Author Archives: Jennifer

Seeing Domestic Abuse Through a Political Lens

“It’s unfortunate that we all have lived with abuse and that our society tolerates it. I would like to wish the pain away . . . but I know it can also serve a purpose – to help us identify and recognize abuse in the future.” Women’s Voices group participant When I decided to go…

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The Elephant in Our Society

Domestic abuse is more than a personal problem – it’s a societal problem. Any abusive relationship has intensely personal effects, and our first response should be to help victims address these: First, their safety needs – making a safety plan that is tailored for them Domestic abuse programs specialize in this; some therapists and medical…

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The Elephant in Families

Abuse is often invisible to outsiders; those who are aggressive may look like upstanding community members outside the family. Confiding what is happening may be met with disbelief. Family may also feel they need to protect the people they love. Abuse may also be invisible or unnamed within the family. Children may grow up accepting…

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Controlling Relationships

I’m back! It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged because I took time off to complete a book on controlling relationships. My tentative title (since editors often change them) is “Controlling Relationships: the Elephant in Our Society.” I’ll let you know when it’s published. I chose this title because control is often invisible to…

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Wisdom

“A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying in other words that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.” Alexander Pope What a wonderful way to acknowledge a mistake without getting stuck in shame. Shame is fueled by beliefs that we should be…

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Poise

Poise is a state of balance. We can see this physically when we view poised people moving with grace and agility. If thrown off balance, they are quickly able to regain it because of their practiced skill. Let’s take that  term apart. Often we give more recognition for skill, as if people possess something intrinsic…

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Becoming Like a Child

I’ve been spending a lot of time with my 13 month old grandson lately. What a joy! Being with children can be a good way to slow you down and take a look at what is important in your life. My grandson is just beginning to talk but seems to be constantly asking “what is…

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Is She a bitch or a leader?

Is she a bitch or a leader? Is he a wuss or a sensitive man? Both these questions help us become more aware of underlying biases and stereotypes. Healthy functioning allows for flexibility in men’s and women’s roles and behaviors.  Both genders should be able to choose what best suits them. Our socialization about what…

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Working with Controllers

Controlling behavior is the systematic domination and oppression by one person in a way that makes it clear that another person(s)  is not safe physically and/or emotionally.  Control tactics are the tools by which controllers dominate and oppress. Characteristics of control tactics: They are used to get the person’s way by any means it takes….

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Forgiveness: Truth or Consequences

Forgiveness is more for yourself than for others. It is about letting go and accepting “it is what it is”, rather than trying to change others, please others, or get them to love you. It’s forgoing dwelling on it and moving on with your life, rather than being weighed down with anger. However, forgiveness should…

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