The King's Gardeners Ministries

Reverend S. L. Gardner

Spokane Valley, Washington U.S.


- The Issue of Abuse -

Understanding & Help

Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County
Alternatives to Domestic Aggression

Domestic violence is a means for men to systematically dominate, control, devalue and disempower women.

Battering/violence is greater than an individual act; it supports the larger goal of the oppression of women.

Battering is NEVER justified, excusable, provoked, hereditary, out of control, accidental, or an isolated incident with no further dynamics. Battering is not caused by disease, diminished intellect, alcoholism/addiction or intoxication, mental illness or any external person or event. The batterer is responsible for his behavior, NOT the person who is the target of the battering.

Battering behavior is prevalent across all lines of race, ethnicity, geography, education, social class, religion, and sexual orientation.

Men are responsible for at least 95% of the battering that occurs in the United States.

Battering and abusive behavior is regulated by the batterers estimation of probable consequences, never by "provocation".

Men batter because they can and it serves as a means to an end. Our culture encourages, supports, condones, entitles, and expects men to dominate and control women.

Battering is chosen behavior and, therefore, other choices can be made.

Non-violent and respectful ways of participating in intimate relationships can be implemented.

Battering has adverse, long-term psychological, emotional, physical, and economic effects on the women and children who are its survivors.
Battering is a lifestyle; never a singular event.

Physical violence irreversibly changes the dynamics of a relationship. Comprehension of this dynamic is imperative in the distinction between a "bad" relationship and one where the presence and/or history of violence exists.

Men do not lose control of their battering or abusive behavior because they are intoxicated.

Battering is not an addiction or disease.

Men who batter are not powerless over "persons, places or things".

Battering is not a secondary "symptom" to alcoholism or addiction.

Intoxication and addiction is, among other things, a tool of the batterer.

"Co-dependency" and "enabling" can be inaccurate, inappropriate and victim-blaming terms for survivors of battering.

Domestic violence and drug and alcohol problems must be dealt with comprehensively.

Domestic violence is criminal behavior and should be vigorously sanctioned by law.

Batterer intervention services are one aspect of the larger network necessary to remediate domestic violence.

Batterer intervention services' must be monitored by women survivors / women's shelters / the feminist community.

Batterer intervention services highest priority is to promote women and children's safety, empowerment and rights. Delivery of intervention services to batterers is always secondary to the empowerment and safety of women and children.

** Couples therapy is generally an inappropriate, ineffective, and unsafe intervention activity with batterers. It may be appropriate once the batterer has demonstrated accountability, the (ex)partner feels an acceptable degree of safety, she freely chooses this as an option, and it is clearly stated by the therapist that couples therapy is not being conducted to stop the violence. This option should always be in conjunction with, and secondary to, the man's involvement in an accountable batterer intervention service.

Batterer intervention services must NEVER advocate for batterers in the legal arena.

"Anger management" theory and methods are never appropriate for use in batterer intervention services as they do not accurately reflect the cause of battering and are a reflection of the batterers' desire to camouflage his choice to batter. Further, anger management theory suggests provocation, fails to account for premeditation, diffuses responsibility, implies that there is a quick fix, misrepresents the depth of the problem in the community, and fully misses the link to the larger issue of sexism and patriarchy.

Batterer intervention services must create and implement self-monitoring mechanisms that work to minimize batterers' ability to use the program as leverage against the survivors of their battering and/or the community intervention network.

Battering is illegal. Battering is a preventable crime. Courts have sanctions available to impact domestic violence. Batterers need to be held accountable for their choices. Intervention services for batterers must not be used as a substitute for arrest, conviction, probation, incarceration, or other legal sanctions.

Because all men benefit from the violent and controlling tactics of batterers, all men must work to end it and to safeguard it's victims.

Battering will not cease because a batterer gets sober/straight or "works a good drug/alcohol recovery program".

Family and couples intervention modalities for drug and alcohol problems are not appropriate, initially, for batterers.

Batterers in drug and alcohol treatment typically do not divulge their battering, nor will their partners/survivors.

Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon are not a suitable substitute for an accountable, competent batterer intervention service.

Waiting 1 year in recovery to refer for batterer intervention work is not clinically appropriate.

Addiction/alcoholism recovery activities and requirements are frequently used by the batterer to manipulate and abuse his partner/family.

Accountability for battering is a lifelong process.
This information was gathered primarily from Barbara Hart and the
Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
2505 North Front Street
Harrisburg, PA 17110-1111
Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County
Alternatives to Domestic Aggression
4925 Packard Road
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108-1521
Phone: 734.971.9781 Fax: 734.971.2730
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The King's Gardeners Ministries is based in Washington State U.S. with all proper Corporate Reports on file with the Secretary of State for Washington U.S. Reverend S. L. Gardner President and CEC.

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