Friday January 13, 2023
How many people have been in a relationship where one of the people is abusive, mean, has anger issues, and so on? Many!!!
People use to say it was only women who would be in this bad relationship and that it was only men who abused and hurt them. However, that is not true. There are a lot of people on both sides who batter the other. It is more men doing it than women, but women do it as well. So we can’t say anymore what would women do if their spouse battered them and would that person really change just because they say they are sorry or buy something because they believe a gift means they are sorry?
People can change “if” they get help! Without getting help most likely it will happen again and who knows how bad that battering might get.
There are no miracle cures for battering for violence and violence can come from either the wife or the husband. I’m not going to talk about other living arrangements here…but just about marriage between men and women. This does apply to all relationships whether married, dating, living together or any other arrangements in relationships. No one ever deserves to be abused in any way. One’s safety is always paramount.
Is the person that has been the batterer willing to change and get help to do so? Just because someone says they will change never means that they will change.
No matter what program someone gets into for help the most important thing is that the program always considers your safety.
Any program that you go to for help needs to be one that does not disclose any info you share unless they have your permission…but…if there is any consideration that the person’s safety is in danger…that is a deal breaker because the person must be protected.
Any program can’t go around and declare they can fix the person. No one can be fixed or helped unless and until they want to. The safety of you and your family must be first over what the batterer wants or thinks should happen or go their way.
Change is not instant. Change takes time. Patterns take time. The batterer needs to always be held accountable for their actions and they need to take responsibility for what they have done, and be diligent to change their behavior.
The first step of accountability is that the person take responsibility for the violence and pain they have caused someone. They wanted control and power over someone and they need to learn that can’t be any longer. That everyone is their own person and no one ever has the right to control another human being.
The person must recognize that their behavior is the problem and they can’t go around making excuses any longer for bad actions against another. They must be committed (without excuses) to doing everything required of them in any program they are in.
Understand that you are the one who was battered and it is not your responsibility to go to these meetings or participate. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty that you don’t participate. Yes, you need to be sure they are doing what they said, but they need to do it. However, if you do decide to participate in them getting help the program should be able to answer certain safety questions you might have, or is anything getting better with the batterer.
How do you know someone is actually changing? The have stopped being violent, stop threatening you or others, that the acknowledge that their behavior was wrong, that they can’t control and dominate you, that they are not coerce you into having sex with them if you don’t want to have sex, that you have a right to tell them how you feel and how their actions intimidated you, that they, in no way, try to make you feel guilty like it is your fault they battered you, that the person respect your opinions, that you have the right to always say no, that you can negotiate without being humiliated and belittled, that you don’t have to ask permission to see your parents or friends, get a job, go shopping and so on, that they listen to you and respect what you have to say, that they communicate honestly and does not try to manipulate you, He recognizes that they are not cured and that changing their behavior, attitudes, and beliefs is a lifelong process, that the person no longer does whatever it was they did that caused your pain, that they no longer isolate you from family and friends (but you should never hang out with opposite sex without your spouse being there…ever), that they no longer call you names.
What do they do in batterer intervention? They need to change their attitude, beliefs, and behaviors.
Know this: that abusers have beliefs and attitudes that support their choice to use violence, such as one thinks they are right about everything, that they are superior to the other, that the one must listen to them without asking why, that they deserve to have sex even if the other one doesn’t want it right then and says no,
The program should be reinforced and rules set to the batterer what must happen. They must understand violence will never be allowed to happen again. That they need to work on anger and beliefs. They must be confronted with their abusive behavior even regarding money and how it is spent and that all monies belong to both spouses and have equal access, but that certain costs should always be discussed and decided on together (buying something expensive is one), that they can’t have abusive behavior, emotion, and verbal assaults, can’t abuse pets or kids, can’t destroy property, can’t stalk, can’t intimate the other one.
There is absolutely no excuse for bad behavior that hurts another person. There should be short-term and long-term goals. They also need to know that their bad behavior to their spouse is not the spouse’s fault. You can’t abuse them even if you can’t come up with a plan between you.
The batterer commits a crime when they abuse their spouse. It is against the law to hurt their spouse. It is against the law to batter anyone.
Venting violently is not okay. Punching, screaming, and hitting, is not appropriate.
If in the program to get help the person running the program feels the spouse is in danger in some way it needs to be reported to the person and to the police if necessary. They can’t just call (privacy) for any reason, but to tell someone in the program they are going to hurt someone…that they can and must report.
Couples counseling is not warranted in a violent situation where one person batters the other. You are not in a safe relationship if you are battering/hurting the other person. Couples counseling will only work if both people feel comfortable in expressing their feelings on any subject without feeling that something bad will happen to them if they tell the truth. If one person exerts power and control over the other there is no basis for counseling that is free from fear and intimidation.
Manipulation is not good. No one has the right to manipulate the other person. They want to control you and what you do. The person may not be violent right then, but they still have no right to manipulate you. They try to invoke sympathy from you or family and friends, is overly charming, and remind you of all the good times you have had together, try to buy your love by buying you something and make you fill you should be grateful, Tries to seduce you when you are vulnerable, their promises don’t match their behavior.
Don’t believe them just because they say something, their actions must change.
The lies: If you hear your partner making statement like these while he is in a program you need to understand that he is lying to you…such as…I’m not the only one with a problem here, you have problems too, I’m not as bad as the other people out there, As soon as I’m done with this program I will be cured, We need to stay together to work this out, If I weren’t under so much stress, I wouldn’t have such a short fuse, Now that I’m in this program, you have to be more understanding. These statements have one thing in common …they let them off the hook for their bad choices.
If you feel that, while they are in a program, you still don’t feel safe yet…do whatever it takes to get to safety. However, know this…if you leave while they are in a program there is no guarantee the will still not be a threat to you. For your own safety and the safety of your children be cautious, be safe, and get help.
Programs must last long enough to truly see changes in the person. The person must be held accountable always for their actions.
The curriculum must get to the root of why they act as they do. Why do they feel it is okay to dominate the other person? What happened in their life to make them think that his stuff is, okay?
If you have left for someplace safe…don’t tell everyone. Who could be manipulated into telling your spouse where you are? Where would you be safe at? The fewer people you tell the safer you could be.
When kids are involved it causes more problems and worries, but you need to stay safe.
If you have any reason to believe you may be at risk from your partner…take action.
Contact police, Center for domestic violence hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) Contact a legal advocate if you feel you need help with threats against you and/or your kids, if you feel comfortable doing so, contact the program they are in and let them know what is going on, if you left them tell as few people as you can for your safety and if you can…call an attorney. I think you all know about getting a order of protection. I am not a fan because until they harm you they don’t do anything to arrest the person. But…maybe you feel better about getting on. I sure pray for you safety and take it seriously.
Now, may God protect you, guide you to where and what you need to do. May you get the help you need and may they get help and change. God, please watch over this person and let them feel and know you are there and love them.
God bless you