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message 1: by Alexis (new)

Alexis Marie | 200 comments As a recent victim of domestic violence, I want to discuss what is the best way to prevent this. Should we focus more on education through programs such as HeforShe, should we make penalties harsher, or should we have a mix of both?

message 2: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 11 comments That's horrible :( I hope you're ok!

In my opinion, a mix of both sounds best.
Education: Society should be aware that it's in no way ok (which doesn't seem to be clear to everyone), that violence must never be used to solve problems, and that everyone is equal. That's why I believe campaigns like HeforShe are important. Furthermore, victims should know how and where to get help (I hope you do?).
Punishment: I must admit that I don't know how hard the punishment is (neither in my nor in other countries), but I believe it's a severe crime and should thus be punished. Possible culprits may think better of it if they know what awaits them in case of accusation.

message 3: by Aglaea (last edited Feb 24, 2016 02:31AM) (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments I'm sorry you've had to experience it.

I don't think penalties matter, because if a person has an urge to abuse another, they will do so regardless. And when going public about it, it'll always be a he said she said situation, and we all know how few women report domestic abuse.

I didn't, it was bad enough to live with the shame of having family and friends know about it, without adding official parties into the mix. Plus it wouldn't have increased the likelihood of my ex seeking help for his problems, but rather pushed him further away into his destructive behaviour.

In other words, tightening legal stuff in reality will work like putting a bandaid on a whole-arm burn victim, it'll look good on paper, but reality well keep being as messed up as it is. But since we did something about paragraphs, we feel good and may think we don't have to work as hard now to abolish the abuse in the first place. Always go to the source of a problem.

The only thing that can work, in my humble opinion, is to change attitudes and it begins from kids. Kindergartens and schools can influence where parents are mentally absent in bringing up the kids. No child was born completely broken, but the surroundings break the mind, so to speak. Similarly, the surroundings can help heal a broken mind, rather than keep adding to it.

Has anyone seen the tv series The Fosters on Netflix (or tv, I don't think it's a Netflix series)? I'm shocked each episode at just how much the system can fail foster kids in the US. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone then that at some point a child simply gives in and stops caring. This is just one example, though, but there are many.

message 4: by Agustin (new)

Agustin | 223 comments A mix of both would be the best choice. Also, as perpetrators of domestic violence NEVER CHANGE the way they are, they should be exposed every time they get out of prison, so that innocent people will identify them and avoid relating with them, let alone marry them.

message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 149 comments I do agree that education is important, especially as someone who is a survivor. Without the educational interventions at my school, I wouldn't have realized what I was going through was wrong. We also have a communication gap between the genders which needs to be bridged. But, imo, education is only part of it. While I don't sympathize with the adult perpetrator of violence, I do have empathy for the child they were. We need to remember that most perpetrators were victims at one point. The way to break the cycle of violence is to catch it early and get them the help they need.
One of my professors stated that she believed that much of the violence that happens might happen because boys don't have a rite of passage. Much of the research on this topic show that some boys when they have to determine what it means to be masculine, on their own, will use violence. An author and psychologist that I've read suggests that men, like women, need a time with other men- to become comfortable with their own skin, in order to get past any anger that could result in violence.

message 6: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments That was interesting to read, Jessica. Thanks for posting!

message 7: by Lissette (new)

Lissette (liss4ever) I firmly believe that domestic violence is wrong and no human being should ever have to go through it. Unfortunately, that is not the case because so many people are going through it especially when it comes to relationships. I think education is important first. Kids and teenagers in school should be educated on what it is, and where they can find help. Some parents don't talk to their kids about these topics and they should. My mom talked to me about topics such as this. She said, the minute a guy tries to hit me, I leave, because if he does it once, he will do it again.

message 8: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Lissette wrote: "I firmly believe that domestic violence is wrong and no human being should ever have to go through it. Unfortunately, that is not the case because so many people are going through it especially whe..."

I wish it was that black and white. I had the same "rule", but when abuse is psychological, the situation becomes fluid. When you are the type to want to fix others, provided they ask for help, and they indicate that help would be welcome, yet they abuse you in the meantime whilst not being completely ready to seek help (because it takes courage to face a weakness like that), yet you have made a promise, and you love them, and they threaten with suicide as the icing on the cake, good luck with recalling the rule.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Aglaea wrote: "Lissette wrote: "I firmly believe that domestic violence is wrong and no human being should ever have to go through it. Unfortunately, that is not the case because so many people are going through ..."

So, conclusions:

1. Don't try to help idiots.
2. Don't get along with idiots.
3. And what the holly fuck. He mistreats you and you care about him saying he's committing suicide? My problem would be how to avoid murdering him. If he tells me he will kill himself, I would leave that same day. And the worst part would be that cowards like him would never dare to kill themselves. A bad penny always turns up.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I mean, I understand your previous mentality, but from your actual perspective, don't you agree with me?

message 11: by Lissette (new)

Lissette (liss4ever) Elena wrote: "Aglaea wrote: "Lissette wrote: "I firmly believe that domestic violence is wrong and no human being should ever have to go through it. Unfortunately, that is not the case because so many people are..."
I agree with you. That happened to a friend of mine, The guy did that to her and he didn't end up doing it. I told her he's doing that because he knows that you will help him. I would leave if a guy said that to me, you're mistreating me and then you get to play the victim? No, it does not work that way.

message 12: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Heh, well. I've mentioned narcissism, so no, there isn't a doubt in my mind now that it wasn't manipulation, but when you know his history and see his potential, if you are me (old me) you don't give up hope till you do give up hope. I did love him, too, and I know he has sorted out some of his former problems now, which I'm happy on his behalf for, but I'm even happier I have no contact with him anymore. What can I say, I was naive and I wanted to be loved at least once in my life. The approaching clusterfuck wasn't part of the plan, obviously, but there is more to the story in regards to why I stuck so long with him (don't care to talk about it here but it was an inherited behavioural pattern). For me, the detachment began when I realised he will commit suicide whether I "like it" or not, and in that moment something changed for good, it was the first step to just letting go. And seeing I needed to save myself rather than be dragged permanently into the abyss with him. By then I had lost track of days and weeks, so maybe the dreamlike state where life just floats by can explain parts of why it can be so damn hard to cut a bond like that. Now when I look at memories, I can recall but not recognise myself at all. It is strange.

message 13: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 24, 2016 01:04PM) (new)

Love that strangeness. It means you are not that person anymore. We all (should) feel that strangeness in a certain moment of our lifes, unless we're born perfect or die stupid.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

And about that thing of "I wanted to be loved at least once in my life" I'd like to say: things are the way they are, not they way you want them to be. Whenever you need to force something, you're living a fake experience. And I'd personally rather live lonely and miserable than fooling myself. It's not a personal attack, I just wanted to say it :P.

message 15: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Elena wrote: "And about that thing of "I wanted to be loved at least once in my life" I'd like to say: things are the way they are, not they way you want them to be. Whenever you need to force something, you're ..."

Oh gosh no, no offence taken! You are right, I forced it from the very beginning. But good, peaceful, gentle love needs its time to grow organically and without meddling. I was a bit of a control freak, still am but only the healthy way now.

Which reminds me of the topic. We need to make individuals feel in their hearts that they are great just the way they are. Geeky nerdy girls like myself sometimes have to wait a bit longer, but in the meantime we should make ourselves proud and believe in ourselves, too.

message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 24, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Aglaea wrote: "Elena wrote: "And about that thing of "I wanted to be loved at least once in my life" I'd like to say: things are the way they are, not they way you want them to be. Whenever you need to force some..."

Geeky nerdy people should always choose quality over quantity. But as in our society there's such a lack of quality, than involves loneliness. But you will never have a better company than your own one, so yes, enjoy that loneliness in the meantime haha.

message 17: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 269 comments as a volunteer phone counselor for DV many years ago, this topic is close to my heart. for one thing, i think it's important to educate everyone, boys and girls, about the preliminary signs of DV, perhaps in their sex education or health classes. included in this education would be a dispelling of myths, such as 'love hurts', or eradicating the shame around being a victim. much as women feel ashamed, men may feel it even more because of the inherent threat to their masculinity. part of this education would include the cycle of violence - the violence itself, the apology, the honeymoon period, and the ensuing build-up of tension before the next violent act occurs. many of these children are witnesses to DV at home, and it is being excused by the victim, defended by the violator, and swearing the child to secrecy by both. if children are educated about this ongoing dynamic, i believe many more of them will grow up to be aware, watchful, and more prone to leave such a relationship with self-esteem intact.

along with education come the very wonderful, enlightening programs that are available to victims, support groups, counseling, shelters and information available on the internet and social media sites. i hope that the violence toward men by women is being addressed more thoroughly than when i was directly involved in this issue.

several states (u.s.), many years ago, made it mandatory for the police to arrest the perpetrator without the consent of or incrimination by the victim. i believe such a step needs to be mandatory everywhere, with mandatory counseling for the couple to include psycho-education on the dynamics of DV, its causes, solutions, how to recognize signs of escalation, and the setting up of a safe place to go to.

as a therapist, one thing i learned along the way is that many of the victims don't want the perpetrator to leave, only to change his/her behaviors. this will not happen without counseling. another thing i learned is that it is often the victim who ups the tension during that portion of the cycle of violence in order to feel like s/he has some control over when the actual violent behavior will occur. this, too, demands counseling in order to break this dynamic. this is not to blame the victim; it merely shows that the entire DV scene is not only complex but complicated by human perspectives and perceptions in a relationship.

i believe that DV is never OK, that everyone involved, including victim, perpetrator, and children/witnesses are somehow damaged and diminished as humans when in the presence of violence. let me just say that i applaud the courage of anyone who has been able to leave such a situation. you are an inspiration to everybody.

message 18: by Aglaea (new)

Aglaea | 987 comments Sandra, your comment was great. I would add that in what I meant by "education", we should teach kids from the beginning not to behave violently against others in the first place.

The stuff you mentioned about dealing with domestic abuse that is already happening is the next step, but I'd love to see a world in which people are so balanced and content that they don't have to act hurtful to others ever. Wishful thinking...

message 19: by Erin (new)

Erin Morey | 5 comments Alexis, you speak from experience. I would suggest that we should be the ones asking you what needs to be done, because you are the expert of your situation.

message 20: by Roger (new)

Roger Burt | 26 comments This thread is deep and broad. As a clinical psychologist I found myself once again pondering the questions and, as always, I found no easy answers. There is so much wonton male violence of all kinds physical and otherwise. One of the things that I saw that was most painful was self blame by the victim. That hurt more than anything. As to the solutions in the larger world, it comes down to "all of the above".

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