"What you thought before has led to every choice you have made, and this adds up to you at this moment. If you want to change who you are physically, mentally, and spiritually, you will have to change what you THINK." - Dr. Patrick Gentempo
I believe there is much wisdom in the above statement. Major shifts in thinking - both personal and societal - are difficult, but these are the essential first steps to ending domestic violence.
ABUSERS think they can keep their partners in their lives by using control and intimidation and instilling fear in their partners, but instead, it is this very behavior that drives them away.
VICTIMS, on the other hand, think if they can just get their partners some kind of mental health or medical help, or change their own behavior, the abuse will stop.
These are both misguided notions, of course. The batterer who truly wants to stop abusing must admit that he makes choices each time he abuses, and most importantly, stop believing he has the right to control and dominate his partner. No amount of therapy, "anger management" or substance abuse treatment will stop the abuse without this fundamental, permanent change in his thinking.
The victim who wants to live free of violence must realize that her partner is not "out of control" and unable to behave respectfully. She must embrace the painful realization that he gives himself permission to treat her badly each time he abuses her, verbally, physically or otherwise. She must understand that he could choose to walk away or make a better choice and shift her focus from how to get him help to how she can promote her own safety and long-term best interests.
A SOCIETY that wants to end domestic violence must change its thinking as well. Its focus must shift from simply adjudicating known abusers to preventing boys from growing up to become abusers. This requires the recognition and acknowledgment that misogyny and the patriarchal notion of male superiority underpin violence against women. Demanding zero tolerance for abuse in all its forms and promoting true gender equality are the key. Only then will a society stop raising batterers.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
"Let us have love and more love; a love that melts all opposition, a love that conquers all foes, a love that sweeps away all barriers, a love that aboundeth in charity, a large-heartedness, tolerance, forgiveness and noble striving, a love that triumphs over all obstacles".
~ Abdu’l Bahá
ADVOCATE OF THE MONTH
Kit Gruelle is an activist survivor of DV who has worked tirelessly for decades to support victims, raise awareness, educate victim advocates and other professionals, and end violence against women. She has worked with victims at several domestic violence shelters and advocates for victims and survivors, particularly those who have killed their abusers. Kit trains law enforcement officers nationally about best practices in DV crisis negotiations. She also conceived of, helped create and is featured in the award-winning documentary Private Violence, executive produced by Gloria Steinem and directed/produced by Cindy Waitt. The film follows the story of DV survivor Deanna Walters and illustrates the vital work of DV victim advocates like Kit. Private Violence premiered at Sundance in 2014 and has aired on HBO.
News you can use
UPCOMING ONLINE OPPORTUNITIES
August 21 Webinar, 2-3:30 CDT
Think. Rethink: Mandatory Reporting Practices REGISTER HERE →
August 28 Webinar, 1-2:30 CDT
Victim Safety and Offender Accountability: The Intimate Partner Violence Interventions REGISTER HERE →
August 29-31 Conference, Anaheim, CA
National Sexual Assult Conference: Bold Moves
REGISTER HERE →
September - Free Online Training
“Financial Management” by the National Victim Assistance Academy Advanced Skills Institute, Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime, Training, and Technical Assistance Center (OVC TTAC) REGISTER HERE →
Free Online Training Anytime
End Violence Against Women International’s (EVAWI)
OnLine Training Institute REGISTER HERE →
OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTIVISM
Tell the Attorney General: Survivors of domestic violence deserve shelter in the U.S.: Attorney General Jeff Sessions just overturned longstanding policies protecting domestic violence survivors who are seeking refuge and asylum in the U.S., jeopardizing decades of work to ensure that women are treated as equal citizens under the law, deserving of government protection. It could impact how violence against women is treated in all courts, potentially bringing the law back to a time when domestic violence was viewed as a "private" matter that didn’t require government intervention.
Train Healthcare Workers to Recognize Signs of Human Trafficking in Patients: The SOAR Act has passed out of its House committee, and now it needs a vote on the floor to move forward. Ask your representative to prioritize the SOAR Act today. Read more and take action
Do you know a house of worship or faith leader that could use DV information? Sign this open letter to faith leaders encouraging them to speak out for survivors of violence and indicate an email contact for the leadership of your congregation. Sojourners will provide your house of worship with the resources necessary to plan a service around the issue. Read more here
August 26th: Women's Equality Day - The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.