I have looked all over the Internet for information about being an abuser, and can't find anything. I am
looking for a way to stop abusing my girlfriend, and causing her pain. If you have any information that
can help me in this matter I would appreciate it. I love my girlfriend very much and if I don't get some
help, I'll lose her.
You are to be commended to do the first big step and that is to reach out for help. Your frustration in trying to find
resources mirrors the problem in the field. You'll have to explore until you find something that fits your needs, but
here are some places to start:
First, the reason why you abuse is unique to who you are and what your life history has been. Most abusers do not
want to abuse and are indeed embarrassed and shocked not only at their own behavior but by the reactions of their
loved ones. It is truly very confusing to all ("if I love this person how come I abuse them?"). General answers may
not identify the individual triggers, intents and the skills needed to correct an abusive relationship. Therefore,
selecting a mental health professional that is experienced in this area is very important and highly recommended.
Check the resources listed in the Trauma Department for more information. Agencies identified for victims will
frequently have referral information for abusers.
In addition, a program that has been a major force in training facilitators to provide educational groups for men
who abuse is the Duluth Domestic Abuse Intervention Project 218-722-2781. Ask for their program in your area.
The other contact in the Trauma Department resource list is the National Domestic Violence Hot line
800-799-SAFE, ask for programs for abusers in your area here also.
What our research seems to show is that abuse frequently doesn't occur one time, but is part of an ongoing pattern
that without help, doesn't go away. You are wise in knowing that you need help.
Connie Saindon, M.A., MFT, has been a Licensed Marital and Family
Therapist since 1979. In addition to providing services for
Individuals, couples and families, Ms. Saindon is among the few
specialists in the field of violent death bereavement. Founder the
Survivors of Violent Death Program and volunteer faculty at the
University of California Medical School Department of Psychiatry, she
is author of The Journey, Violent Death Bereavement: Adult Survivors
Workbook and contributing author of Violent Death: Resilience and
Intervention beyond the Crisis. To reach her, please see this page.