Domestic Violence: Looking at the Root Part 1

Poster developed by Carolyn Bergen of Bergen and Associates Counselling in Winnipeg saying: “The healthy man does not torture others. Generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers.” – Carl Jung

(photo credit to Rene Asmussen)

Our culture raises men in an environment where he dare not be seen as weak, but as “tough”.

The men in this culture have been raised by men who have been boxed in by the culture–to not be seen as open and gentle.

Violence is accepted as a part of masculinity.

That’s a harsh line..too far?  Really? Have you gone to a movie lately? Watched the news? Read the paper?

Batterers often experienced and witnessed battering…81% of men who are violent to others have themselves been witness to or experienced violence themselves.

Not nearly all men who experience violence go on to hurt others.  For many, witnessing violence helps them understand how powerfully they want to avoid it.

But for many, when they feel boxed in, attacked, belittled, minimized, or threatened…their instincts kick in, and they go into what they know at the most primitive, basic level.

I’m not excusing domestic violence.

But I am committed to seeing the potential of those that hurt others to learn different ways of relating to others, so that when a difficult moment in the relationship occurs, they feel the space and have had the healing to make better choices that have people close to them feel safe.  To make better choices so they can feel better about being the man they long to be.
I’ve talked to those that have hurt those in their lives…once you get past the bravado and the “tough front”, and get to candid conversation where he speaks from his heart…

I’ve never yet met a man who doesn’t hang his head in shame, feels repulsed by his own actions, and feels disgusted by who he is, having hurt the ones he loves the most.

Ironically, when a man feels disgusted by who he is…it sets him up to be stuck in the same pattern.  It’s only when he values himself enough, and sees potential in himself to change…is the change possible.


Putting on the tough guise is a protective strategy to survive in cultures that demand it…they learn to adopt violence as a strategy to control, suppress, manage, and stay “looking tough”.  But men take on the guise of being “tough guys” at the expense of their own emotional and relationship lives. I’m thrilled that we can help men who are looking for healthier, self respecting ways of handling the distress of difficult moments in a relationship through our IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) program, a program designed for those just entering the ugly cyclical pattern of hurting those that they care about most.

..if you don’t like how you relate to your wife/girffriend/child/partner when you’re angry, give us a call and spend some time find a way out of the tough guise?

For her sake…and for yours!

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