Our mission, simply stated, is to end domestic abuse in our lifetimes. Domestic abuse is an insidious and systemic problem within our society. There are innumerable factors that lead to domestic abuse, beliefs learned in childhood, media, upbringing, self-esteem, gender roles, and many, many more. In order to end domestic violence we believe in a well-coordinated multi-faceted effort.
This effort includes education starting early, to help children, and young people, recognize abuse in their lives, their current or future partners, their friends, and themselves. It includes education and counseling before abuse begins, when it occurs, prior to a major escalation, and after the fact. It includes alternative approaches such as yoga, meditation, self-esteem building, and others. It includes support for victims, families and even abusers. Lastly our approach includes looking at areas where the family and criminal court system can be improved to provide realistic solutions that truly reduce recidivism, protect children, families and victims all while protecting the constitutional rights of the accused, and the convicted.
Our core founding team has all been touched by, involved in, or directly associated with domestic abuse in one or more forms. Each member of the team is dedicated to the goal of eliminating domestic violence. We bring together our diverse expertise, including decades of experience in domestic violence counseling, to explore and provide a holistic set of resources and tools to support 'victims', 'abusers', children, and anyone else touched by abuse.
Domestic Abuse Education
Education is a core component of our philosophy for ending domestic abuse. The majority of our education is provided in partnership with A Better Choice at Waves (A Better Choice at Waves).
Our domestic violence education approach involves education at multiple levels: schools, juvenile detention facilities, court ordered intervention classes, as well as programs for groups, sports teams, and other educational venues.
The old saying goes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and our philosophy revolves around that. Rather than wait for an act of abuse to occur, we look to educate on nature of abuse, and abusive relationships, the characteristics of abusive people, and the beliefs that lead to abuse.
By educating more people, earlier, on these topics we can begin identifying the signs before acts of abuse occur, or before they escalate. Similar methods have been taken, and proven effective in the past for problems such as suicide prevention. Our educational approach is constantly evolving in order to better address the widespread need.
Traditional approaches to domestic abuse typically focus on one person - criminally convicted abusing parties, and one thing - mandatory classroom learning. This approach leaves major gaps that sit at the heart of the lack of success these programs show by the high recidivism rates of their participants.
At the same time stiffer criminal punishments, including jail-time, intended as a means of deterrence have little to no effect on recidivism rates. Interestingly things that do show an effect on an abusive persons likelihood to abuse again, are their engagement with treatment, and lower relationship distress, among others.
This knowledge sits at the core of our policy of holistic approach. From the start we treat domestic violence offenders as people who have made a mistake, but can change if they are committed to it, rather than 'abusers.' This promotes an overall environment where people are more likely to engage.
Next we incorporate overall well-being, and self-esteem into recovery treatment for those that have been abused, and those who've committed abuse. Various meditation, yoga, and breathing techniques are utilized alongside classroom type knowledge.
This varied treatment regime creates a more interesting, therefore engaging environment while not only educating individuals but helping them find the grounding and inner peace required to lead a non-abusive life.
Family and Criminal courts play a large part in the treatment or correction of domestic abuse. Current laws, mandates, procedures, and sentencing have come a long way from a dark past where those who were abused had little chance of protection or escape.
That being said, law is a living thing. As times change, knowledge expands, and data is gathered we must constantly look to readdress our laws to ensure the utmost efficacy. We must also take a hard look at whether our goal is punishment of crime, or prevention of crime.
Our goal is stated within our name - 'prevention'. With this goal in mind we look to influence change in the court systems treatment of domestic abuse cases. This approach has two broad functions: gathering data that can be effectively used to analyse the effectiveness of the current laws, procedures and sentencing, and using that data to push for legal reform in an effort to prevent domestic abuse.
The nature of domestic abuse is confusing, daunting, and ultimately scary. It is difficult for any party in an abusive relationship to know how to change, when to leave, or where to turn. This applies to those who are abused, those who've been abusive, and those who witness abuse, such as children. Our advocacy approach applies to any, and all parties, who have, or may be involved in domestic abuse.
Our advocacy stance is that we are here to assist those involved in domestic abuse navigate the options, whether it be court systems, shelters, counseling, treatment or otherwise. We do not provide any legal advice, but can assist in helping with where to turn, and what to look for.
If you've been involved in domestic abuse you are not alone, there is help and support available for you.