family, advocacy support services for victims and their families, and other services.  In addition, organizations such as Western Reserve Counseling Services, Beacon Health, Crossroads, Catholic Charities, Lake Geauga Recovery, and others, provide effective licensed and professional services to support the various forms of diagnostic assessment, therapy and training required to change behaviors that cause this serious problem.

For more information on this topic, or to speak to a professional WRCS counselor regarding a situation that you or a family/friend you know is involved in, please call (440) 352-8954 or email mruth@wrcservice.org. We are happy to be of help in providing needed counseling services, or refer you to the proper agency for additional support.

11 Comments to Domestic Violence Awareness: It's an Issue of Respect and Control:

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