Confronting Domestic Violence Abusers Face to Face - A Restorative Justice Approach
Intimate partner violence / domestic violence is a persistent, global problem that occurs across all socioeconomic levels, all nationalities, all professions. With the ongoing pandemic lockdowns and restrictions, experts tell us incidences of domestic abuse are more common and potentially more deadly as more people deal with unemployment, alcohol abuse, and strained family relationships.
Key statistics from the *National Coalition Against Domestic Violence tell us:
*"On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. During one year, this equates to more than 10 million women and men."
*"1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury, fearfulness, post-traumatic stress disorder, use of victim services, contraction of sexually transmitted diseases, etc."
*"1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been victims of severe physical violence (e.g. beating, burning, strangling) by an intimate partner in their lifetime."
*"Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime."
*"Domestic victimization is correlated with a higher rate of depression and suicidal behavior."
Approaches to Solve the Domestic Violence Problem
Over the years an array of counseling and legal approaches to stop domestic violence have been tried. Some have yielded a modest level of success while others have resulted in little change.
One relatively new way of working with abusers as part of a Restorative Justice approach confronts abusers directly about their behavior. Some abuse related Restorative Justice programs focus on incarcerated abusers while others may offer a diversion pathway for abusers who otherwise would be incarcerated.
Resolve to Stop the Violence Program
Jackie Freeman, a domestic abuse survivor, confronts offenders face-to-face as part of Resolve To Stop The Violence, one of the first programs of it's kind. She works with incarcerated offenders to help them identify why they abuse and then create new non-abusive behaviors.
Jackie's work and the Restorative Justice approach to stop domestic abuse is highlighted in this short video segment immediately below.
After watching the video, we would love to hear your thoughts about Restorative Justice programs and whether you believe this is a viable way to reduce domestic / intimate partner abuse.
Are You Dealing With Abuse?
If you are a domestic abuse / intimate partner violence survivor, help is available. You can start by visiting the National Domestic Violence Hotline at https://www.thehotline.org/ or you can call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (TTY: 1-800-787-3224).
An important caution: If you're using your home computer or a phone that could be accessed by an abusive partner, ask a trusted friend or family member to help you contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline or other helping organization.
* Statistics reported by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence; https://www.ncadv.org/statistics
Stephen Carter is a FREA volunteer and CEO of Stress Solutions, LLC, a company dedicated to helping people enhance physical and emotional wellbeing through stress mastery using mind-body methods. Steve is a retired Chief of Police and former law enforcement trainer. He hosts the, "Easy Stress Cures", and "EFT Tapping Junction" podcasts. Steve can be reached through his website at https://www.EFT-MD.com.