Jayne L Williams MS, is a Mental Health Therapist and the Coordinator of Domestic Violence Treatment Programs for the Human Resources Center of Edgar and Clark Counties. She has an interesting perspective on domestic violence, and recently wrote me this letter, which she offered to share with my readers:
Dear Mr. Sacks,
I have been receiving your newsletter for a few years and I appreciate the work that you do. I hope the research and clinical fields will agree that if one person is violent in the family, the whole family learns violence and most practice it. I don”t have current statistics and I”m sure that they vary from study to study–but if someone lives with a violent partner, they become violent most of the time. So it is not a surprise that DV treatment has many similarities for both men and women and that often the “primary aggressor” designation is not very useful for treatment.
All families need education and to acknowledge their own violence and to have “becoming a nonviolent family’ as the goal. The whole family must work on making nonviolent choices.
DV laws are used to manipulate (and in part be aggressive against) both men and women every day. This is not limited to parents and it is not limited to one gender. I am in the position to hear stories of DV laws being used in divorce proceedings with and without child custody issues often.
I also am in the business of confronting person”s aggressive behaviors (psychological, physical, sexual and destruction of property) without discriminating between the types and teaching nonviolence in relationships.
Thanks for letting me make my point. Domestic violence is a problem for all family members no matter what the source. And if there is violence by one, there is always or nearly always violence by other family members. All need individual treatment in a group setting (individual therapy does not work) before any family interventions are safe and effective. It is a dangerous problem. I hope you continue to work toward making a balanced presentation in your concerns for fathers.