Face of desperation
(courtesy Get Domestic Violence Help)
By Spencer D Gear
This brief article is based on a News Release for the Family & Relationships’ Programme, Lifeline Fraser District, Qld, when I was manager of that programme from 2006.
Men are not born violent. All people have the ability to choose to do the wrong thing and the correct thing in the family.
How can men recognise the signs that often lead to family abuse?
Physically, there may be tensions in the muscles around the shoulders, neck, back, in the stomach and elsewhere. Men may clench their fists, veins may stand out on the neck and head. Others pace back and forth and there is a change in breathing patterns.
Another cue is in the emotions. A man may feel he has been put down and misjudged by his wife. This leads to a sense of feeling hurt and misunderstood and rage develops along with resentment.
Lifeline’s Spencer Gear said, “I have known men who do a lot of fantasising before abuse. They daydream about getting revenge. Others see themselves as punishing the wife for wrong that he perceives. He uses ‘stinking thinking’ to give himself the gee-up for his imagined payback.”
There are some danger zones when men find it easier to choose to be violent. These include discussion of sensitive topics such as children, finances, sex and the in-laws.
For some men, there are special times and places when they choose to be abusive. Travel in the car can be a prime example. Others find being in the kitchen around tea time as an opportunity to abuse the partner.
Men sometimes keep on telling themselves things that fuel the sense of being a victim. He then lashes out.
Men’s abuse of women is a choice. It can be changed.
Our personal warning signs are cues that indicate that we can choose to be abusive or violent very soon. Just as you can ignore the road signs to your own danger, so ignoring warning signs for abusive behaviour can be very dangerous if ignored.
What may be a warning sign for one man might not be for another. We all need to be aware of the warning signs of abuse and take responsibility to choose a different way to treat the wife and children.
Copyright © 2009 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 28 January 2018