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Conjugal Violence

Violence: why is it a “problem” ?

The status of “problem” is generally attributed to violence because of the negative effects it produces for victims as well as for those close to them. We have only been able to put mechanisms in place to counter and prevent violence ever since we have been able to learn about the psychological consequences on those exposed to it as well as about the mechanisms of its generational transmission.

Tolerance towards violence is not the same for everyone: personal history, life experiences, models, values and beliefs influence each one’s perception. However, even though violence may seem to be an effective means to an end, human history demonstrates that it is rarely a long-term solution, given the “human cost” it gives rise to.

The issue of “responsibility”

Several years ago, a bulletin board about safe driving read: “it is the other one’s fault!”. True or not, whenever something frustrating or serious occurs, individuals spontaneously tend to attribute responsibility to an external source.

It is easier to place the blame on others or on circumstance, than to recognize one’s shortcomings. To question oneself, assume responsibility for one’s actions and words and to take it upon oneself to repair the damages one has caused, is a process often perceived as too difficult to undertake.

To openly admit a mistake could entail being blamed or judged by the one who was wronged; a risk one would not want to take. Admitting one’s fault could also imply losing one’s self value. Finally, the history of the relationship, the history of conflict in the relationship and the manner in which these conflicts were or were not resolved, leave marks which make it such that the other is inevitably perceived as having part of the responsibility. One could end up resenting the other when he feels unfairly treated. As such, one could easily legitimize the recourse of using abusive words and actions.

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