Family violence is usually a learned behavior that will continue to cycle until it is stopped. The typical outcome of this type of behavior is that it is passed on to children in the family so that they themselves become victims of abuse or perpetrate violence. The seeds are sown early when it comes to family violence which usually begins with an adult who has learned this behavior from their own upbringing. In most cases, the perpetrator of family violence is the male head of the household. A female will usually enable this type of behavior by continuing to accept excuses for the behavior.
Children who grow up in a home that is filled with family violence often either become victims of violence themselves or grow up to be batterers. Violence and domestic abuse have their roots in control. Children who live in a home where domestic violence is present not only consider this behavior to be normal, but also feel a lack of control in their own lives. The outcome is usually them emulating the behavior that they grow up with, usually by the parent of the same gender.
Many girls who grow up in a home where they witness domestic abuse, even if the violence is not inflicted on them but on their mother who is the victim of the abuse will subconsciously seek out men who are controlling and often batterers, thus completing the cycle. They will then raise their own children in the same environment in which they were raised. Boys who have a father who is a wife beater may grow up to emulate the behavior as well and very often do. As children, a boy may stand up for his mother against an abusive father, but will eventually learn this type of behavior, especially if the mother is an enabler and allows the domestic violence to continue.
In cases where family abuse is present, it affects the entire family, regardless of whether or not they are the target of the actual abuse. The cycle of abuse continues to play out in future generations and can manifest as child abuse, battering, spousal abuse and even sexual abuse. Family violence requires a battering intervention program to prevent violence from occurring as well as a prevention program that teaches everyone in the family which type of behavior is acceptable. First and foremost, those who are perpetrating the crime of family violence must learn to change their behavior. Counseling is available for those who are victims of family violence that can be beneficial in breaking the cycle of domestic abuse and violence so that victims come to a realization of what is normal behavior and what is not in a family situation.
Domestic Violence Institute of Texas offers Battering Intervention and Prevention Program – BIPP Classes in Houston, Texas.
For additional information please call 281-970-6611 or visit our website www.dvi-tx.com.
Gregory A. Kyles, M.A., LPC, CEAP, CAMF
Director, Domestic Violence Institute of Texas