The primary purpose of domestic violence programs for both victims and perpetrators
is to increase the safety of victims (including child victims), not personal growth or
redemption of pathology. Disorders are best treated, at least initially, as outcomes
rather than cause of domestic violence, and treated in a a parallel fashion.
2. Responsibility & Choice
The perpetrator is fully responsible for the violence, and is not
provoked, triggered, or stressed into violence. Violence is always a choice. The victim,
regardless of her behavior, is not responsible for the violence.
3. Violence is a Vehicle
Domestic violence is not an expression of an inner condition (e.g. anger,
depression, stress, intoxication, attachment, object consistency) nor is it a response to
an external condition (provocation, homeostasis, triggers, co-dependency, or bitchiness)
but is a vehicle chosen to establish control over a person, persons, or a situation.
4. Why She Stays
Battered women do not choose to remain with abusers, but rather choose when it is
safe to take action or leave, which for many battered women is never.
5. Families in Society
In a variety of ways, our society and our culture support abuse of women,
so the problem is never viewed entirely at the personal level. Violence in the family is
the imprint of a violent society; violence in society is family violence at large.
6. Disinhibition & Abstinence
Alcohol and drugs are not the cause of domestic violence. Alcohol does not
disinhibit domestic violence. Abstinence and sobriety are neither necessary nor sufficient
conditions for non-violence.
Co-dependency does not describe the behavior of battered women (or
batterers) and should not be used in domestic violence cases. At times, co-dependency,
when applied to domestic violence, becomes a victim-blaming diseasification of socially
sanctioned roles of women.
source: "Toward Better Practices" Conference: Domestic Violence - Substance
Abuse. May 1998.