Domestic violence is stopped at the family level. When the family men and women stand up and say this is my experience, this sharing is the start of energy being able to move in the spirit of the family.
Sharing in a family-wide forum:
A lot of men that abuse genuinely look like, and many are, that they are sorry about their abusiveness, but they get triggered and re-offend. If these men could acknowledge that, that they do it, but there is real remorse, and people see it and it’s not just the women explaining the abuse they endure, but it’s also the perpetrator also speaking up, taking ownership for what they are doing and saying when I do it, I don’t like it, I feel bad, and also I can’t stop doing it. I can’t forgive myself.
There might be somebody, like a child in the family that feels exactly the same way. They like to run around and bash into walls and throw things down, and they can’t stop it, but when they finish, they hate themselves and they too can’t forgive themselves. So when they hear their grandfather explaining his experience and remorse…this child has this epiphany and says to themselves, “that’s how I feel! I don’t want to hit my grandmother.”
So then there is this change of energy in the family and this question; ‘What are we going to do about this?’ That impacts people at the individual level and that’s also where energy moves, but it’s the group that decides, consciously and unconsciously and makes the movement. Single people, persecutors, and victims can both get stuck in their grief and scenario. But when the group moves, many are compelled to follow in its wake. Like a revolution.
It’s not about telling people this is what you need to do, and this is how we are going to make it happen. Rather, it’s about changing the energy. It needs to be moved. This needs to come from people like the grandmother standing up and saying: “This is it. I’m going to tell you what happened to me and the humiliation I felt, and the degradation I felt and the inability to stop it. That’s not happening anymore. We’re not accepting that anymore.”
How you get to that point, a point of power, well it’s not a man or woman issue, rather this power where respect can be reached for and held. Respect is the line and everything they bring to this is to that line. This point is where resolve and earnestness are more than the shame.
One thing the government could provide is a model where people could speak out, and not more and more punitive measures. But effective support for those who want to speak out and bring that safely to the family, because they will find they will have a lot of opposition within the family, from some, because it’s probably been happening to them, the shame and grief of all that might be raised. Best that stay hidden, swept under the carpet. Doing this facilitates this abuse to keep cascading down the family line. So it’s like a whole family counselling process. A shock, and intervention.
In this process, many won’t come, but initiating discussions like: “Grandma, did this happen to you?” She might say yes and however, she felt she could do nothing. Then the group resolves this is not acceptable. It only takes a few to move that energy and to say this not acceptable… and the energy starts to be moved on. The group takes it’s power finally and others are swept up in this revolution, the resolve to hold the line of respect, and that is a great start, on the way to this proposition of the family moving to this thriving consciousness, out of survival, shame, grief, powerlessness. Yes, this thriving: “Shame and grief is not who we are.”
Also, the government could support families with an excruciating visible public health campaign, like the cigarette packs in Australia, where people can see what happens and come to know what to look for, what it all sounds like and are generally more open to looking for signs.
Fix it at each family level.
Enough of surviving, let’s together figure out how we can all thrive together.