Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Abuser group - week 1

Last night was dh's first group session on the abuser's course.  He has had three individual sessions but joined the group last night for the first time.

This was our text exchange last night.

Me: What happened tonight?  Did you go?

DH: Just got back, it was ok.  As there are 11 others I didn't get to discuss exact things related to me the whole time (unlike the past few weeks).  I think I will have to keep referring back to my own experiences rather than wait for someone to try and draw it out of me.  We were discussing physical violence, this week was about identifying, I think next week will be relating to ourselves, and the week after how to stop/avoid, but I am just assuming  (can you sense the entitlement issues here?)

Me: Does it relate at all to what Bancroft describes?

DH: What he describes as physical abuse?

Me: No, the programme.

DH: A bit, I think Bancroft would be a lot harsher, I read online he thinks all abusers should do time.  I can understand that but I don't really agree with a lot of custodial sentancing, especially if it's me getting sent down.

Me: Hmmmm.  I wish Bancroft's programme was in the uk.

DH: I think it follows it very closely, but he doesn't actually set out a step by step guide to a good course.  But some of the points he raised as signs of a good course are lacking.

Me: Like?

DH: They don't tell you everything.  Apart from one bloke, everyone seems to fully accept their abusiveness and are concentrating on how to stop. Maybe they are just saying the right things, but from reading Bancroft he comes up against a lot of denial.  I saw this in the first week but not really today.

Me: Fully accept or accept bits?

DH: It is a 27 week programme so after my 1st 2 hrs with 11 other blokes I have only just met I couldn't really say.

Me: Alright.  No need to get narked.

DH: Tonight was about getting us to think about stuff, we watched a video with actors playing a scene of Domestic Violence.  It could have been easy to look at it and say 'I'm not like that' or just not say anything, like I said I think the thing will be to keep recognising the relative bits and relating them to my own experience.

Me: Will leave you to think.

So.  I am not engaging too much, but trying to be supportive and find out exactly what is happening and how he is reacting to this.  It's a difficult path to tread.  Getting information (the programme won't be giving me any) without getting involved.

I don't know what others think when they read this.  I am interested-from-a-distance.

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I appreciate all your comments, advice and support.