- People who are violent in their relationships always have a choice about their behaviour
- Admitting responsibility takes strength and courage and is the first step to better relationships
- There are services that can help you to learn new ways of relating to your family and loved ones.
Violent behaviour: you have a choice
We all make choices about how we act, even if we’re not aware of making these choices. Saying that you lost control, had a few too many drinks or were provoked is a way of avoiding responsibility for violence.
People who are violent in their relationships do have a choice about what they do. For example, people who are violent in their intimate relationships often do not behave this way with others. Their work colleagues or neighbours may never see their violent behaviour. They can control their behavior and manage their emotions differently in different settings. This means that they can also learn how to control their behavior and manage their emotions in their relationships with their partners.
People who use violence can do and say a range of things to avoid responsibility for what they've done. This might include things like
- Pretending that what they did wasn’t so bad
- Suggesting that the person they were violent towards deserved it
- Claiming that the other person provoked the violence
- Blaming the violence on having had a few too many drinks and not being in control of their behaviour.
Excusing the behaviour or minimising the impact of the violence is a barrier to taking responsibility and making the change that’s needed. Admitting responsibility takes strength and courage and it is the first step to a more positive relationship with others.
If your family is afraid of you or if people tell you that your behavior is frightening, you might need to consider making changes in the way you behave. Change is possible. It takes courage and determination.
People who use violence can do and say a range of things to avoid responsibility for what they've done. This might include things like pretending that what they did wasn’t so bad, and suggesting that the person they were violent towards deserved it.
Violence is not just physical
Most people who use violence in their family relationships are men. If you are a man who is using violence against your partner and other family members, there are services that can help you with your behavior. These services can assist you to learn new ways of relating to your family and loved ones.
Domestic and family violence is not just hitting or other forms of physical violence. There may be a range of things you do that make others frightened of you. For example, your behaviour could be:
- Controlling – this could be not letting your partner go out on their own; saying what she can and can’t wear when she does go out, or who she can see, or controlling access to money
- Threatening – this could be threatening to take the children away, to kick your partner out of the house, reporting her to the authorities for something
- Harassing – this could be texting and phoning at all times of the day and wanting to know where she is at all times
- Verbally abusive – this could be putting your partner down in front of others.
There is no excuse for violence. No one deserves to be scared of you and what you might do. You can learn to understand your emotions better and recognise the warning signs of when you might be beginning to lose control. You can make a decision to respond differently.
You can: STOP---THINK---TALK or you can JUST WALK AWAY before things get out of control.
You can learn how to do this with help and support. It’s really hard to make changes on you own. Having someone support you can make it easier. The links below can connect you to services that offer this kind of support.
Call the Men's Referral Service
If you are a victim of violence from a partner or family member, or your behaviour has brought you into contact with the police or courts and you’re facing issues such as an intervention order, behaviour change, anger management, access or custody, you can contact the Men's Referral Service.
MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men