When facing an issue (or any kind of problem in life), the first approach to it would be understanding the problem. By having good knowledge on the underlying issue — the core of the problem — then we can find the best solution to it.
Now, as we talked about abusive relationship, there are endless informations we can find about how it is more than the physical violence. Along with that, they usually give out the info on the red flags and signs of abuse. Basically, everything we all need to know about how to help the victim of abuse.
Of course, knowing those information is crucial, as victims need to know what they needed to do. Especially if there’s a chance, no matter how slim or great it may be, that their life might be at risk. It’s extremely important for the victim to know how to protect themselves, no matter what decision they chose to take at the moment. However, the victim isn’t the only one that needs help…
In order for domestic violence (of any kind) to stop, we need to shed some light on the abuser. The reason? Well, logically speaking, we cannot cure a cancer if we do not understand the cancer itself, right? If we’re only raising awareness on the victim to open their eyes to recognise the red flags, we’re only fixing half of the problem. We need to open the perpetrator’s eyes as well that what they’re doing is indeed abusive.
Understanding The Abuser
Without disregarding their abusive behaviour, some abusers DO recognize that what they’re doing is not okay. It’s just that they might not have the power or the right state of mind to fight their urge. To which most address and concluded that, “abuser doesn’t change.”
Abusive behaviour is an illness — it may be caused by some kind of trauma they experienced. Sure, it’s not an excuse and does not justify their behaviour. They don’t deserve to be empathised. But, they need to be understood, and to be helped to correct the error of their ways.
So, is it possible to reform an abuser? The answer is yes — if it’s done correctly and relentlessly. If the cycle of abuse is ever going to end, we must stop the abuser. And it all starts with a desire to change.
Abusers can move to the reformed side when they accept that what they did was wrong and continuously work toward a transformation. At the end of the day, how can we stop domestic violence if we’re only advocating for one part of it? There’s another part missing… We need more former abusers to step up to the plate and tell people that they were helped, and it is possible to change.
Austin James – “Emotional Abuse: Silent Killer of Marriage
Abuse is a deep, dark quagmire that envelops the soul. Some tendencies left me instantly the moment I became aware I was abusive – that’s the key. Yet, some tendencies still remain. Ninety-five percent of my old, destructive patterns are gone. The remaining five percent nag me from time to time, but I look at them as a reminder of who I used to be.
We abuse because something traumatic happened to us during our past, that froze our ability to develop emotionally. Our childhood trauma can prevent chemicals from being released into our brain that enables us to think abstractly as we mature; so we walk around as an adult on the outside yet a child on the inside.
I used anger and manipulation to control my surroundings because I didn’t know how to operate in them as a normal adult would. I scrambled to control whatever portion of my world I could, just to feel safe. I was in a constant survival mode to try to cope with my world and surroundings.
I couldn’t accept responsibility for my actions; I always had an excuse for my behaviour and my decisions; I blamed those around me (mostly my wife) for my circumstances. I had zero conflict resolution skills since I wasn’t capable of thinking abstractly, so I’d either blow up in a rage or shut down and sulk during an argument. All the while, I was completely blinded to my affliction. I thought I was a ‘great guy’ and a master communicator.
It’s difficult to express in a few sentences what it was like to live for 33 years under constant fear while having to manipulate and use anger to control my world. I never had peace nor contentment – it was all a façade. Today, I live a quiet, abuse-free life for 9 years now. I am blessed beyond measure because I am FREE!
Anthony Hamilton, “I Hit Women”
I wasn’t the kind of abuser who hit his girl for no reason. I thought my acts were validated. I was always in the right. Just like my father.
The first time I remember hitting a female, I was about 17 years old. She’d done nothing to offend me. It was just something about my being in control and my wanting her to understand: I was stronger than her. I was a man. How empty I must have been to have thought that my being larger than she was would ever make me more powerful. What I was, was ignorant and emotionally impotent.
I felt in control, as if I had somehow gained the rights to her every movement. But in reality, I was the one who was stuck. Sure, from birth I had been beaten, but I had no right to do to her what was done to me.
I was being taught that that was how you could control someone. I learned, before the age of 5, how to be an abuser. That’s all I knew until the day I woke up.