The Folly of "Fixing" Those Who Batter
- Last Updated: Monday, 14 October 2019 16:25
- Written by Steve Halley
I remember, all too well, my early days as a battering intervention facilitator. I took my job very seriously. I focused on holding those in my classes accountable. I listened very closely to how they blamed their partner, minimized their behavior. If I ever heard the participants refer to their partner as “my old lady” or, “my old man”, I would demand they use names, pointing out that their language was just another way to dehumanize their victims. I learned the language of a facilitator and I used that language well in my classes. I was going to “fix” those who battered and in doing so, was going to protect victims of domestic violence. I did not understand that my way of thinking said more of my immaturity than about those I was serving, and probably did little to protect anyone.
I remember the first time I was introduced to the idea that maybe those who batter are not in need of being fixed. Maybe they weren’t broken. Maybe, instead, people who have used violence in their families needed help in healing.