We know therapy, education and jail does not stop the violence – so what will it take to end family violence?
The answer is simple and demanding. We must create social limits and sanctions that communicate zero tolerance. Friends and family must hold the abuser solely accountable for their behaviour and be prepared to step away from them if they refuse to change.
Ending family violence requires each of us to take personal risks in setting limits with friends and neighbours. Once we create a community and an environment that has no tolerance for family violence, then the ‘therapy’, ‘education’ and jail will have a meaning for the abuser.
We must stop expecting women and children to flee their homes in hopes of living safely. We must stop asking ‘why doesn’t she leave?” and start asking “why is he allowed to terrorise her?”