Man and women arguing

Who is responsible

Domestic violence is the misuse of power to gain control over another person. You are not responsible for the violent behaviour. No matter how much you try to please a person who uses violence, it is likely the violence will continue.

Men who use violence will also usually justify it and blame it on other things.

Stress, alcohol, illness, loss of control… None of these things are the cause of domestic violence even if they are part of the picture. If a man chooses to drink, knowing that he gets violent when he uses alcohol, then he is choosing violence.

The main person they blame will be you. You said or did something wrong. You didn’t do what they wanted. You didn’t do it right or at the right time… Yet a man who is violent to his partner is usually able to choose not to be violent with everyone or anyone else. He chooses to be violent towards the person or people closest to him. He may choose the form of violence, how severe it is, and how long it goes on for.

All of these factors are choices.

Choice of who to hurt. Choice of when to hurt. Choice of how to hurt.

It is a choice to use physical, sexual, emotional and/or spiritual abuse. The motivation behind this choice is to get their own way – to make you do something, stop you from doing something, or to punish you. It is very likely he is not violent in any other situation.

The pattern of domestic and family violence is that is wears you down, reducing your self-confidence and making you question your own sanity. Then he blames you for his violence and because you are increasingly worn down, you may believe him.

But violence is his choice. It is not your fault.

Get Help

For support in maintaining change and building violence-free relationships,
contact Changing for Good to find out how we can help.

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