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Domestic Violence - why anger management rarely works.

(19 Posts)
fedupandisolated Sat 13-Sep-08 08:01:05

Following on from a thread I posted on last night I just had to start this thread.
The OP in the thread from yesterday asked advice about her partner who had disclosed a previous history of domestic violence.
Lots and lots of people said "run for the hills" and many asked if the OP's partner had done any anger management.

Can I just say that anger management rarely works with perpetrators of domestic violence. This is because their violence has little to do with anger and more to do with control - more specifically control of another person. It's a power thing.

If you or I lose our temper and go "over the top" we may lash out. The perpetrator of domestic violence does not usually do this. Their "anger" if that's what you can call it is already very managed. They don't lash out but you can be certain that the person they control will suffer at a later time.

The best programme out there at the moment is something called the IDAP programme (Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme) and even the success rate with that isn't fantastic.

So - if you are unfortunate enough to be with one of these men (or women) run for the hills indeed - if they will let you - or if they haven't left your self esteem in such a crappy state that you no longer feel able to.

Whatever you do - don't suggest anger management to him (her). Believe me - they do NOT have a problem controlling their anger. It's already controlled and calculated.

On the other hand - if you are truly with someone who has an anger problem (loses their rag and lashes out immediately) there might be more of a chance anger management might help. (and only "might").

SpandexIsMyEnemy Sat 13-Sep-08 10:36:34

good post I think.

hecate Sat 13-Sep-08 10:41:09

Agree. These people don't lose their temper and beat up their boss, or a shop assistant, or the doctor, do they? No, they are reasonable to others and then come home and kick their partner round the kitchen.

They have no problem controlling their anger. They choose to abuse.

peacelily Sat 13-Sep-08 10:52:04

Agree v poor evidence base for "anger management" whatever the context.

I work in CAMHS and because it's such a poor intervention with very little success or efficacy we don't offer it.

Psychodynamic psychotherapy or systemic therapy often more effective.

Gettingagrip Sat 13-Sep-08 11:07:12

Agree, agree, agree.

And read this....

Why Does He Do That?: by Lundy Bancroft

This thread should be pinned to the top of the board.

GypsyMoth Sat 13-Sep-08 17:13:21

i agree absolutely. my ex has had several courses of anger management. took me a good few years to leave him,and i did,with the 4 kis. he's with someone else now,abusing her too. and he expects me to send the kids to them? after they saw dv with me,and i got them out,only for them to experience it againin their home? i hope the judge when it gets to court,won't let that happen!!!

also,with the ex,alot of the dv towards the end was about attention,he loved all the drama of calling out police,and as we were in armed forces,then the attention he got there.

MrsSnorty Sat 13-Sep-08 22:13:31

Good thread. Wish someone would explain this to my CAFCASS officer sad

fryalot Sat 13-Sep-08 22:14:28

yes, yes, yes!

well said fedup

Grumpalina Sat 13-Sep-08 22:41:54

Can I just point out IDAP is only for DV offenders convicted of a crime and is part of a community programme. It's success rate may not that high as offenders are obliged to do it (although they do undergo interviews to ensure they will be receptive) but there will be plenty 'playing the game' as they got away from having to do a custodial. In some areas there are Voluntary perpetrator progrgrammes but I am not sure of the success rate and they are not easily available everywhere.

CostaRicanCod Sat 13-Sep-08 22:43:33

are oyu a probation officer?

Ready4anotherCoffee Sat 13-Sep-08 22:46:49

Interesting post.

well said though

Grumpalina Sat 13-Sep-08 22:54:32

No. I work with probation and attend IDAP assessments to assess risk levels of DV offenders

solidgoldbrass Sat 13-Sep-08 22:54:42

I agree: however if a person is violent/agressive to other people as well as to a partner then the problem may be poor impulse control and anger management-type therapies may help (ie someone who is constantly angry and shows it/lashes out indiscriminately is not quite the same as someone who is only agressive towards a partner).

Alexa808 Sun 14-Sep-08 03:12:25

Very, very good post. Completely agree.
Also wish to add that DV often starts with verbal put downs and emotional bullying.

LittleBella Sun 14-Sep-08 08:18:51

I think when people suggest "anger management", they don't generally mean just anger management by itself, most people kind of assume that it's part of an ongoing therapy which gets to the root of the anger. Agree that in isolation, it sounds pretty inadequate. The other worry is that by itself, a little course of anger management can give violent men the language they need to talk the talk of seeming as if they are completely reformed, while continuing to abuse their families behind closed doors with even less chance of being stopped.

fedupandisolated Sun 14-Sep-08 08:42:05

Yes - meant to say that the IDAP programme is a court ordered programme. Have worked with several families where the perpetrator has been asked to attend (if suitable). Some have attended and some were deemed not suitable.

We also have a good programme here called "The Sanctuary Project" which adapts a room within the home and makes it secure. One local woman interviewed in the paper said that she can now sleep safely for the first time in years. sadshock

StayFrosty Sun 14-Sep-08 22:16:11

Very well said.

TheNaughtiestGirlIsaMonitor Sun 14-Sep-08 22:19:27

I agree. I left my x (who was physically agressive sometimes, angry sometimes, moody sometimes, but always, always very controlling......
He still tries to control me now. Over money and when he will see the children and so on. It's a nightmare. He needs a slave to dominate and abuse, and he hasn't got one, and it's a source of perpetual torment to him.

unhappy Mon 15-Sep-08 13:41:34

my dp is a complete control freak - he has had anger management twice now - first time he was like a different person - second time round seem to make him worse - competeley agree with this post - the anger is calculated - they can function in society at work etc but when they get home and something does not go their way - you better watch out !! - Very distressing for all involved - although my dp is not physcially abusive the versbal abuse/controlling behaviour is shit to live witih - hope to escape one day blush

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