This will be the final portion of the series, and I hope I have opened some eyes to things you need to see. Its very hard to place these actions into words, and then show the true impact to families. I'm hoping visuals will help in that area.
(This is a portion of the Series of Emotional and Verbal Abuse your hear, feel, and see. Check this link for the different topics we covered)
The damage of these types of domestic violence relationships can last a lifetime if people aren't shown how to learn to deal with them. Healing is a long hard road for not only the abuser, but the victims they love. At times its the abuser that makes alot of promises, but the work is to overwhelming for them. They are going to need support of men around them (or ladies if she is the abuser), and people need to remember not to rely on the family to help to much with that. If they get to frustrated with things they will lash out at the family members once again. Remember following up with family members privately isn't a form of gossip, but will help you gauge if your path is the correct one. You also don't want the family to stuff the fear anymore.
In this segment Super Nanny is going to leave the family for a while to see if any changes within the dynamics can stick.
As you can see Phil has tried, and YES he does better in some areas. The root of rage within him is still present. Change isn't easy. He was trying very hard to be as honest as he could, but as you saw he broke the bond of trust once again. At times they will own their mistakes, but at others their defensive nature will come out. Keep in mind the family may get the wrath of that as well. Those patterns are hard to break.
I was happy to see during this show that Super Nanny didn't wait for Phil to get himself help. She found help for him, and pushed for his commitment for lasting change. I think its important that the parties that are helping out in these areas do have resources available to give abusers, and to follow up to make sure they do it. Keep in mind that their spouse may not be the best person to do this. It would be best to have the abuser make the call themselves - it shows commitment on their part. You don't want the spouse to be accused of causing trouble, nagging, or handing them any excuse to blame. That is why it is important the help source follow up with them personally to be sure they are going to do this.
Most abusers like Phil Davis will say, "No Problem! It will be looked into." I'm sure once again their intent is there, but most of the time they won't follow up. Its safer for victims to have someone else follow up with them to make sure they do what they promised. Their habit patterns need to be front and center in your mind. They will be looking for excuses, and they love to blame everyone but themselves. They are right with you at first, but they will change their minds just as fast. They will also start to point fingers, "What about HER??" They will also ask for breaks, and remind people how well they have been doing as a tool to get you to back off. Its fear that is talking, and remember they are some of the best con artists out there. They know where the line in the sand is, and you can count on them pushing it. Its their habit patterns, and giving up their entitlement isn't going to be easy.
Counseling for Phil Davis will involve alot of work, pain, tears, etc. He speaks to a woman that runs a program for abusive men during this segment. He also speaks to a man that was brave enough to finish the program. He then speaks to an adult that dealt with this kind of abuse growing up, and how this impacted her world.
Christian men will need help like this, but they will also need spiritual support. They will need both, and so will their victims. At first you need to look for motive until the fruits of change have some staying power. It will be up and down for a while, and encouragement is going to be needed badly.
Lets watch our final chip of the help Super Nanny was offering him.
For myself on a personal note I don't understand why churches don't think about the impact this abuse has on the children. They grow up to make poor choices in partners, and feel this is the way they deserve to be treated. God doesn't want that for anyone. You can't help but be damaged by the effects of domestic violence, and it doesn't have to require fists.
Abusers can be men or women, but you have to have the tools to see things. You need to educate yourself to recognize the traits. Within a week after this was released on television Phil was being investigated by child protective services. Neighbors that knew the family said they had never seen abuse towards the family members. They felt they were nice normal family, but as you saw they were not. Child Services was concerned of course about the emotional and verbal abuse, but they were more concerned about the slaps to the children. Their safety and well being were more of a concern first! Safety first, and then deal with the rest.
Since the showing it was mentioned that Phil Davis indeed followed up and continued his counseling. It wouldn't be an easy ride for him, and most of the time its to much for them. They tend to make excuses like cost, time, and its not doing anything to help - once things get to deep. They will need that encouragement to continue, and remember their family members maybe risking safety if they do this themselves.
Just like the neighborhood you may not be able to see things right away either, but knowing when to hush and listen...and learn the proper responses and questions to give you hints of the possible trouble could go a long way. We aren't talking normal marriage dynamics you are used to dealing with. Can you imagine how the divorce rates would be effected if people got healing, instead of ignoring the elephant in the living room? Lets say the worse does happen, and a divorce occurs for a moment. If the children got healing you may have helped stop the cycle, and that also would effect the divorce rates within the church. Their generation will benefit! Think about it!
Remember this form of abuse can lead to the physical type that most say is the 'real' form. Why have families deal with this type of domestic violence until that happens? We should be striving for the hard road to healing, and doing our part to ending the cycle of domestic violence. Remember God speaks against the type of behavior you saw in this video, and if the family feels unsafe don't encourage them to stay. The rage within people that abuse emotionally and verbally - among other types - are not safe people to be around. Its not an easy decision, and in most cases unlike you hear about they are looking for the abuse to stop ... not divorce!
How much hope could you bring to children, and the family general once we recognize and deal with this. Wouldn't it be awesome to hear what Morgan said? "It makes me want to come home!" With God's help and fellowship with our faith community we can help heal the damage of domestic violence, and be there for the long road of healing.
Do I hear an Amen?!
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