Can Someone With a History of Domestic Violence Make the Decision to Stop?


time for change

A common phrase used by abusers is “I will change”. This phrase often is said after an abusive episode where they feel alienated from the victim. This statement is often used to gain back control over the person they’ve harmed, and is meant to serve as a “promise” that things will get better or that the abuse will not happen again. This phrase can trap many victims who have hope for the future and the relationship; people who wish for things to get better and believe the person because they should be able to. However, change from domestic abuse requires much more than simply stating it.

The Huffington Post notes that there are many psychological admittances that need to take place to represent true change. These admittances should remain constant and last over an extended period to show the authenticity of the abuser’s actions. This involves taking responsibility for their behavior and admitting they do have control over their actions. This also means placing the blame on themselves instead of others, respecting their partner’s independence, respecting their partner’s limits, redefining that love is supposed to be freeing not controlling, and much more. The abuser should be working on these confessions regardless of whether their partner stays with them or not.

Additionally, the abusive person should be taking visible steps towards recovery. This involves attending ongoing group meetings – often a batterer intervention program – along with other group support meetings for key issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, and substance abuse. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has provided a full list of actions that should be taken for an abuser to prove their dedication towards changing. A few of them include changing how they act in heated conflicts, developing respectful and supportive behaviors, identifying the attitudes that drive their abuse, identifying patterns of controlling behavior they use, and more. You can find a full list via their website: http://www.thehotline.org/2013/09/05/is-change-possible-in-an-abuser/

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states that on average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. Each year, this equates to nearly 10 million men and women. One way we can reduce these numbers is by recognizing the signs of abuse and holding our abusers accountable. We should seek help and utilize the resources our communities provide – support is there and recovery from this is possible. Whether you are currently in an abusive relationship or are needing guidance to heal, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline number at 1-800-799-7233.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery treatment center. If you’re battling with substance abuse, call us today at 888-743-0490 for a consultation.