Addressing Pro-Abuse Beliefs
- Last Updated: Tuesday, 05 January 2021 21:31
- Written by Steve Halley
Welcome to our blog. These posts share some of the many tried and true tools, skills, and techniques that the Family Peace Initiative has found to be valuable through the years. We hope that this Facilitator's Tool Box will become a resource for you in your own quest to be the best facilitator you can be. We will be adding new blog posts monthly. Enjoy!
One of the best tools for helping people examine their cruel behavior in relationships is the Control Log. In various forms the Control Log has been around for a long time. I think it may have been used in the very first battering intervention class that I ever attended, approaching 30 years ago. This tool is most often used within a group, examining one individual’s situation where they had used violence or cruelty. (Check out our video on Control Log uses here)
For those who are not familiar with the Control Log, it is in the form of a worksheet, It has sections intended to look at a participant’s (1) Actions, (2) Intentions, (3) Beliefs,(4) Minimization, denial, and blame, (5) Impacts on themselves and their partner/kids, (6) What nonviolent choice could have been made. The Family Peace Initiative added sections for surface feelings (the emotions that other people saw); Adverse Feelings (The emotions hiding beneath the surface feelings); and the Shadow Message (a core belief).
Over the past month, the Family Peace Initiative underwent a huge transformation, switching all of our services to an online format. I will briefly share a bit of what has been learned as we jumped into the water, headfirst, believing we must do this to provide needed services and ultimately protect victims during this pandemic. With courts shutting down and many services shuttering, we knew we might be the ONLY service with an opportunity to keep contact with those who batter. Ultimately, we have arrived on the other side of a transformation that would have never occurred without the existence of the coronavirus. Here are some of our findings and general thoughts. I hope you find them helpful.
I am sure you have seen collusion in your group. Here is an example. As Stan arrives for his Monday evening battering intervention class he is clearly agitated. Class begins with a “check-in”. When it is Stan’s turn, he states his name and reports that he is feeling angry because “my ex-wife is a bitch”. Before he can say anything else, another group member chimes in, “Oh, you got one of those, too.” Soon, in almost orchestrated fashion, some members of the group are talking about their ex-wives, bitches, and how the system is stacked against men in general. The conversation can take on a life of its own as group members commiserate with each other. Depending on the strength of other members, they may be hard-pressed to offer a different view.
I was excited to hear another Malcolm Gladwell book was out. No matter if you read The Tipping Point, or The Outliers, or David and Goliath, or his new book, Talking to Strangers, you are bound to learn more about a subject, and see things in a different light. I always find his insights intriguing and provocative. It reminds me of Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”. I think of this often when I listen to a domestic violence professional explain on a Facebook post or other media that domestic violence is caused by “male entitlement” or “male privilege”. Before they have even completed the sentence, I cringe: it is a good soundbite, but the statement is missing “the rest of the story”.