May 12, 2016

Helping People who Abuse

Q: How can we help abusers?

AskanAdvocate: Excellent question! And a bit tricky as well.  The number one most important thing you can do for someone who uses abusive or controlling behaviors is to hold them accountable for them.  Here are a couple things that you can do - but make your own safety a priority!  Also keep in mind the safety of the person(s) being harmed - if the abusive person might punish the victims for you standing up to him (statistically it's usually a him), then consider some other options.  

  • Call out racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes or comments - ideas that one type of person is better than another forms the backbone of beliefs that abusive behavior is justified. 
  • Speaking of that, let people know that abusive behavior is NEVER justifiable.  Everybody has a bad day now and again - not everyone uses that as an excuse to abuse someone else.  
  • Remember that no one else "makes" us act in certain ways.  We are in control of ourselves and our own actions. Don't let the abusive person blame someone or something else for their bad behaviors. 
Therapy is also an excellent resource, but there is really only one type of therapy that works for people who use abusive or controlling tactics, and that's Batterer Treatment (also called "Domestic Violence Offender Intervention").  You can read about these sorts of programs here and here.
To find a local US program near you, google "Domestic Violence Offender Treatment near [your town]," and you should be well on your way.

For the Latah and Whitman County areas, the main provider is Loren Caudle's Phoenix House


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