Helping Perpetrators of Domestic Violence Restore Their Emotional Health

Domestic violence is described as the intentional use of force or violence committed by one household member on another member of the same household. Domestic violence affects millions of families around the world. It is linked to things like physical, verbal, or emotional abuse of a spouse or partner.

Factors such as manipulation, coercion, and uncontrollable anger play a role in the abuse. In the majority of cases, the victim of domestic abuse is the woman in the relationship. However, there are a lot of examples of men who are the victims of physical abuse. As the number of court cases connected with domestic violence increases, more and more courts are requiring the aggressors to take court ordered classes on domestic violence prevention. However, some abusers who want to break free from their abusive ways will take these courses of their own volition.

Domestic violence prevention courses are designed to help a perpetrator learn the source of their anger. Once the source of the anger that leads to the violence has been identified, then management techniques can be implemented to help control that anger. One of the first things that are taught in these classes is the fact that chronic anger is not normal and can be treated.

In many cases, perpetrators of domestic violence are alexithymic. This means that they lack the ability to empathize with their victims. They fail to see the physical or psychological injury they are causing their victims, and in their mind, the perpetrator feels as if their actions or if their behavior is justified. Domestic violence stems from emotional health problems. For this reason, these classes are designed to teach perpetrators how to have empathy for others. If a perpetrator is not able to regain normal emotional function, learn how to empathize with others, and gain control of their chronic anger, it is likely that they will continue with their abusive behavior.

Once a perpetrator begins to improve their emotional health, they usually start to see that their behavior and the domestic violence they cause are not normal. In most cases, a combination of psychological help along with restrictions imposed by the criminal justice system are needed to help the perpetrator understand the seriousness of their behavior and to encourage the perpetrator to take the steps they need to take in order to end domestic violence once and for all.