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Tag Archives: domestic violence
The problem of domestic violence has been in the news again, as it seems to be every few months or so. Out come all the stereotypes of battered women suffering at the hands of evil men, along with tasty sound-bite comments from mostly-female spokespeople working at the coal face in vastly underfunded community organisations.
Not all violence is committed by men; women are sometimes violent too. And violence is not the only form of abuse happening behind closed doors in our society: emotional, sexual and spiritual abuse can be equally damaging. Nor is the simplistic innocent-victim/evil-perpetrator model always the full truth. But for the sake of simplicity, let's roll with the stereotype for a moment since it tends to cover the majority of domestic violence cases, and I primarily work with men anyway.
Despite the excellent work done on a shoestring by the various organisations working to prevent domestic violence, the problem of men's violence towards women and children continues to hang around like an offensive odour.
How can this be, when it's in the news so often?
I believe it's because we aren't tackling the root cause of the problem. When domestic violence is in the news, I very rarely hear commentators asking the obvious, basic, underlying question:
Why are men violent?… Continue reading…
Being abused as a child or being raised in an abusive environment can have a profoundly negative effect on your adult self-esteem. As children we generalize our experiences and assume that the whole world operates the same as our immediate circumstances. If we felt unsafe, unloved, unfairly criticized or hurt as a child by the people who were supposed to take care of us, it can affect our whole perspective on life and be devastating to our self-confidence.
Domestic violence, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse during childhood are insidious because they destroy our natural sense of trust and color our view of the world and the people in it, making it seem like a dangerous and scary place.
We don't necessarily need to be the immediate target of abuse in order for it to affect us. I grew up with a critical, dominant mother who was verbally abusive to my relatively passive and emotionally neutered father. He bottled up his feelings of frustration so they built to the point where he would explode violently.
It was mostly my parents who were on the receiving end of each others abusive treatment, but as a sensitive child I was traumatized by growing up in an environment where I felt unsafe and on edge much of the time.… Continue reading…