Help for Abusive Men

Yes, no maybe so
  • UPD: 03-17-14
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Only your partner can make this decision. Men who batter often do not accept full responsibility for their violent behavior. Instead, they blame their partners, stress, alcohol/other drugs, anger, loss of control, an unhappy childhood, or someone or something else.

But the fact is, lots of people are under stress, drink, use drugs, get angry or were abused as children. There are no mitigating factors concerning abuse of any kind. You deserve to be treated with kindness, love and respect. If you are not receiving what you are entitled to receive - you are in the wrong relationship.

What if he attends a batterers program?

The chances of a "program" offering help carry about the same odds as for a woman attending a program. If the will is not there... nada is going to happen. In some cases, the abuse worsens.

A better course of action would be to professionally address the underlying issues.

Some men attend a batterer's program voluntarily because they want to change. But many men promise to go in order to convince their partners to stay with them or to take them back. Predictably, most of these men drop out of the program once they feel less worried about losing the relationship.

Although not available in all communities, BIPs are generally better sources of help for men who batter than mental health therapy or individual counseling. BIPs are educational groups that are designed to hold batterers accountable for both their physical violence and other forms of coercive behavior.

These programs work exclusively with batterers because they understand that involving victims in their services is not only dangerous, but can interfere with the goal of men accepting full responsibility for their violence and coercion. Since not all BIPs operate in ways that make your safety a priority, ask your local domestic violence program for information about BIPs in your area.

While it may be a positive step for your partner to reach out for help from a BIP, it's not a guarantee that he will choose to stop his violent behavior or that you will be safe. Men stop being violent and abusive only when they decide they want to and they keep working at it. Many men who are attending or have attended a program continue to be violent and controlling.

What about marriage counselling?

According to battered women who have been involved in marriage counseling, it not only doesn't work, it sometimes makes things worse. One explanation for this is that going to counseling together suggests that a woman shares some of the responsibility for her partner's violence, a belief that many abusive men already have.

So, couples counseling can help batterers to justify blaming their partners, and give them even more excuses for being violent. A batterer's violence is his responsibility, no one else's. It is unlikely that he will change unless he accepts full responsibility for his actions.

Another concern about couples counseling is that it is often unsafe for battered women to express their feelings and discuss the violence or the relationship in front of their partners.

Many women report being threatened or assaulted after couples counseling sessions for things they said or did during the session.

Services that require victims to participate in joint sessions with their partners, including mediation programs and alcohol/other drug family treatment programs, increase victims' risk of physical and emotional harm and are therefore not recommended for dealing with domestic violence.

What if he stops drinking or using drugs?

Even when men who batter stop drinking or using drugs, their violence most often continues. In fact, many battered women say that the violence became worse during substance abuse recovery. Alcohol and other drug abuse do not cause domestic violence, although batterers often use it as an excuse.

Batterers who drink or use drugs have two separate problems - battering and substance abuse - that need to be dealt with separately.

[ "What about help for my partner?" paraphrased from Safety Zone. Thank you for making this information available. ]  

Why is he abusive?

[ From A Woman's Herat - Inside the Abusive Mind ]

If he grew up in a home where violence and rage were the norm, you've got your answer right there. It could happen to any one of us.

Setting mental illness and personality disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Narcissism and Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder aside, the reality is that he, for the most part, is attempting to work out unresolved childhood issues or traumatic childhood events through his relationship with you. Say what?! Not much chance for success doing it that way.

He may also be attempting to work out unresolved issues from prior relationships. Both men and women do this and we all commonly refer to this as "carrying baggage."

What can you do about all this? There are a couple of things you can do to help both him and yourself. First of all, set aside any notion of trying to "fix him" yourself. You are not a shrink, and moreover, it's not your job to fix anyone. You'll only end up repeatedly smashing your face into a brick wall. Does that sound familiar?

Working with childhood trauma in an adult is something akin to peeling down through the layers of an onion. It requires professional skill to safely work down to those core issues in order to help him to both un-cover them and resolve them. This is especially true if the he has "buried traumatic events" such as childhood sexual abuse.

Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse often do not even realize they were victimized until later in life when their memories, locked away in another part of their mind, begin to surface and release. For further information see:

In the big picture, his past issues are his and his alone. You weren't there. You weren't a player in the original core issue(s). He does not have the right to use you as the scapegoat for what his hockey "coach" did to him when he was 8 years old. Nor does he have the right to abuse and attempt to control you because the woman before you abused him - and he's going to make damn sure it never happens again.

Helping him?

First of all - you may suggest that he consider seeing a counselor, analyst or psychiatrist. Perhaps you might suggest that both of you attend counceling. If you've been living repeated abuse for months or years, it's a good idea for you to get some counseling.

"Baggage" from an abusive relationship collects up quickly, affecting and changing you with emotional and psychological damage in ways you may not even be aware of.

Secondly - if you decide to tough it out - don't accept abuse from him. By this we mean don't take it to heart - don't bring it inside yourself and let it hurt you. You'll have to learn, in essence, to turn a deaf ear using truth and logic. You don't deserve to be abused - you didn't ask for it, you don't need it and you certainly don't want it. Logical, truthful facts.

When he is raging, you know you can't shut him up or reason with him. Talking calmly, begging, pleading or getting angry doesn't work either. And it will never work because only he can make the decision to stop being abusive. What you can do is to let it pass through you. We've been there. We know this is far, far easier said than done when he's tearing your guts out, however, it is the only way you will survive.

The choice in deciding to stay with him and attempt to work it out is always yours. You can attempt to handle his abuse - hanging on for the ride while he works it out with a professional - or you can decide to move on. It's your choice.

If you choose to move on you're not being cold or callous - you are doing what is best for you and you have the right to do so. You are recognizing where your boundaries are and realizing the limits of your capabilities. Those are healthy decisions - not selfish decisions. Read more about setting boundaries.

Types of Abuse

Becoming aware of the forms that abuse can take helps you to be better prepared to recognize such behavior as abusive. Once you are able to label abuse, you can begin to take steps necessary to stop it from happening or repeating.

Verbal Abuse occurs when one person uses words and body language to inappropriately criticize another person. Verbal abuse often involves 'putdowns' and name-calling intended to make the victim feel they are not worthy of love or respect, and that they do not have ability or talent. If the victim speaks up against these statements, they are often told that the criticisms were "just a joke", and that it is their own problem that they do not find the joke funny. They may also be told that no abuse is happening; that it is "all in their head".

Verbal abuse is dangerous because it is often not easily recognized as abuse, and therefore it can go on for extended periods, causing severe damage to victim's self-esteem and self-worth. Damaged victims may fail to take advantage of opportunities that would enrich their lives because they come to believe they are not worthy of those opportunities.

Psychological Abuse (also known as mental abuse or emotional abuse) occurs when one person controls information available to another person so as to manipulate that person's sense of reality; what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. For example, psychological abuse might occur when a pedophile tells a child victim that he caused the pedophile to abuse her because she is a 'slut' who 'tempted' the pedophile. Psychological abuse often contains strong emotionally manipulative content designed to force the victim to comply with the abuser's wishes.

Physical Abuse occurs when one person uses physical pain or threat of physical force to intimidate another person. Actual physical abuse may involve simple slaps or pushes, or it may involve a full on physical beating complete with punching, kicking, hair pulling, scratching, and real physical damage sufficient in some cases to require hospitalization.

Sexual Abuse of children or adults includes any sort of unwanted sexual contact perpetrated on a victim by an abuser. Molestation, incest, inappropriate touching (with or without intercourse), and partner or date rape are all instances of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse also occurs if one partner has agreed to a certain level of sexual activity and another level is forced upon her (or him) without prior explicit consent being given.

Neglect occurs when a person fails to provide for the basic needs of one or more dependent victims she or he is responsible for. Basic needs include adequate and appropriate food, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and love or care. The idea of neglect presupposes that the neglectful person is capable of being responsible in the first place.

Hate Crimes are a type of abuse that involve verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse toward an individual or a group of individuals based solely on some characteristic they may share in common with others such as their religious or sexual affiliations or the color of their skin.

Hate crimes involve scapegoating; the placing of blame for something that has occurred (or is believed to have occurred; whether or not it really has occurred) on an undeserving individual or group simply because they share characteristics with those alleged to have been involved in the upsetting event.

[ Types of Abuse from MentalHelp. Thank you for making this information available. ]

See also:

  • Borderline Personality Disorder - Living in a black and white world... Is your partner either loving or hateful? Peaceful or raging? Gloriously happy or depressed? "Black" or "white" with no grey middle ground? Read about BPD.
  • The Insidious Cycle of Abuse - You have likely kept on trying and trying your best to resolve issues and doing everything in your power to try to stop your partner's abusive behavior... and nothing has worked. Nothing has worked because he doesn't want to stop controlling you and abuse is his method of doing it.

A random selection of posts from our site:

Detecting lies » - Many abusers have a specific body language. It comprises an unequivocal series of subtle - but discernible - warning signs. Pay attention to the way your date comports himself - and save yourself a lot of trouble ...

Codependency & abuse » - Are you currently involved in an abusive relationship? Do you seem to have a pattern of finding yourself in one abusive relationship after the other? Codependency is definitely an avenue worthy of your attention ...

Rationalizing abuse » - Am I or am I not in an abusive relationship? It is often helpful to look at some specific questions that can bring abuse to light more subtly by getting past the minimizing, rationalizing and justifying ...

Empowering women » - Self-empowerment through setting personal boundaries. Learning how to set boundaries is a vital part of learning to own yourself, of learning to respect yourself, of learning to love yourself ...

Ultra-sensitive women » - Staying centered and feeling safe when the world overwhelms you - being an Ultra-Sensitive Person [USP] means you pick up on most of the subtleties around you, no matter what they are ...

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Quotable

Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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Doing it for You

Self-awareness is Self-empowerment

3 other people are here with you - upping their game - taking control and making positive life changes for themselves and those they love.

Our Day - Mar 8th

Mark Twain

"Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

Courtesy of Political Humour About

National Help Lines

These people are here for you. Call them. Explain your situation honestly and openly. This is not the time to defend or protect him or to downplay the extent of abuse you are living with. The bottom line is that abuse is abuse - you don't deserve it.


If you need immediate help contact your local police department or emergency services. Hold him accountable for his actions. DV laws protect everyone. This includes you and all abused women. Claim your rights.

Women In the World


Grandmother - India

You Deserve A Break

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    We duly affirm this snip was Chuck Norris Approved 12 12 2012

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Nov 17  International Students' Day

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Of Special Interest
  • Why do women stay in abusive relationships when it is so very obvious we should leave.

  • Loving and fulfilling or controlling and stagnating. Which relationship are you living with?

  • The quiz results will provide you with valuable pieces of your puzzle - leaving you no doubt.

  • Do you seem to have a pattern of abusive relationships? Find out what might be going on.