Domestic violence is sometimes a factor in relationship breakdown. Experience tells me that while allegations of domestic violence are often used as a vexatious tool in family law matters and parenting disputes, it’s also sometimes a genuine contributor and needs addressing.
For whatever reason if you have been convicted of a domestic violence matter, there is help available to help you improve your reactions and responses to situations which in the past have led to abuse or violence by you against your partner.
The currently accepted ‘men’s behaviour change’ model is designed around men taking responsibility for their past behaviours. I agree with this method, in so much as we must all take responsibility for our behaviours. However, I also recognise that the broad range of domestic violence events are most often reciprocal, and I find it possible to affect the change required with lasting outcomes, without dehumanising and vilifying you in the process.
What I can tell you, is that no matter what you’ve done in the past, or what behaviours or actions you’ve displayed that have caused you to feel judgment, guilt or shame, you don’t have to carry that with you into your future. Change is possible.
Parenting after an abused childhood
Something very dear to my heart is the subject of parenting after abuse. With the love lacking in my own upbringing and the subsequent abuse I received, I had a long battle to overcome the fears of being a parent. As determined as I was to stop the cycle of abuse with me, I faced a very difficult period in navigating early parenthood. Survivors of childhood abuse face a unique set of problems that others will never have to face.
In my work with men as well as my own journey, I have discovered the path to healing through your parenting journey is not about revisiting your trauma, it’s about gaining acceptance of what happened to you, and compassion for the path you’ve had to endure.
Thankfully, not every abused child goes onto be abusive themselves, in fact the vast majority don’t. However upon becoming parents, many are very cognisant of the fact that they have to stop the cycle themselves.