DOMESTIC VIOLENCE—WHEN BOTH PARTIES ARE ABUSERS

Consensual domestic violence?

Have you ever known of a married couple who “just couldn’t get along?” They snipped and snapped, even in public, with no respect or regard for the other? It almost seemed as if they were egging the other on to take the first swing. Now, that is most certainly dysfunctional, but it is what I have tagged as “consensual domestic violence.”

 Far too many times law enforcement officers are called out for a domestic violence incident. They arrive on the scene to find both parties scratched, bloody, bruised or otherwise injured. Many times one or both have been drinking or using drugs. This is just the sort of scenario that sends thoughts through a law officer’s mind of potential danger for himself/herself, as well as the co-abusers, and quite possibly the children who may be involved. Kind of like the officer who was just shot and is now breaking news.

 As a popular magazine asks, “Can this marriage be saved?” Well, I am the cockeyed optimist who would like to believe there is good in everyone. But, sometimes we reach a point we must decide which takes more priority: saving a marriage or saving a life? If the pattern is there, and law enforcement can now find their way to the home with their eyes closed because of the numerous prior calls to that same location, it may be safe to assume this relationship is not working. When fighting is the only option to be considered, something is terribly wrong.

 And please, let’s think about the children. What impact does such a lifestyle have on them? Did you know the chances of a child who grows up in an abusive household are most likely to perpetuate such actions as an adult? Is that what you really want?

 A functional relationship consists of respect for each other. It goes both ways. Neither party gets his/her way all the time. It’s a relationship of equality, consideration and kindness. That is love. Cursing, throwing things at each other, threatening to kill yourself or the other party, throwing blows and, God forbid, pulling a gun on your partner are never signs of love. When it gets to that point, in my humble opinion, the first thing should be putting distance between the two. Hopefully they will see the need and make that decision of their own volition, rather than having court intervention order it.

Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Victim Support & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, bringing information and awareness to organizations seeking to properly help and support victims. Hear various interviews at the Broadcasts page of her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.

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