Best Relationship has been married for 20 years, is a parent of 6 and loves to share what they have learned about life and relationships.
Where Mainstream Education on Abusive Relationships & Domestic Violence Went Wrong.
As more cases of domestic violence occur in today’s world, there has been an outcry to put a stop to abuse that has been going on for decades. In fact, in 1980 it led to the creation of the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP) which created the "Duluth model", a curriculum for batterer intervention programs (BIPs) to attack the societal roots of abuse.
Since the Duluth model is based on the idea of patriarchy, another curriculum model based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was also starting to be utilized due to the increase of domestic violence cases from both genders.
These BIPs and curriculums were created in the belief that educating those who abuse about what is considered to be abusive behaviors is the way to stop domestic violence and abusive relationships. However, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) published two studies that have shown educating abusers on what is considered abusive behaviors using the Duluth model or a CBT model has little to no effect on whether abusers re-offend.
Will An Abusive Person Stop Being Abusive?
Most likely an abusive person will remain abusive and may become more abusive over time. The reason is because true change is really only up to the individual. The abusive individual needs to realize and take responsibility for their actions, as well as truly want to stop the abuse and consciously make an effort to not be abusive. This is especially the case if the abusive person was ordered to go to a BIP and unfortunately for several cases, is why BIPs are educating abusers to be better and more covert at abusing.
Even worse, is that there are some people who may be aiding abuse by writing books such as Dark Psychology and Gaslighting Manipulation. A book of mind control techniques to influence human behavior, camouflage attack, influence, as well as defend yourself. However, books like this can be used as educational resources on how to protect yourself from the more covert abusers.
As abuse leads to many mental health problems, abuse could very well be the downfall of societies all over the world. Mental health issues just in America rose .86% of the population in 2021 according to Mental Health America.
There has been a newer model for BIPs that has had a little more effect, as it rejects the idea that there is any single root cause of domestic violence. This new model was implemented through the Iowa Department of Corrections after finding that a combination of the Duluth and CBT based methods were wasting tax dollars.
This new model, “Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior,” or ACTV, was developed by clinical psychologist, Amie Zarling. A pilot study in 2017 showed men who successfully completed an ACTV program were nearly 50 percent less likely to be rearrested for domestic violence than participants in the Duluth/CBT model.
Still, abuse is so historical, so multidimensional, and entrenched. Not only can it affect generations, but may take generations to put a stop to it.
Educating Potential Victims/Survivors on Abuse
Instead of educating the abusers to be more effective with their abuse, the education needs to go to those who are new to being in intimate relationships. Education on abuse can be given as soon as an interest in intimacy and relationships is displayed. However, children learn as easily as a sponge can soak up water, and abuse is a subject that should not be procrastinated.
Laws only slightly curb the issue of abuse, and it takes a lot to add to, or change them. To put a stop to abuse, education on abuse should be provided publicly to individuals as young as tweens, and teens. In school environments, and places they frequent, in order to prevent them from entering into an abusive relationship.
Moreover, new parents being their child's protector and first teacher, should educate themselves on abuse so that they can inform their child prior to being a tween. Doing so can help them build healthy relationships and might even keep any behavioral issues to a minimum. To make it easy to find and get started, I've linked to very accurate and valid educational materials on abuse just below.
Educational Materials on Abuse to Help You Stop Abuse
- Domestic Violence and Abuse: Signs of Abuse and Abusive Relationships
Are you or someone you care about in an abusive relationship? Learn about domestic abuse, including the more subtle signs.
- Understanding the Power and Control Perspective Wheel - Rockland Community College
These are typically the behaviors that are abusive and do not just apply to being used on women, but men as well.
- Best Ways to Protect Yourself From an Abusive Partner | Marriage.com
Here is some advice that will help you protect yourself from your abusive partner when you make the life-saving decision to leave the relationship.
- How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship - HelpGuide.org
Getting out of an abusive relationship isn't easy, but help is available. Learn how to protect yourself while you explore your options.
- Safety when Preparing to Leave an Abuser | WomensLaw.org
If you are thinking about leaving a violent relationship, this page can help you think of ways to prepare.
- Safety While Using the Internet | WomensLaw.org
There are ways that an abuser can access your email and also find out where you have been on the Internet. It is impossible to to hide all your tracks.
Survivors of abuse and their abusers tend to be the only people receiving this information, and unfortunately it's only after abuse has already taken place.
The Key to a Healthy Relationship
These informational materials are a great start in regards to educating people about abuse as a possible solution to prevent abuse and domestic violence. However, I feel that there is a missing key that would open the door to ensuring a healthy relationship as well as prevent abuse. Actually, I believe it to be a solution to many of the world’s problems. That is the lack of teaching respect. Respect for oneself, and giving respect to others.
This goes back to the golden rule that Jesus Christ (Yeshua Messiah) was trying to teach people— Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Which can also be considered as having and giving "Equality and Respect".
You don’t have to believe in a God to see the golden rule as a viable solution to many of the world’s problems such as: abuse, domestic violence, murder, theft, adultery, greed, war, etc. However, teaching one to have self respect and to respect others according to how they want to be respected is necessary if we want to put a stop to abuse.
Believe in Yourself & You Can Stop Abuse
You don’t have to believe in anything other than yourself and that you deserve respect. This could be achieved through self help materials and counseling. Although somtimes a belief in a higher power that has a purpose for you, could give you the strength you need to overcome self esteem issues that lead to lack of self respect. If you can expect a certain level of respect for yourself, you can set guidelines in any new relationship to ensure that both people in the relationship receive equal respect.
It is important to know about the different types of abusive relationships and signs of an abusive person as the available information on abuse provides, but having self respect and respecting others will be the key to putting a stop to abusive relationships and having a peaceful healthy relationship. I honestly believe that in order for there to be peace in any aspect of life, equal respect for all is mandatory, and it first must start with oneself.
I wrote this to hopefully help prevent abuse. In hopes it will help those tweens and teens that are wanting a go out with a schoolmate, and those who may be wondering if they should give a second chance to the one who broke their trust and abused them. Plus, as a piece of advice to my first two children that were alienated from me. Being subjected to Alienation puts them at a higher risk of getting involved in an unhealthy, abusive relationship. Be safe, much love, and have a blessed day!
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