"Once an abuser, always an abuser."
"If he hits you once, he'll hit you again."
The above statements are often repeated to those who accuse intimate partners of acts of domestic violence. But are they accurate?
The fact is, people are capable of change. In fact, some change is an inevitable part of growth and development. Other changes require a conscious effort and an attempt to learn better, more functional ways of handling stress, anger and frustration.
When it comes to changing patterns of domestic abuse, change is indeed possible. The abuser has to genuinely desire to change and make a commitment to taking action in that direction. It can be a very difficult but thoroughly rewarding journey when undertaken, however.
For those who face allegations of domestic violence, attending counseling that focuses on batterer intervention can be a good first step toward making a positive effort to change. Not only can this be viewed favorably by the courts, but by the spouse and family members as well.
Domestic violence is cyclical, meaning that children who are exposed to this type of behavior by parents or other adults can grow up to be involved in abusive relationships and/or become batterers themselves. Breaking the familial cycle of domestic abuse can change the pattern for both present and future generations and is well worth the effort.
Those accused of domestic violence have to be willing to face accountability for their actions in order to bring about real change. This can involve long-term therapy and behavior modification techniques. If you are facing charges of domestic abuse, ask your defense attorney if he or she is able to recommend an intervention program to voluntarily enter without being mandated by the courts.
Source: The National Domestic Violence Hotline, "Is Change Possible In An Abuser?," Kathryn Robinson, accessed July 14, 2016