On Spousal Abuse, continued
Today’s discussion-of-treatment posting is also composed of more excerpts from the article, Behind the Veil: Inside the Mind of Men “That Abuse,” which can be found at:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-reality-corner/201302/behind-the-veil-inside-the-mind-men-abuse
Treatment for this population
Group Therapy is important because it allows the batterer to be confronted by his peers on his behavior. I’ve facilitated groups with 16 men in the room at times it would become very confrontational but it was important for the men to be held accountable for their behavior by other men and group facilitators. Group Therapy focuses on weekly topics about: Respect, effective communication skills, honesty, non violence and how to handle your emotions.
Individual Therapy (this is also a good form of treatment because it gives the batterer more time to express himself without the interruption of others, but even in this therapy the batterer has to be strongly confronted and held accountable for his behavior.) Sometimes the batterer/abuser will want to bring his partner to the sessions. I strongly advise against this until both parties have done at least 6 or 7 individual sessions.
In conclusion I need to say that batters can change they can stop this behavior and treat their intimate partner the way they should be treated. I have seen many men change, I remind myself that people aren’t their behavior, it’s just what is manifested on the surface and we must get beneath that and deal with the root cause. Because as a society we can’t afford to have women and children living in fear any longer. Let’s shout it from the highest heights “There is No Excuse for Domestic Violence”.
Unfortunately, according to Taylor and as mentioned in an earlier posting (Domestic violence and unmasking the terror of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, published on February 5, 2013 by John G. Taylor, MA in The Reality Corner,) “As we start to look at treatment for this population, I have to say that most of this population doesn’t come into treatment until the partner calls the police or they have been court ordered or the partner threatens to leave. (Note: Victims are at higher risk to be killed when they decide to leave their abusers; this is why some women stay).”
And many (if not most) of this population manage to avoid being required to seek treatment, with the result that they continue to abuse their (former) partner even after separation and/or divorce. For example, they may refuse to pay child support, or they may attempt to turn the children against their former spouse.