Should I go to counseling with my abusive partner?

Going to couples' counseling with your abuser can escalate the danger and is very unlikely to stop the abuse, since those who abuse do not usually take responsibility for their actions. They are likely to use the sessions to try to convince the counselor that you are the problem.

Also, it is very important to know that substance abuse treatment, mental health treatment and psychiatric medications will not stop your partner’s domestic violence, whether it is verbal, emotional, physical sexual or otherwise. These may co-exist but they are separate, serious problems requiring separate, specific treatments. Any of these issues can make an abuser more dangerous, however.

Most counselors, psychiatrists, addictions specialists, faith leaders, etc. are not trained to understand domestic violence, therefore unless you know one who specializes in this area, it is best avoid this as your primary source of support while the abuse is occurring or you are in a relationship with the abuser. Also, it is not a good idea to try to teach your partner about abuse by showing him videos or materials about domestic violence. This is best done by someone with expertise and who is not in danger of being abused if he does not like what her hears or reads.