A Better Way
Bear Ye One Another's Burdens And So Fulfill The Law Of Christ
- Galatians 6:2 KJV
Rev. Bruce McKenzie
Our Featured Men's Group:
-The Men's Referral Service
The Men's Referral Service is an anonymous and confidential telephone service for Victorian men who want to stop their use of violent, controlling or abusive behaviour towards their family members.
Just because you’ve been violent in the past doesn’t mean you have to be violent ever again. Your violence is a decision.
It’s a choice that you have made from the many different options open to you and you can choose differently for the future.
If you want to move away from a relationship based on power and control to one based on intimacy and respect, you do need to stop blaming your partner for your behaviour. If you want to build a loving relationship, not one based on fear, things are going to need to change. Family violence rarely stops by itself.
You may be quite sincere when you promise it will never happen again. Unfortunately, most men who use violent and abusive behaviour find that they cannot keep such promises without support and help from others.
Most men get into relationships because they care for their partner. They usually don't set out to hurt her. If you've used violence or control in the past, it might hard to face up to how your actions have affected others.
You might find yourself minimising things, or pretending what you did wasn't so bad. Denying, trivialising or excusing your actions means you can't take responsibility for them. And if you can't take responsibility, it's pretty much impossible to change. It does take strength and courage to honestly admit to using violence or control, but it's worth it. Taking responsibility is a hard but vital step for change.
Men who are struggling to understand their violence are sometimes tempted to believe that something just came over them or that they just switched. Have you ever said to yourself:
"I lost control."
"I just flipped."
"I saw red."
Often you might tell yourself (and others) that such pressure had built up inside you that it was too late to make any other choice than to be violent. You might then say something like:
"I just exploded."
"I just blew."
But think about it. Most of the time your violence isn’t random, but specifically directed towards your partner.You don’t 'explode' randomly at passers-by when you feel bad. You don't 'see red’ and hit just anyone who happens to be near. If you believe that you’re overwhelmed by something that cause you to be violent, it's harder to stop. Blaming the 'pressure cooker effect' is one of the ways of avoiding understanding what your violence is about.
In reality you could make different choices.
If you’re honest with yourself you can probably see that you make decisions about lots of things when you're being violent:
-the kind of violence you use
-where to hit her
-how hard to hit, how long for and when to stop.
-You're probably also choosing who can witness your behaviour, for example, by turning it off when someone outside the family comes around.
-Even if you're not using physical violence, you're still making all kinds of decisions.
when you choose to be nice to her (because you've behaved badly and you know she can't take much more) and when you choose to be critical
what friends you allow her to see when you'll listen to her and when you won't. These decisions aren't always conscious and thought through. But they're your decisions nevertheless.
Alcohol and drugs don’t cause abuse, but they can make it worse. Many people use drugs and alcohol and never become violent or abusive. If you find that when you drink you become more abusive and you still drink, then you’re making a choice to be abusive. You are still responsible for your behavior even if you are drunk or high. Being out of it is not an excuse.
Studies have also shown that when people are drunk or under the influence of other drugs, their violence might become more severe or frequent. If you are under the influence, it can be more difficult to stop yourself or limit your behavior. This means you might harm someone more than you intended.
Most people can choose how much and where to use drugs or alcohol. If you must use, try cutting down gradually and drink or use away from your family.
This may mean staying at a mate's place after the pub or waiting to sober up before going home. If you find that alcohol makes you more abusive then you have two choices to make: one to stop drinking and another one to stop being violent and controlling.
An abusive man who abuses alcohol does not have a problem;
he has two problems.
"I used to blame the drink but sometimes I would have a drink with the boys before I came home and smashed things up and sometimes I would be stone cold sober. It didn’t really matter, the only difference was I tended to do more damage when I was drunk, but the effects on Steph and the kids were always the same — it terrified them." Rick [24 years]
*This report is a compilation of pages from the Men's referral service to learn more please click below.
We have compiled a list of Men's groups and initiatives. on our LINKS page To better inform you of the advance in the fight.
We are aware that Men are not the only perpetrators in abusive relationships. If your a man in an abusive relationship there is help for you too. For help or more information please click on the link below to the Men's Referral Service.
A Better Way Ministry Inc. Galatians 6:2
Family Violence Prevention, Training & Awareness
Jennifer McGhee-Marriage Ministry
Chianna Williams-Angel Bear Ministry
Bonnie Harris -Event coordinatorRev. Bruce Mckenzie -M.E.N
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