12 Jul
Cover of

Cover of The Batterer: A Psychological Profile

By Terry Loving

“Critics say the problem with the programs is that they ignore research linking domestic violence to substance abuse and psychological problems, such as attachment disorders, traced to childhood abuse or neglect.”

“But the protocol stresses that substance abuse is not the cause of domestic violence. And it prohibits the programs from stressing therapy, including couples counseling, as treatment.


I suspect many abused women would happily remain with the men that beat them if they could just get some help and change. Not every abused man or woman desires to end their marriage or relationship. There are a lot of “good” qualities that their abusers possess – according to the abused – thus, it is difficult to view their abusers as total jerks that take pleasure in hurting them.


As well as our religious institutions, many mental health agencies are ill-equipped to deal with the onslaught of abusers within our society. Often times, a judge may order an abuser to attend domestic violence and abuse programs. But do they really rehabilitate violent tempers, and bring peace to homicidal-raging souls? Do the programs address inner pain, childhood abuse, substance abuse, spiritual issues, and financial problems – in other words – the full dynamics of what makes up a person’s complete character? Can these programs promise that a batterer will not repeat the violence that landed him in jail in the first place?


I am not knocking the hard work that many professionals and religious folk utilize to change violent and abusive behaviors – I just want to know if their methods work. Are there any testimonials that other batterers can be encouraged by to know that change is possible for them as well? Does one size fit all? What will it take for change? Have any batterers gone back to being violent and abusive after attending a program?


“The stakes are high: One large study found that the most important reason for a victim to take an abuser back was his decision to attend one of these intervention programs.” 1


“Peter Diessel fidgeted as he sat at a table with other men who had physically abused women. It was his latest attempt to change behavior that stretches back 18 years. His problem, he told the group, had surfaced shortly after his honeymoon.”

“That’s when I started getting abusive,” Diessel said later, recalling the moment when he first violently laid hands on his wife.”

“Diessel, 42, a long-married suburban businessman, has sought a variety of professional help. He said substance-abuse treatment made him stop physically abusing his wife.

But their relationship hasn’t improved, even with couples counseling and his involvement in the Rolling Meadows program, which he signed up for at her urging.

“Changing the way you think, you perceive, you react, is very difficult,” he said.

His wife, Denise, said their relationship has gotten worse since Diessel entered the batterer intervention program. She doubts any treatment can improve their relationship.

“I’m starting to think there’s no hope,” she said.” 2


The above quote brings out a very good point. Can a couple go back to “happily ever after” once the batterer completes a mandated/volunteer program? According to “Denise,” their relationship had gotten “worst” although her husband stopped hitting her. Could it be that much damage was done to the relationship? Love diminished? Could it be that the husband – once enlightened – was consumed with guilt for his actions? Could it be that the abused will always be on guard – and never able to freely be themselves in the relationship again due to fear?


If couples counseling possibly places the abused at risk for more abuse, when does the abused get to tell their story? How will the batterer know how the abused really feels? If they get separate counseling, will the issues that plague their relationship get resolved? Both are in need of some type of counseling, but it is often dangerous for the abused to expose events of the violence and abuse beyond closed doors. How does the healing begin?


“At the recent gathering in Rolling Meadows, the men ranged in age from the early 20s to middle-age. They sat around a table while the female facilitators prodded them to discuss conflict in their relationships. Some were eager to share; others stared at the ceiling or picked at their nails.”


If Christians believe that the Word of God is life changing, and I for one believe it is – then why aren’t there more Christian churches involved with eliminating domestic violence and abuse from our society? Could it be that most religious bodies haven’t figured out how to combat this evil amongst them first? Concerning the religious institutions that are on the front lines, are they effective? If not, why not?


Once a batterer enters a program, will he be honest concerning his feelings and his actions? Will he man-up and admit that he has a problem – or does he see the cause of his anger issues outside of himself? It is no secret that abusers will lie and makes excuses for their behavior. Not only will they lie to their partners, but to society – and even to themselves. Here are some of the lies they tell, and excuses for violence and abuse:

  • “I just need to be understood.”
  • “I had a bad childhood.”
  • “I can’t control it.”
  • “I get angry.”
  • “She fights too.”
  • “She pushes my buttons.”
  • “If I don’t control her, she will control me.”
  • “My smashing things isn’t abusive, it’s venting.”
  • “I have a lot of stress in my life.”
  • “I just have an anger management problem.”
  • “I just have a problem when I drink or use drugs.”3


In conclusion, domestic violence is not a mental health issue. If mental health professionals were to conclude such findings, then they serve to justify every flimsy excuse for this atrocity. Domestic violence is a SIN issue, and the sooner our society recognizes this fact, the sooner we will be able to put together the necessary all-encompassing programs that will address the needs of those who are violent and abusive. Perhaps there will be more agencies working together with faith-based institutions.


I don’t believe that addressing the abusive adult, and ignoring the childhood that shapes a person is beneficial. Also, one cannot force God and spiritual beliefs upon another, yet – how can we leave out the spiritual side of mankind when addressing social ills? We didn’t magically appear upon the earth and poof, here we are – we were created by an awesome Creator. How can we ignore the soul when it is a part of our created bodies?


New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

New International Version (©1984)
The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.


New American Standard Bible (©1995)
“The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.


Our souls are responsible for thought, actions, decisions, feelings, anger, sadness, happiness, ego and our characters. The Bible says the “soul who sins” is basically saying, the “person” who sins “will die.” So, unless batterer counseling and intervention programs include the spiritual side of mankind, they won’t be effective – at least in the long run. There will be some who will cease to batter; however, this is not the norm. Even if the battering stops, many soul issues with go unaddressed, and the possibility of the battering returning is quite possible.


God fashioned us to be humans that have a physical body that houses our spirit (eternal side), and our souls that are groomed, taught, sinned against, trained, and possess all of our feelings and actions. How can we ignore such a vital part of rehabilitation? Domestic violence counseling will fail, not because the programs are no good, but because they lack all of the major components that address the whole of the abusers. The power to change begins with repentance – repenting to a Holy God, and acknowledging wrong. When we agree with God that we have sinned, only then can we open our arms to change – and the healing will commence. What we learn, we can un-learn. It may take time, but, with God – all things are possible.







“Even in programs considered to be successful, only a small percentage of men who batter will ever stop abusing.”Lundy Bancroft



“It’s NOT What You Think!”

“Men can change. However, batterer programs are not an effective vehicle.”

“…batterer programs don’t reliably work. At best, results are inconclusive. And those programs that purport to achieve some individual change indicate, by their own admission that “successes” are few and far between. What batterer programs do give, unfortunately, is a false sense of security that a man will be fixed simply because he is enrolled in a program.”

“Focusing on ‘fixing,’ ‘treating’ or ‘rehabilitating’ men who are abusive inevitably detracts energy and resources better placed on changing systems, social norms and community response efforts.”


“Treatment’ or ‘rehabilitation’ suggests individual pathology.
The NY Model does not define domestic violence as an individual pathology but rather as a manifestation of sexism, deeply rooted in the history, law and culture of the United States. Furthermore, centuries of patriarchy have defined men’s relationship to women in terms of ownership and entitlement, making it men’s right and responsibility to control the woman who is “his,” and to use a wide array of strategies to do so.”




Couples Counseling Won’t Stop His Violence

“Your partner may try to get you to go to couples counseling, telling you that you both have a problem and should work on it together. Couples counseling is never appropriate when one partner is choosing to use violence against the other. You do not have a “relationship” problem that needs to be addressed – he is using violence and coercion to get what he wants. Couples counseling can only work when both partners feel free to express their issues, concerns and desires freely. If one partner exerts power and control over the other, there is no basis for counseling that is free from fear and intimidation.”






Because Wanting to Stop is NOT Enough



Another hurdle to overcome.



Emotional Abuse: Why Anger Management Didn’t Work

Learning to Unclench Their Fists

No portion of this web site may be copied, edited, or used in any form without prior permission.

© Spiritual Side of Domestic Violence Org., 2009
All rights reserved.


Posted by on July 12, 2011 in Uncategorized


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  1. pornonymous

    July 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    I have yet to meet a man who went through one of these programs who says it worked. The underlying theme of all of them is victim blaming, and shaming of men.

    And, the underlying philosophy of socially enforced male accountability denies the fact of female unnaccountability–another version of “just be a man,” and “man up.” This approach just reaffirns that men are not people, but some sort of genderized functionary, while ignoring women’s behavior entirely.

    We have long known the facts: women initiate more acts of aggression, and do more violence in relationships but to examine this inconvenient truth would require an entire shift in social schema.

    FACT: women initiate violence more than men

    • ssofdv

      July 16, 2011 at 11:19 am

      Hello pornonymous,

      Thank you for your feedback concerning whether these programs work or not. I suspected they did not when I found out a male friend was court ordered to attend; and he was still a very angry person inside. He grew up in a violent home, but never connected the dots as to why he became violent towards women himself. This is something he learned, that he can unlearn if he so chooses.

      My oldest brother was killed by his girl-friend at the age of 27. The female was not a “docile” woman, but very aggressive. She walked ten city blocks in North Philadelphia to commit murder. How she got away with five years’ probation, I will never understand.

      I haven’t researched female aggression as yet, and I do plan to do so in the near future. However, my view of domestic violence mostly hinges on witnessing women beaten and mistreated by men. Come to think of it though, many of the women were very vocal before, during, and sometimes after the beatings. Is this to say they deserved the abuse? No, – not at all. My mother was an abused woman, and many times I begged her to just “be quiet.” She would say things that would knowingly upset her abusers, and I would be frightened for her, knowing what was going to happen when I was not around.

      I have known several women who were violent towards their men – fighting back, and initiating the confrontation for one reason or another. To stress that only men are “aggressive” and “violent” really isn’t the truth. The fact is though, more women are severely physically hurt, and killed by men statistically – at least according to my current level of research. This is a topic I will certainly explore. It is a tough one because women often times resort to verbal abuse, for they see this as their only weapon pertaining to confrontation. Their defense starts out verbal, but often times’ objects such as bricks, pots, pans, glasses, guns and knives are utilized. Does this help a volatile situation? I would think not, but then you have the mindset of rejection by women being “seen and not heard.” Well, I am going to get back to this topic soon.

      I wish all the madness would stop. Thanks again for your contribution.

  2. pornonymous

    July 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Thanks for your reasoned, and reasonable response. So many of the blogs–especially feminist blogs–start flaming you the minute you bring up women’s violence.
    And I have an answer for you to your implied question
    “She walked ten city blocks in North Philadelphia to commit murder. How she got away with five years’ probation, I will never understand.”

    She got away with it because she is a woman. It really is that sadly simple. My first impression was that, based on stats, she was likely a black woman, and then when I saw that she got off the hook entirely, I thought she might have to be white, because black women never get off that easy.

    Stats are ironic, and don’t tell us half of what we need to know.

    My personal story is similar to yours:I remember watching my mom harangue my dad, and later, or the next day, she had a black eye and such. I was her protector, always.It took me years of posing as a manly protector of women before I uncovered my own cowardice: not naming my abuser–her, every time she leveraged me against him( and I am distinctly closing the door to arguments of ‘necessity within patriarchy’ or any of that b.s.)

    Many years later, in moments of soul searching, I asked myself deeper questions: why did my mom always insert me between their arguments? Both physically and mentally? I was her little lawyer, always backing up her claims against him, her constant accusations of his unfaithfulness ( what kind of abuse was that?) I also discovered ( and am still discovering) memories of her initiating violence the second he came in the door–those are my earliest memories!

    I remember her beating at him with pots, vases, her fists–and that ever present sword of her tongue–me, watching from the top of the stairs.In those early days, ya know? I never saw him put a hand on her. That came years later, and with the weight of even more children to support on his shoulders from her ever fertile womb.

    I have come to believe that this fits a pattern of many relationships–men I know who admit to abuse are almost always angry about not having stopped women from abusing them FIRST.
    We are taught to take it, it makes us manly, and worse, it gets us laid by psycho chicks.

    I really hope you can find the time to look at Martin Fieberts research, because it is the tip of the iceberg about social denial of women’s violence.

    • ssofdv

      July 17, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      Until all components of domestic violence and abuse are considered, the evil thereof will always be a part of our world. If both parties concerning a dispute are wrong, nothing is settled by ignoring, or choosing the lesser of two evils. If a female instigated the abuse which in turn sparked a beating, all must be considered. Yes, “feminist” will argue that instigation on the part of the female is no excuse for abuse; however, not every male is strong enough to walk away. I witnessed my mother call her abuser some pretty vile names, and she is not the only woman in her circle who spewed verbal abuse at her man. Perhaps these women were angry at their men for misdeeds and cheating – which happened a lot. Or, it could be that drinking of alcohol just makes you want to fight regardless – this happened a lot as well.

      Whatever the case, you just don’t call a man out in front of other people. What you do in private is one thing, but most guys take serious offense to their manhood being publicly challenged. Again, this is not an excuse to nearly beat someone to death – but – not everyone has learned to control their emotions – and some buttons don’t need to be pushed.

      The woman who murdered my brother was black, and my brother was black. I believe from what my mother told me, she spoke with investigators assuming that they were there to find reason to punish the murderer. However, whatever my mother said to them helped this woman to go from premeditated murder to five years’ probation. We were waiting to go to court, but it was over before we had a chance to speak on my brother’s behalf. I don’t know how that happened either. My family and I were ignorant concerning this matter; we never had to deal with murder before. And yes – so true – “black women never get off that easy.” But she did.

      A child caught in the middle of domestic abuse is in a bad place. I was the “protector” – but only in my mind. I was too young to do anything about it. My two brothers learned to hit – one found God – the other was murdered. My oldest – deceased brother would get into physical altercations to protect my mother – she acted as though he was “supposed” to defend her – not so. She should have left the abuse. Her mouth got her into trouble, and my brother came to her rescue – more than once – almost losing his life by being shot at on account of her. Sick woman!

      Wow – isn’t that something? Like you, I suffered betrayal from the woman I defended – my mother. She used and abused me long before the world did.
      You are correct – and I cannot deny the facts myself – many women are abusive “FIRST.”

      I will definitely check out “Martin Fieberts research.” Actually, I just discovered that I did touch on this subject on my web site a while ago. I am going to dust off the article and links and bring this information to light once again.
      (Links for information on abusive women)

      Thank you.

  3. ssofdv

    July 17, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    “Talking to men about Violent Women” – “In violence, we forget who we are.” Mary McCarthy

    “Bob is a police officer and also a martial arts expert. ‘She came to my class in the Dojo and made a big play for me. I was flattered and within a few weeks she moved into my place. We seemed to do nothing but fight with each other and then she’d say she was sorry but the fighting got worse. I knew I’d never hit her but I hated the way I felt after a fight. She’d come for me and scratch my face and punch me. She’d spit in my face and scream ‘go on, hit me, hit me.’ She can’t hit me as hard as a man can but it still hurts and I’m devastated. She throws all my clothes out of the front door and when I’m at work she ‘phones my mobile constantly and accuses me of having sex with my students. I’m not physically afraid of her but I am terrified of her moods. I walk on egg shells. I feel sick when she is in a bad mood. She throws things at me. I have to get out but she tells me she’ll kill herself if I leave her. I can’t tell anyone because nobody would believe that I’d let a woman scratch me up.’”

  4. pornonymous

    July 18, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    As I read your response, I get alot of flashbacks to such violence that I have endured, but none of it is wrse than being set up to be a mothers protector, and then being betrayed in that role by society, and particularly by women; and in the dialectic, feminists.

    I have noticed that the race issue is a huge determiner of the outcomes of court andf so forth, but also, the issue of privilege. In the case of the women who killed your brother( condolences), there is a subset of violence that men endure before these cases become extreme: the police steadfastly build records and lie in those records, about men they encounter when a woman calls the, and how they responded.

    It is well known that the cops are biased against men at every call, and by the time a man dies, the police record is often pre-compiled and in a hidden file called the investigators report(s) which men do not and can not access until the cops have some slam dunk aginst a man at a trial.

    However, these records are NOT hidden in cases where a man goes to court against a woman: the prosecutors, the judge, have all been ‘clued in’ by cops and these records that he is a ‘bad man’.

    I have noi doubt that this sort of record had s/th to do with your brothers case, and why that woman got off.

    Race is a huge predictor of jail versus no jail for women, and kless and less so, for men.

    I wrote a piece called ” Inspiring White Females to action: rationalization, abjection* and separatist feminist cowardice.” because I need to call the beast what it is. It is these white women who use false statistics, and cower in fear of violence, while black and brown women suffer.

    I will gladly read the piece you sent me about the cop at the dojo–how ironic. If it wasn’t a cop, I would be up in arms, but cops need to get some of their own poisonous medicine. They are the sickness of ‘protection gone wild” and they make it hard for the rest of men.

    Did you ever see that John Quinones special, where he has a woman beating a man, and no one does anything about it until it is extreme? A cop even walks by and does nothing! Go figure.

    I would send you a link, but it might be more fun if you go to youtube, and see how deeply the issue of battered men gets buried! (If you can’t find the link, I will send it to you if you want it)

    “john quinones what would you do woman beating a man” is some of the search language I used. Even “Woman beating a man” gives you a tone of other stuff that side tracks you from the issue!

    • ssofdv

      July 22, 2011 at 12:56 pm

      Actually, I did see the John Quinones special – and you can see the bias plain as day. One female passerby cheered that the guy was getting beat up, and it was sad to see that violence is favored when a woman is the perpetrator. If a woman was publically abused, this same woman would have been outraged. I don’t know what it will take for people to understand that violence is violence – abuse is abuse – no matter who dishes it out.

      And yes, “race” and “privilege” has a lot to do with the uneven balance concerning our judicial system. You make valid points as to the police and courts regarding how male on female – female on male violence is concerned. … “Black and brown women suffer” more violence and abuse, as well as harsher sentences – as the norm. The racial divide is still alive in America, and I don’t believe on a massive scale it will ever change.

      “Flashbacks” – yeah, I have those often. However, I am grateful to God that He showed me the truth about my mother and her betrayal. I used to blame myself for a lot of things, but now I understand where the real blame lies. I no longer hate her – and I am glad that she is deceased – I don’t want to hate her. I try to keep thoughts of her out of my mind as much as possible – they hurt. It is tough to bear such a burden isn’t it? I mean, if you cannot trust your own mother – who can you trust? It sure makes trusting others difficult.

      Thank you for your “condolences.”


  5. jfbkagregdfg

    February 25, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    a man who can hit a woman will never change, and as much as they say im sorry i will stop, or i do it because i love you, im trying to teach you things. they will NEVER EVER stop. I have been through it and they will never change no matter what. dont ever believe it, and once he hits you, it only gets worse and worse each time, never gets better.

    • ssofdv

      February 26, 2012 at 11:44 am

      Hello “jfbkagregdfg.”

      The men who do change are very rare. I won’t say “never” as to the ability to change concerning all abusers, for I have personally witnessed a man stop abusing – he is a Christian now. I believe he realized at some point that what he witnessed as a child was not the way a real man should behave towards his mate. Others, well they just keep abusing.

      You are correct on these points though, saying “I’m sorry,” and “I will stop,” “I do it because I love you,” I am trying to teach you things,” is a bunch of nonsense. I do not understand where these types of men get their attitudes concerning women. They treat their women more like their children rather than equal adults. And you are correct again, this false apology should not be believed and accepted, and the abuse does get “worse each time, never gets better.” The unfortunate thing about this truth is that it takes years for the abused to realize this. If only they can conclude this matter after the first hit, push, or slap.

      When you say that you have “been through it,” I pray that means that you are no longer suffering this evil. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, and commenting.
      May God bless you with His Divine healing and restoration.

  6. confused

    March 31, 2015 at 5:11 am


    Firstly, pornonymous, I’m sorry for what you went through as a kid. That is awful and something you should never have had to endure – or any other child for that matter.

    But please, don’t let your mother’s actions taint your views of all women.

    I have only just recently gotten away from my violent ex-partner. Actually, I haven’t gone “away” anywhere, he has been locked up. I never saw the violence coming, my family of origin was pretty good, my parents got together when they were both 18 and nearly 40 years on, they are still very much in love. And I always expected that if I behaved like my mother did, I’d be rewarded with a man just like my father.

    Sadly I ended up with an alcoholic instead. Who would go through patches where he was determined, apparently, to break the bad habits and to get sober and to turn his life around. And I’d be absolutely physically drained with driving him around to AA and group drink-driver counselling sessions and the like, always hoping that if I just supported him enough he’d break the addiction and I’d get my happy ever after. And when things were good, they were lovely, and I was the love of his life and I was an angel and the best thing that ever happened to him and he’d sing my praises to the world, and we’d lie in each others arms all night with him waking me up every ten minutes to tell me how beautiful I was again. And oh my god, he didn’t need a drink, because we were both so happy to just be together. And his parents absolutely adored me because their son was finally sober, and I had helped him do this, and they told all their friends how wonderful I was because, it seemed, I’d cured him.

    Except of course I hadn’t. And before long he needed another drink, and when I tried to remind him how far he’d come, and how he had stable work and good money now, and his license back, and no more legal issues, and how wonderful everything was going – well I wasn’t an angel anymore apparently, now I was a control freak who didn’t want him to have any fun, and when I tried to ring his mum (in hopes he’d listen to her, because surely he’ll understand we only have his best interests at heart!) well that was enough to flip him out completely. And I ended up in hospital, crying my eyes out, trying to understand how and why the man who I had loved so completely and who I honestly thought loved me so much too – would be so brutal to not just punch me in the head, but to carry on kicking me too, and suffocating me to stop me screaming for help – and just completely unable to understand any of it. Was it really possible that the man I was so in love with, could be such a monster?

    I couldn’t understand it, couldn’t make sense of it. And so his pleas and promises that it’d never happen again, that it was the booze that made him do it, that he would never drink again because he never wanted to hurt me ever again- I believed him. Because I wanted to believe him. But of course it happened again. Not as bad the next time, to be fair – the damage next time round was to my property more than me – but I knew, it would always happen again and again if I took him back again.

    So I reported him. And the police were wonderful, and now he is in jail and I have no idea of when or if he’ll be released. I know he could be looking at up to ten years although I doubt he’ll get that long. Yet still there is this stupid part of me that remembers the good times where we lay in each others arms and I wish, I wish so much that I could still be in his arms each night, but I can’t ever again. It is some small comfort to know that at least, he can’t drink in prison…. but I don’t know if he’ll ever take full responsibility for what he did to me. He said he was sorry…. but he did it again. I don’t know, if it was just that he loved the alcohol more than me, or if he really was a bad person, or if he has some kind of mental illness that made him lose it; all I can do is move on with my life and hope that maybe, one day, he will sort out his issues even if I never know about it. I hope so. But I still wish it could’ve been with me.


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