Can I just take a pill and be cured of using domestic or family violence?
The simple answer to that question is, no.
Domestic and family violence is not just about anger or angry outbursts, rather a pattern of behaviours of which angry outbursts are just one dynamic.
Domestic and family violence includes physical violence and non-physical violence. Find out more about the different dynamics of domestic and family violence on our website.
Domestic and family violence is about power and control. About one person’s need to control and exert power over another. To maintain control and power the person using violence use many tactics which can include physical violence or express angry outbursts, or even threats to use violence. Or threats of homicide.
Each person who uses violence within their relationship does so in patterns and cycles that are individual to them. Some people might not use physical violence and some might only use physical violence, each person is different. Their partners and family members get to know those patterns pretty well. Many of DVCS’ clients will engage with us when they feel things are escalating and disengage when things have settled down again.
Domestic and family violence is a learned behaviour. People are not born this way, it is not a disability, a mental health illness or something that can be fixed by taking a pill or having surgery.
There are drivers of domestic and family violence. Drivers are the actions and behaviours within our society that supports domestic and family violence. It’s important to note that not all drivers are experienced by everyone. Gender stereotypes is a driver of domestic and family violence, just as peer relationships are another driver, especially those that emphasise aggression.
We do acknowledge there are multiple triggers of domestic and family violence. Triggers are different to drivers, and can cause a lot of confusion. Particularly the use of alcohol, illicit drugs and sometimes mental health conditions are often confused as drivers.
DVCS absolutely acknowledges that the use of alcohol and/or illicit drugs and people experiencing mental health conditions can often use domestic and family violence more frequently or their use of physical violence can be more severe, at times leading to homicide. They might have a tendency to use physical violence more often than others. However, we know if we took away the alcohol, illicit drugs and mental health conditions, their use of domestic and family violence would not disappear, but the pattern of behaviours could change.
For this very reason, just treating someone’s use of alcohol and/or illicit drugs or their mental health condition alone will not address their use of domestic or family violence.
Other contributing factors to domestic and family violence can include condoning the use of violence in general, witnessing or experiencing violence growing up and other social factors.
So no, taking a pill will not fix the problem!
What we do know is DVCS can work with people who want to stop their use of violence.
In addition, DVCS have a program specifically to support men who want to change their behaviour. We can support them to become safer fathers and safer partners. We can work with men and their families and provide one on one support and Men’s Behaviour Change groups in our specialist program, Room4Change.
The program can go for up to 12 months, as we know that behaviour change takes time and is not something can be sustained with short term group work. This is evidenced in so many different ways that people can relate to, even in small areas of change we know how hard it is to alter exercise and diet habits. Changing life long behaviours is a significant commitment that takes time.
Room4Change provides men with the opportunity to reflect and understand their own drivers, triggers and behaviours. It’s tough work and it takes time. That’s why DVCS has a dedicated specialist team of eight working with the whole family.
DVCS provides a holistic service to families impacted by domestic and family violence. In addition to working with men who want to change their behaviour, we can also work with their current or former partner and their children. Doing things this way increases the safety of the whole family, and therefore our whole community.
If you would like to know more about Room4Change or any services DVCS offers, please reach out to us on 62 800 900 or via one of our other contact methods.