Domestic violence shelters and organizations first and foremost, focus on survivors of abuse but many are starting to offer Batterer Counseling with hopes of educating and preventing future aggression.
Why help abusers?
While arrest and incarcerations is an important deterrent to domestic violence, it isn’t a cure and repeat offenses often occur. Batterers cannot be incarcerated forever. Several organizations decided to try and help abusers through reeducation, showing abusers how to handle their emotions and learn what actions are considered abusive.
Does it work?
Research is showing that counseling can help many but it is not a cure all for everyone. Not all groups have the same approach to counseling and finding the right directions to counseling the many various factors of domestic violence will take time. The end results is still dependent on each individual.
To learn more about Batterers Counseling, click on the following link and read about how several different counseling programs started, how they work, a real life account of a domestic violence abuser and his process through counseling.
“For Andrew, then 34 years old, being court-ordered to attend a class for wife-beaters was a shameful low point. It signaled to everyone that he had violated an immutable taboo, impressed upon him since childhood: Men do not hit women. He had been arrested for battering Gretchen five years before, in 2010, but she had requested that he be let off, and the charges had been reduced to disorderly conduct. Since his latest arrest, Andrew hadn’t wanted to speak to anyone about the classes, afraid of where the conversation might go. As he waited for class to start, he stared at the dusty umber carpeting, inwardly vowing to avoid speech or eye contact.
Andrew was horrified when, a few minutes in, the facilitator leading the group asked him to introduce himself to his classmates. Explain, the man said, smiling, why you’re here.
Andrew stood up. “I’m Andrew,” he said, eyes still fixed on the floor. “I’m here because I hit my wife, Gretchen.”
Sinking back into his seat, Andrew was suddenly overcome by an unexpected sense of relief. He still didn’t want to be in the room, at all, but speaking his stigma aloud—admitting, in semipublic, the hideous thing he’d done—felt, to his surprise, kind of good. Over the next six months, he continued to unburden himself to the men, and they to him. Soon, Andrew would come to believe—as would Gretchen—that the class was the only thing capable of exorcising the evil pieces of his spirit and making him a decent man.”