October 1, 2010

Program's Stance on Violence

 How do we handle violence in the context of the dysfunctional family?  What can be done about it?

I don't think any twelve step program gives specific advice to its members about how to deal with violent relationships.  We value autonomy so much that we leave even these decisions for the individual members, trusting them to know when they are ready to do so.

Each of us stress how important it is to take personal responsibility or our safety. If we live with physical violence,  we can start by admitting it and take steps to protect ourselves. We can find a safe place to go night or day, if it becomes necessary. We can plan to have money and keys at hand. Perhaps counseling can help or talking with police about our options  We do, however, emphasize our personal responsibility to take care of ourselves.

As I dealt with violence from my mate who'd grown up in an alcoholic family,  I came to understand that physical abuse was unacceptable under any circumstances. I "inventoried" my behavior looking for how I had contributed to the problem.  I did what I could not to provoke my mate, or trigger him. When I saw that my self-restraint did nothing to stop his abuse, I finally had to realize I was not the cause of his violence or abuse. 

As  the reminder for September 29 says,

"I don't have the power to change another person.  If I am dealing with violence, I must be the one who changes."   Let me begin with being honest with myself about what is going on.

"There is hope, there is help, and I have an unalienable right to human dignity..."  In All Our Affairs

1 comment:

  1. Such a powerful quote about the right to human dignity. I agree, and I don't stay around for unacceptable situations or condone unacceptable behavior.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~