Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What Do You Think?

As much as I love music, sometime I crave information and a good conversation. That is why you'll often find me listening to my local NPR station. Yesterday during the Diane Rehm show author Linda Mills was interviewed about her book, Violent Partners: A Breakthrough Plan for Ending the Cycle of Violence. Mills is also the founder of NYU's Center on Violence and Recovery. Mills who endured a number of violent relationships as a younger woman has created a plan for couples who have decided to work through their violent relationship rather than end them. Of course, this is a controversial approach, as most of us have been taught the best (and only) way to deal with an abuser is to leave the relationship. Mills believes that a good number of abusers and victims can benefit from intervention and counseling. She's more concerned with exploring the causes of abuse and the pathology of both the abuser and the victim. Mills also claims that nearly half of abusive relationships involve back and forth abuse from both the man and the woman, but because the woman is almost always the one who is injured, the focus is on the man as the abuser. She also said the statistics have shown that nearly 25% of abusive relationships involve men who are being abused by women. That said, her program requires the victims of abuse to recognize their role in the abuse. As you can imagine, victim rights advocates and "mainstream feminists" have a major problem with this thinking. Mills says that by admitting the victim may have played a role in the abuse she/he is empowered to take an active role in changing the dynamic of the relationship.
I'm happy to say I've never been in a physically abusive relationship, though I've been around men who have what I call abusive tendencies. I like to think I've been spared because I make it clear that I do not tolerate physical violence and should it ever come to that, there will be (dire) consequences. Thank God they believe me and leave me be. However, if I were to find myself in a violent relationship I don't know that I would be able to work through it. I'm one of those people who's been taught, if he hits you - leave. But listening to Linda Mills has forced me to re-think my position. What do you think?

To hear the interview, click here.

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