Can men who hit women ever change ?

This is Chris Brown, apologising for hitting his then partner, Rihanna.

He talks about growing up in an abusive environment and :

“I have sought and am continuing to seek help to ensure that what occurred in February can never happen again”

So, he’s sorry, he’s explaining where it came from and he’s seeking help.

Do you believe violent men can ever change ?

160 Responses to “Can men who hit women ever change ?”

  1. July 21, 2009 at 10:46

    Yes such men can change when they get to understand that their strength does not lie in how they can hit their women, but how they are able to exercise patience with them in times of misunderstanding.

    • 2 AGnomeCalledJimmy
      July 22, 2009 at 08:39

      There is a certain type of person who beats someone, for pleasure or otherwise. The fact is it will take them a tonne more effort than most are willing to put in to change, and furthermore whatever catalyst drove them to the edge will most likely reappear one day.

      I sincerely hope he serves jail time, if only to remind celebrities that they are subject to justice too.

    • July 22, 2009 at 09:23

      Its man only who do that but sometime woman even committe.

      Juba Southern Sudan

    • 4 Tanika
      August 17, 2009 at 04:55

      Hell to the no they cannot! People like that have issues that run way too deep and I don’t think a little counseling will help. I think women beaters, the only way they will change is if they find Jesus, wake up and find Him again. And not finding Him through church but finding Him in person live and in the flesh! When pigs fly right? Well when pigs fly thats when a woman beater will change!….Just my opinion

  2. 5 Vishaka
    July 21, 2009 at 10:54

    I dont think they could ever change! Male chauvinism is too ingrained in some men. I could be wrong, there might be men who can change and have change, but I wouldnt go near one who has hurt a woman because they might become violent again.

    • 6 Nigel
      July 21, 2009 at 13:39

      It may not be chauvinism at all but rather males lashing out at their own shorfalls……..sexual performance, intelligence, personality and many others. Areas where “woman is boss.” In some cultures “punishing” a woman with beatings is accepted within that culture but in our societies it should not be tolerated and supervised physcological treatement for the beater should be compulsory for the cases that get before the courts.

      • 7 Kathleen
        July 22, 2009 at 09:40

        I believe you are correct with your assessment of why males may lash out….however, the cultures that ‘punish’ women with beatings should not be accepted in ANY way shape or form, not just in ‘our’ society. Perhaps men who beat women (or men, for that matter) should have their compulsion beaten out of them….then, they can associate the pain they inflict with the pain response they receive.

    • 8 Calvin
      July 21, 2009 at 18:59

      I hope that this discussion does not forget that domestic violence is not a heterosexual problem. Men on men violence is common

  3. 9 aatma
    July 21, 2009 at 10:56

    there is sometimes mistakes were happens .We some times loose our sense so self-Realization is great.
    apologies may reduce violence to last.

  4. July 21, 2009 at 12:29

    Yes, they can. …if they want to.

  5. 11 deryck/trinidad
    July 21, 2009 at 13:01

    Yes they can change, but I personally don’t know any who have.

  6. 13 Bob in Queensland
    July 21, 2009 at 13:01

    Evidence says that such change is very rare. Alas, the same evidence also says that children from families where the woman is beaten often become wife-beaters themselves.

  7. 14 patti in cape coral
    July 21, 2009 at 13:21

    I think there is a difference between habitual violence against women, and a lone moment of loss of self control. I’m not saying that it is ever acceptable, but I have known of a case that I am surprised the man showed so much restraint as long as he did. I think a man can change if he wants to, but as it has been stated, I think it’s rare, and difficult. I also think it would be difficult for a woman to freely be herself without fear that it may happen again.

  8. 15 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala
    July 21, 2009 at 14:02

    Yes.As a son to eight(8) wives father because partnership needs a great loves,respects,care,believe and comprise for your soul mate and remembrance despite the difficulties u might have faced as a result of his actions.WHATEVER MISTAKES MAN MADE AGAINST HIS OWN WIFE IS A MAN TEMPTATIONS.So i`m calling for the mediate resumptions of good relationships between Chris-Rihana for the sake of their fans.

    • 16 Nda
      July 21, 2009 at 16:26

      Change has to come from the mind, unless men see women begin to appreciate the roles when women play in this world and give women their rightful place in the society, these cases will always reoccur and such ‘men’ will only say ”sorry” again and again…where are the laws mitigating such offenses in the first place?

  9. 17 ML
    July 21, 2009 at 14:04

    The discussion needs to be larger than individuals. Acceptance of domestic violence against women stems from seeing women as the property of men and is universally accepted, not just in the most blatant cultural examples (honor killings) but in pervasive attitudes that not only condone male violence but often blame the woman (“she was asking for it anyway, wasn’t she?”) There was a backlash against Rihanna in the blogosphere that was quite ugly.

    Many people don’t realize when they use the term “rule of thumb” that the expression derives from a British law that allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick so long as it was no broader than his thumb. The law is now off the books, but the expression — and the underlying attitude — still exists in, I would venture to say, every culture in the world.

  10. July 21, 2009 at 14:14

    Why bother giving beaters a second chance? There are plenty of fish in the sea. If men want half of a chance with us women, they had better get their acts straight.

  11. 19 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 14:16

    Being a lawyer, and knowing prosecutors and defense attorneys, a very scary aspect of this is that once these guys get charged or even go to jail, many times the women “forgive” him, and either want the charges dropped, or take him back once he gets out of jail. The process gets repeated over and over again. While I am absolutely making no excuses for these men, they are scum, the other aspect of this issue is the women that have low self esteem that seek out men like this, and repeat the process over and over again. Unfortunately these types of women aren’t rare. The low self esteem is connected to an intense desire for drama, and these abusive men provide it.

    • 20 ML
      July 21, 2009 at 15:04

      Steve, there evidence that what you’re describing is cyclical? That women who end up with partners who beat them were beaten as children, or saw their mothers beaten. It’s very hard to break such behavioral cycles. As someone else described above, boys who are beaten as children often become beaters themselves, and women who are beaten as children end up with abusive partners because this is the type of relationship they know, and the men who beat them as children also told them they loved them.

      Such cycles can’t be broken until cultures (and police) stop treating domestic abuse (of children or women) as a familial right.

    • 21 Halima
      July 21, 2009 at 15:36

      I think you have hit upon (no pun intended) an important aspect of the problem. I think men can change, – of course men are human too. But there is a relationship and attitude problem which is where the source issue is – and that is the idea that violence is a normal reaction to stress, and that the victim can often be part of the behaviour pattern.
      I think it takes serious counselling, time and perhaps relationship counselling as well. But yes, they can change. Whether they choose to and then do something about it, and whether the partner remains part of the pattern of victim, agressor, calling on a rescuer or not is also another question.
      I would not count on change without some serious and professional counselling, though.

  12. 22 Ann
    July 21, 2009 at 14:23

    Yes men can change this aspect of their behaviour. I saw it with my own eyes. My father beat my mother for 20 years and yet when she became ill with cancer, he gave up drinking completely and nursed her for two years with such devoted care and tenderness it was humbling to see. She died peacefully in his arms and somehow she managed to find the courage to forgive him for what he had done to her.

    Now many cynics would say he was just driven by guilt, and I know he had his guilt demons to deal with, but no one who saw his devotion to my mother could say that he did not love her. It was as if her illness brought them together in peace and love. He found some kind of redemption in caring for her and she seemed to receive the love she had so longed for and desperately needed.

    If there is life after death I am sure they are together now in peace.
    And it helped me to forgive him.

  13. 23 patti in cape coral
    July 21, 2009 at 14:27

    I was asked to expand on the situation I described above. It was a couple that I knew where the woman became an alcoholic, and very abusive to her husband, pushing him and spitting on him, and such This my husband and I witnessed several times. He put up with it for many years, and we always wondered why. He told us that he still remembered the person he fell in love with and he thought she was still in there somewhere. Well, this part is hearsay, I didn’t actually see it happen, but he slapped her and he went to jail for it. They were divorced after that. Like I said, I don’t think there is an excuse for the violence, it would have been better to leave before it got to that point, but he did put up with a lot. There is more to it than that, but that is the short version.

  14. 24 Kelly, from Chicago, IL, USA
    July 21, 2009 at 14:27

    I haven’t seen any statistics for how likely it is certain behaviors are ingrained in someone. I don’t know if domestic abuse is one of those “incurable” things. I think it’s unfair to assume that it is incurable. I think that Chris is doing the right thing in being public about how wrong it is and that he’s getting help. That is the best type of role model there is–not someone who’s perfect, but someone who has flaws and problems, admits them, and seeks to make themselves a better person.

  15. 25 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 14:35

    @ Pink

    The problem is, plenty of women seek out men like this. If you look at women’s prisons, most women are in there for committing crimes for their boyfriends or husbands. If you’re a serial killer on death row, or convicted of murder, you’ll get tons of love letters from women. The Menedez brothers got married behind bars. they murdered their parents then went on a shopping spree. The MacDonald guy that fatal vision was based off of, who murdered his pregnant wife, and two daughters, got married in prison. The guy who assasinated Yitzhak Rabin got married behind bars. There’s no shortage of women with low self esteem that go after men like this because of the drama they provide. We have to ask why there are so many women that actually seek out men like this?Why do so many women have such low self esteem?

  16. 27 Ramesh, India
    July 21, 2009 at 14:35

    May be not all men, but surely some men can. It depends on the treatment and reaction from the other side in most cases.

  17. 28 Mary
    July 21, 2009 at 14:45

    Woman or wife beating is in the genes. Not all men beat women or would beat a women but there are men out there who have no control and need medical help.

    We should judge all woman beaters differently. Women should know their men better…positively and negatively before a serious relationship.

    • 29 Halima
      July 21, 2009 at 15:40

      I do not buy this “in the genes” bit. It is learned behaviour. The ability to deal with powerful emotions must be part of a good educaion, good parenting, and sometimes medical or professional help. We all have emotions, some of us feel things more powerfully than others. Men have the added ingredient of testosterone which can be a powerful trigger, but it how we deal with our emotions and what the underlying social attitudes we adopt or are taught that make the difference whatever the genes.

    • 30 Ramesh, India
      July 21, 2009 at 15:48

      Well, I know a lot of women who provoke men to the maximum extent, for example, labelling husbands not manly!! Just like men, women also need medical help in most of these cases!!

  18. 31 patti in cape coral
    July 21, 2009 at 14:48

    I think Steve has a good point about women with low self-esteem seeking this kind of relationship. I think as mothers, we must make it clear to our daughters and sons that violence isn’t the normal part of a relationship. They are watching us all the time. If a daughter watches her mother stay with a man who abuses her, she’s learning that this is acceptable behavior, and so is a son.

  19. July 21, 2009 at 15:11

    After one beating there will certainly be more, as time goes on, the beatings will become more severe, and more frequent on this note my answer is No men who beat initially change never. The thing is in them, they will always beat. Men who beat always ever and men, who don’t beat, beat never.
    Violent environments breed wife beaters. If a man grows up seeing his father regularly beating his mother he is apt to think of his wife beating as normal behavior. If he was violently abused by his parents, it is a good bet that he will be a wife-beater, a child-beater or both.
    Wife-beaters are men who can’t handle frustration and turn to violence as a solution to problems. A man, who frequently punches walls, breaks objects or throws things in a rage will most likely abuse his wife someday.
    And that is a character he has taken on for years, so change can hardly be part of anything.

  20. July 21, 2009 at 15:16

    Yes, I believe abusive men can change once they realize that understanding rather than brute force is what sustains a relationship. Couples are two strange beings and everyone has his or her own shortcomings. It takes understanding and grace to create a balance.The well deserved apology is commendable and should be accepted in good faith. If our heavenly father can forgive our atrocities, then we must learn to forgive others.

  21. 36 viola
    July 21, 2009 at 15:44

    Steve, why can you not understand that a person’s behavior is not dependent on what someone else does? If a man abuses a woman, that abuse is about the man, not the woman. That issue is about the man. The woman’s issues belong to her and not to the man. I could keep saying that in many different ways, but what’s the point?

    The issue under discussion is male violence against women. Talking about female self-esteem will not offer any enlightenment about male violence.

    Female self-esteem is another issue entirely. Those two subjects must be viewed and discussed independent of each other.

    As far as violence against others is concerned, it is a learned behavior. As such, it can surely be rejected as a poor substitute for behaving in an adult, responsible manner that won’t lead to a lifetime of self-loathing or self-justification for doing harm to another.

  22. 37 Peter_scliu
    July 21, 2009 at 15:45

    Its the same for any gender. If a woman hits spouse and found gratification in it , it will be hard to stop it. Same with children who hits other children. Countries that attack other country without impunity will tend to want to invade again.

  23. 38 Linda from Italy
    July 21, 2009 at 15:50

    I really would like to believe that men prone to violence can change. Listening to Chris’s apology, these are indeed contrite words, but it bothers me that he is not getting professional help, and many of the stories I have heard from battered women mention the same sort of contrition, until it happens again.
    I’ve been married 3 times, and the first two were short-lived, partly because of that sort of violence, not severe it must be said, but enough to tell me to get out quick.
    Whether these attitudes to women, ranging from contempt to hatred and sometimes to fear, are the result of cultural programming and/or a disturbed childhood environment, creating feelings of their own superiority or indeed inadequacy, we can only hope there is some kind of “cure”, but that of course can only happen if the men in question really want to change and their community sanctions this change, not least by ensuring that the law is there to protect battered women and prosecute the men who do the battering.

  24. 39 John in Salem
    July 21, 2009 at 15:50

    We need to remember that violence in ALL forms can be just as damaging as a fist – emotional and psychic abuse leave scars just as surely as physical abuse.
    I believe that patterns of violence can be changed but that it requires more than just remorse or a desire to change. Historic family behaviors get embedded deeply into people’s personalities and to break the cycle it is essential that EVERYONE involved, perpetrators and victims, get therapy, counseling and coaching.
    Personally, I’ve been married three times, and while I have considered murder on a few occasions I’ve never actually hit anyone, even in self defense when it might have been “justified”.

  25. July 21, 2009 at 15:51

    Yes, they can change, through therapy and a little less provocation.

  26. 41 Anthony
    July 21, 2009 at 15:56

    Of course they can. Any one can stop doing any bad habit if they wanted. I think it’s harder for a woman to stop abuse than men since it’s more acceptable, and men have a need to act tough.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  27. 42 osbert
    July 21, 2009 at 16:12

    i think its a bit of both sides, when i was in university I lost my girlfriend because she said i was too gentle for her, she said she preferred the ‘HARD GUYS’ .
    Men who beat up women really feel inferior inside and tend to satisfy that by beating up the opposite sex, what i dont understand is why dont they pick somebody of their size …?

  28. 43 Jennifer
    July 21, 2009 at 16:13

    NO. Once a man shows that he will abuse a woman-the woman should leave. Usually there are warning signs but the woman ignores then or finds them cute like jealousy or etc. Sometimes women are already invested in the relationship; financially, emotionally, have children, and it is hard to uproot your feelings or just walk away. There is also that tendency to want to “help” the man get better.

    Maybe some men do change but if so; it’s because THEY see that what they are doing is wrong. You can’t force them to change.

    In the case of Chris Brown
    I think he can blame his childhood on his actions but he had a chance to rise above that childhood if he wanted to. He chose to continue the cycle. “Sorry” doesn’t fix what he did. I would not trust him. As far as I am concerned “woman beater” will always be on his forehead when I see him.

  29. 44 Jim Newman
    July 21, 2009 at 16:14

    Hello again
    I think that Ann may have touched on the heart of the problem.
    While her mother was fit and healthy her father was violent towards her. When her mother became ill he changed completely. Could it be that when her mother became ill that her father no longer felt threatened?
    Maybe some men are brought up so strictly to be ‘men’ that they see some women as threats to their manliness and feel provoked to violence.
    If this is the case or when this is the case, violence against women can be seen as a cultural phenomena and should be treated as such, meaning that a course of re-education would be more beneficial than chastisement.

    • 45 Ann
      July 21, 2009 at 17:39

      Hi Jim

      I would agree with that completely. I do think that many men feel threatened and resort to physical strength to cover up their insecurities and vulnerabilities. And I would also say that in my father’s case I believed he was also moved by pity and mercy towards my mother’s obvious physical suffering. Education and changing the culture of machoism is the key. Men need to be helped to feel more comfortable about their emotions and fathers have a huge part to play in that.

      Thanks for your thoughtful post Jim

  30. 46 Jessica in NYC
    July 21, 2009 at 16:23

    Yes, I have to believe humans are capable of changing and evolve with education. Women cannot change their partners, the men have to do it themselves and alone. Women should not allow themselves to be punching bags and realize they have to leave and let their partner sink to the bottom and hope he gets help.

  31. 47 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 16:31

    This discussion ALWAYS stirs a visceral reaction in me. I’ve had women friends/family members throughout my life who’ve been in abusive relationships. It is one of the hardest things to watch when a women goes back to an abuser – but that is part of the dynamic. Men who abuse and women who are abused HAVE to get help to stop the cycle of violence whether it is physical, emotional or psychological. Men who hit do not stop on their own….the hitting comes from something way down inside these men, something that few if any can contain, control or fix on their own. There are men who will NEVER stop hitting, even with therapy.

    • 48 Jessica in NYC
      July 21, 2009 at 17:47


      I can relate. I have seen too many women stay in abusive relationships. Currently, a friend of mine who is a lawyer is going through this problem. I’m baffled by how an educated woman who knows the law can be in this situation. My expeirence has taught be I cannot make them see reason, the women have to be ready to accept the help and want to change it. I’ll continue to stand by her until she accepts my help.

  32. 49 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 16:31

    @Mary from Nigeria – The provocation a man uses as an excuse for hitting – is just that an EXCUSE – the provocation is not usually real. So saying less provocation will change things is blaming the victim for causing the violence……and that is just what the man wants an abused woman to think – so he can control her and blame her for his actions.

  33. 50 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 16:42

    @Osbert They don’t pick on people their own size because they might lose…..it’s about the POWER, they have no power over someone who is physically their own size. The whole idea is to beat someone into submission.

  34. 51 parth guragain,Nepal
    July 21, 2009 at 16:51

    change is the way we keep on moving.men may be aggressive in youth but with passing of age they tend to be less agressive.yes they are some who never change their habits.it is only media which is highlighting the issue of celebrities.these things do happen in each homes in countries like nepal.if we keep on brooding in these issues we will have shattered familiy life as in west.by saying this this i am not advocating violence .there should be one understanding member in relationship to click.

  35. 52 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 16:59

    @ Julia

    @Osbert They don’t pick on people their own size because they might lose…..it’s about the POWER, they have no power over someone who is physically their own size. The whole idea is to beat someone into submission.

    I’ve actually heard a theory that women go for abusive guys because if they are strong enough to abuse her, they are strong enough to protect her from harm and protect her children, even though in reality, they most likely are cowards when it would come to defending someone versus abusing them. But this is a theory I’ve heard why women subconsciously go after abusive men.

    This is a rather large problem. Though nobody loves a whiner, you’d have a better chance of getting a woman being abusive than you would be being kind and caring. Can’t tell you how many guys I know went from treating women well and failing miserably with women, to becoming at least psychologically abusive, and succeeding with women. There’s something seriously wrong with the self esteem of women these days. Whomever were to identify the source and find the solution to this would become a very wealthy person.

    This is a cycle that is only going to get worse unless the problem is at least recognized, rather than swept under the carpet, because it might not be PC.

    • 53 Ann
      July 21, 2009 at 19:09

      @Steve “I’ve actually heard a theory that women go for abusive guys because if they are strong enough to abuse her, they are strong enough to protect her from harm and protect her children”

      I’ve known many women who get into and stay in abusive relationships and counselled many more, but I’ve never heard that being said. Women who stay in with abusive men usually have low self worth and it gets even lower as the abuse continues. But they are terrorised by the violence, not impressed by it.

  36. 54 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 17:00

    @Parth, then I feel horrible for the women of Nepal if this is such acceptable behavior.

  37. 55 Shake
    July 21, 2009 at 17:00

    In modern times, not only have men’s attitude changed, but so has women’s attitude. Women are more demanding, asking for equal terms, and exhibit their own ego more freely.
    This attitude leads to more of a conflict with traditional men’s behavior which is more chauvinistic.

    Question on a broader scale is, then, should men be different from what evolution made them, or, should women’s attitude earned in last 50 years be dominating factor? Is it a natural evolution or an artificial one?

  38. July 21, 2009 at 17:03

    I am not trying to make excuses for abusive men, there is really no excuse for hitting a woman. The point i am trying to make is that it may not entirely be a man’s fault that he hit a woman.

  39. 57 Anthony
    July 21, 2009 at 17:20

    Lets not forget the gender bias of reports on domestic violence. In “Community-based samples” the aggressor’s gender is about equal, however when samples are taken from hospitals and places like that, the numbers are much higher showing that the male is the aggressor. Women beat their spouses just as much as men. Men are just bigger and can inflict more pain. (*in the United States)

    Even the way this post is worded it shows gender discrimination.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  40. 58 David
    July 21, 2009 at 17:21

    The question should be changed to “People who hit others…?) instead of many who hit women, because both sexes have the potential ti hit each other.

    Point number 2: What is the reason people hit each other? Do they hit each other without reason?! Let men and women change their attitudes.

    Point number 3: Hiting other people should not be allowed, and if for one reason or other it happens,and the person is sorry for what he/she did, then I do not see why people can not be perdoned.

  41. July 21, 2009 at 17:24

    Violence is abhorrent but even more hateful especially when men beat up women physically! Losing control and using brute strength to cow down women smacks of bullying! First of all men have no right to take the law into their own hands and administer physical punishment. In this age of equality and emancipation, men need to show respect towards women. Respect is the key to all human interaction. The earlier men realise that the sooner society would evolve to more civilized behaviour. Women are the backbone of society. Their contributions are immense and they need to be treated with respect. A relationship based on mutual respect is the vital building block for a happy home. Children develop stability and confidence when they realize their parents love them to bits and would do everything to see them succeed in all their endeavours. Success breeds success

  42. July 21, 2009 at 17:28

    The sad truth is that ours is a society where women worship and congregate around violent men. Knowingly or unknowingly women enjoy sensation and men who show their bravado in such a brutal, crude and primitive manner have all the beautiful ladies clinging on them like fleas on decomposing waste.
    Our well behaved and gentlemanly type is forced to take the backseat and settle with those who are tied of standing in line for the bad guys.
    Good girls love bad boys. Period!

    Next topic please…

  43. 61 Anthony
    July 21, 2009 at 17:28

    @ Mary

    Are you kidding me? In the genes? Is cheating, prefering vanilla over strawberry ice cream, and being a good driver genetic too?
    Saying it’s genitic just enables people like this to keep on beating their wife.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  44. 62 Andrew in Australia
    July 21, 2009 at 17:43

    I hope the question of domestic violence by ALL perpetrators is not lost in this debate. The fact remains that while under reported, DV against men by female partners has always been a problem, though not as widespread but is now becoming more and more common as time goes by. The debate should better be described as ANYONE who assualts their partner… can anyone be trusted, male or female? Do we tend to be more lenient towards women who beat their husbands? The result is the same and as with male on female violence, can be death or severe injury, physical or mental.

  45. 63 Dave in Florida
    July 21, 2009 at 17:51

    Here we go again. Just lable all men as nothing more than potential abusers and rapists.

    The number of men who would even consider hitting a woman is a fraction.

  46. 64 Sofia S.
    July 21, 2009 at 17:51

    Chris Brown once said in an interview on the Tyra Banks Show how he was a bed wetter until beyond the age of most children. he said his mother was in a very abusive relationship and that he would be too afraid to get out of bed at night to go to the bathroom. he then how much domestic violence disgusted him, how he did not support it in any way and that he never would be an abuser himself. i believe that his case shows us how powerful of a hold this type of behavior can have on a human being. when he was pushed to his limit his mind resorted to handling the situation the way he had been taught growing up, even though he was so adamantly against abuse.

    i believe that like an addict, he can change but it will be a life long conscious effort that he must always be aware of and can never let his guard down, he most always be truthful with himself and continue his effort to change

  47. 65 Andrew in Australia
    July 21, 2009 at 18:01

    To add to my earlier comment, often it is the case that men who suffer from domestic violence will not approach anyone for help as they see this as somehow diminishing their manhood to ask for help and admit that a woman has beaten them. It is this that a female perpetrator can often count on to continue with the violence and remain hidden from the outside world. Sadly this is becoming an all too familiar occurance in the modern day world in the west in particular.

  48. 66 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:01

    @ Jessica

    “My expeirence has taught be I cannot make them see reason, the women have to be ready to accept the help and want to change it. ”

    This is a very good observation. From what I’ve seen and experienced, unfortunately they are lost causes. They need the abuse/drama due to their low self esteem causing a creating a need for drama. If these women were treated well by men, they would lose interest and would be bored, and would leave men, and go after the abusive types. Until these women want to change, they will seek out these kinds of men, and they don’t necessarily want to change.

    • 67 Jessica in NYC
      July 21, 2009 at 18:38

      @ Steve

      In some cases it’s true, but not all. I’m not ready to throw in the towel and consider the abusive men or women with low self esteem as lost causes who are not capable of changing or improving their lives.

      As far as “women were treated well by men… and would leave men” that is acrimoniously simplifying a complex issue and blaming all victims for the abusers behavior. Furthermore, what kind of pathetic men behave this way to get women? it doesn’t seem like this is a recipe for a healthy relations for either person.

  49. 68 Ann
    July 21, 2009 at 18:03

    One further thought, men who beat women seldom get involved with fights with other men, they enact their violence because it can heppen behind closed doors and generally women cannot fight back.

  50. 69 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:04

    I’m glad Israel said it. I and everyone I know , knows that if you treat a woman well, you get dumped, as you’ve bored her. Treat her like crap, and she’s crazy about you. Don’t know any guy who hasn’t experienced this. This is why women you aren’t very interested in pine over you, and women that you want, and make the mistake of showing interest in, lose interest in you. It’s an issue of drama and challenge, which isn’t very mature if you ask me.

    • 70 Linda from Italy
      July 22, 2009 at 11:45

      Steve, please see my post on this subject:
      Husband no 1 violent – I walked out after 1 year
      Husband no 2 violent ditto
      Husband no 3 kind, helpful, intelligent, does his share of household chores and parenting when son was little, we have rows but stop at yelling at each other – 20th wedding aniversary on 28th July – nuff said!

  51. 71 Thomas, CA USA
    July 21, 2009 at 18:09

    Abuse is horrible at any level. I am bothered that this topic is relegated to men beating women though. What of the women who strike the men in their life? Why is this ignored so often? Is it because (generally) a man striking a woman does more damage than a woman striking a man?

  52. July 21, 2009 at 18:11

    Honestly, i want to know: is there some aspect of men prone to violence that some women find attracxtive? The question needs to be asked. Rhianna can have any man she wants, why would she stay with an abuser?

  53. 73 Thomas, CA USA
    July 21, 2009 at 18:14

    Israel and Steve mentioned this and its definitely noticeable. It happened to me countless times in my teen years during dating because I was the nice guy. The verbally abusive and aggressive guys always got the girl.

    • 74 Dennis Junior
      July 21, 2009 at 18:19

      Often the times is the “girls” don’t want the nice guy; they want the aggressive and mean guy…

      ~Dennis Junior~

  54. 75 Angelina
    July 21, 2009 at 18:15

    Of course,men who hit women can change.Even the most hopeless cases can be transformed with real understanding & love.Then change can occur-from within.

    The woman must not tolerate such abuse.That just accelerates the problem.
    These men need counseling and a change of attitude.It all boils down to RESPECT.Men must learn to respect a woman as an equal.

  55. 76 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:16

    My question to the guest who had the year long abusive relationship, is, did she learn her lesson? It seems like she was addicted to the drama of the abusive relationship. Were her next relationships abusive? If that’s the case, then she hasn’t learned the lesson, as she might, if chosing abusive men, at least subconsciously wants the drama that abuse produces.

    To DR. II from Virginia: In my experience, women who are with abusive guys are very much into drama. I used to date a girl who broke up with me, and then started dating an abusive guy. He got her pregnant, and kicked her out at 4 months pregnant, and she had to go to a battered woman’s shelter. She later married him. She ismply would never be happy being treated well. she has non existant self esteem and is honestly happier being abused than being treated well. So, I would think, with this, and the experiences of many other people I know, that low self esteem women find subconsciously, abusive men to be attractive, at least for the fufilment of a need for drama. Needing drama in one’s life is a sign of immaturity.

  56. 77 Troy in New York
    July 21, 2009 at 18:16

    Men who hit women — and women who physically abuse men — need serious help.
    With as much effort as it takes for a drug addict to stop using or an alcoholic to stop drinking,
    I would imagine someone could change their behaviour. Maybe Chris Brown should get help himself
    before trying to help other abusive men? Seems like he’s crying crocodile tears to save his fame.

  57. 78 Vijay
    July 21, 2009 at 18:16

    Can men who beat women ever change?
    Of course they can,but they need help and support,guidance and therapy as well as a hefty deterrent.

    It also depends on how much weight is put on bullying and psychological abuse,if a woman can kill a man in self defence after years of bullying and abuse then the converse is also true,therefore a man in desparation might lash out towards a psychologically abusive woman bully,in order to defend himself.

  58. 79 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:18

    @ Thomas

    Try dating a woman you have little to no interest in. Be very indifferent, she will be crazy about you. Now compare that will treating her well, and heaven forbid, letting her know you’re interested in her.. It’s due to low self esteem. Women need drama and a challenge. They want to “change” this man, the one who doesn’t treat her well. If he doesn’t change, then she’ll get bored and leave him for another guy who treats her poorly…

  59. 80 Anthony
    July 21, 2009 at 18:18

    @ steve and Israel

    Lol, it’s sooo sad that it’s sooo true. When I’m a jerk, then women want me, when I’m a nice guy, no dice. I’ve actually been a jerk just to keep a woman interested. I’m older now and don’t play those games, but I know what you’re talking about, it’s so immature.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  60. 81 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 18:20

    @Israel, Steve and Thomas

    If the type of woman a man wants is one who is insecure and moves towards an abusive relationship, that says a lot about the type of man he is. A man who is confident and wants a solid relationship will not gravitate towards someone he has to abuse to ‘get’. I think that it is a ‘cop-out’ that ‘girls only want abusive men’, that is an excuse to justify extremely poor behavior on the man’s part, just one more justification for abuse.

    • 82 Thomas, CA USA
      July 21, 2009 at 18:28

      I don’t think any of the three of us ever said anything about justifying behavior. The common theme among Israel, Steve and myself is that we are completely confused by this trend. This show has primarily been about the behavior of men in these abusive relationships but there has not been any discussion regarding the behavior of the women.

  61. 83 Dennis Junior
    July 21, 2009 at 18:20

    Do you believe violent men can ever change ? (Not usually)…..

    ~Dennis Junior~

  62. 84 Adam in DC
    July 21, 2009 at 18:21

    What about the woman having the common sense to walk away from a guy the first or second time he hits her? Rihanna ran back to Chris Brown and many women run back to their “man” because they don’t have the strength of mind or emotional intelligence to realize they can survive without him.

  63. 85 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:22

    @ Anthony

    Yup, it’s unfortunately true for a large % of women. I’m also too old to play those games myself. I do hope the show takes up this issue that women do find these types of men more desirable than men that treat them well, because women consider being treated well as a lack of challenge and is boring for them.

    I’ve never deliberately treated women badly, but I have dated some women who I didn’t have much interest in, and you guessed it, they were crazy for me. And the ones I was crazy about, you guessed it, they lost interest.

  64. 86 Bert
    July 21, 2009 at 18:23

    As much as I have zero sympathy and zero tolerance for these cowards, it does look like some women seek them out. I’ll bet every guy out there, who is not one of these slime balls, has met plenty of girls who prefer that type.

    Could it be something anthropolical, from when women were dragged into caves by the hair? Something subliminal in the female psyche?

    No, I wouldn’t bet on them ever changing. Some might, but I would never recommend to a girl to “stand by her man,” under such circumstances.

  65. 87 Todd in Atlanta
    July 21, 2009 at 18:24

    The cycle of abuse CAN always be broken and HAS been broken in various cases.

    I see a lot of posts here saying that it cannot be changed, and such men will always hit again. In a world as relatively progressive as ours is today, it doesn’t have to be that black and white.
    There are lots of resources in place for people to accsess in order to make such changes, but I also feel that the issue of women returning to their abusers repeatedly, needs to be addressed.

    How many of us have grown-up through high school or college and watched young women constantly hook-up with guys that were utter jerks and slimeballs? I have…

    Men and women need to be fully taught to understand how to handle their anger, and simply stay away from toxic personalities. In a world of 6 billion people and counting, I’m sure any individual can pick, choose and refuse who they want to be with; and if you have to walk away from the relationship, there is a chance for another one.

  66. 88 Julee
    July 21, 2009 at 18:25

    I have a unique situation. I was with a man for eight years off and on, had a child with this man, we would get into fights often, and always end with him beating the crap out of me. The unique part of this story is, this man has not hit another woman ever, only me. We have not been together in 12 years and he has a relatively normal relationship with his son, every other weekend, and no he has not incurred violence to anyone since we broke up. He has had several girlfriends since, and has treated them respect. Why I brought this out in him is unknown to me.

  67. 89 James
    July 21, 2009 at 18:25

    Well sometimes it’s the wife that is violent with the husband. I divorced my hard hitting wife, gave her the house, the dogs and my life in Australia and moved to England. As far away as I could get.

  68. July 21, 2009 at 18:25

    Israel, Steve, and Thomas. I feel you and agree. I assume you all are from western countries / societies, as am I. Here in America women are largely free to choose their mates. I have also experienced that treating a woman as a lady is often unsuccessful as far as courting goes. Perhaps its an age thing with my peers (late 20s early 30s).

    However in other societies (middle east/ muslim, among others) this is not the case. It amazes me that even when women are empowered these situations arise. Goodluck with everyone finding a true and compatible partner with no abuse or pain whatsoever.

  69. 91 marjorie in jamaica
    July 21, 2009 at 18:27

    I have been listening to the conversation and my comment is that as it relates to change; the only change that needs to happen is for the abused person to remove themselves from the relationship – whichever one goes it needs to separate.

    Abusive people do not change – they are pathetic – they apologise and then repeat the offence again and again.

  70. 92 Anthony
    July 21, 2009 at 18:28

    @ Julia in Portland

    You are in Portland. Did you grow up there? It’s extremely liberal there, but if you grew up in L.A. country, or someplace similar, you would see how the women act. They like the jerk, and drama. That’s just how it is. Just because you can’t understand it, doesn’t make it not valid.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  71. 93 Anthony
    July 21, 2009 at 18:31

    @ James

    I have a scar from a butchers knife on my arm about an inch and a half long. Origionaly it was about 3 inches long. I’ve been cut, hit in the face/body, kicked in the body, had things thrown at me (and hit in the head with stuff), and more. I feel ya my friend.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 94 Tom K in Mpls
      July 24, 2009 at 15:44

      Face it, you like shock people and make them mad. The results of what happens in a face-to-face situation shouldn’t surprise you.

  72. 95 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2009 at 18:32

    The major root of domestic violence in a lot of the world is the thousands of years of parental role modeling to children that King Solomon advocated, “Spare the rod and spoil the child”. A huge percentage of children learn violence at the feet of their religious parents.

    They learn many different things about how and when to use domestic violence, for revenge, out of frustration, to make someone do what the beater wants them to do, as “punishment”, as a horribly misguided attempt at teaching and/or correcting unwanted behavior, to do to someone under their power what their boss at work did to them but physically instead of psychologically with words.

    And many forms of government use fear and intimidation to control their political base, Conservatism for example, and then their base turns and uses that method on people they want to control, usually wives and children.

    So. Religions and Politics are two of the offending role models.

    But people can change, husbands, wives, and their children, and we really ought to change the roots that helped create the problems in the first place.

    Prevention is far more effective than remediation.

  73. 96 Todd in Atlanta
    July 21, 2009 at 18:32

    Chris Brown may be apologizing because he’s motivated to protect his career, popularity and image. I’ll go a step further and say that he IS.

    That does not mean that he is not sincere. The kid is 19. How many of us are now the exact same person we were when we were 19. I know most certainly I’m not… thank god! I bet you this incident will have a massive impact on him for the rest of his life, and the potential loss of his career should do a lot to solidify the gravity of his situation.

  74. 97 Martha
    July 21, 2009 at 18:33

    Most DV starts out as verbal and emotional abuse and escalates from there. An excellent source of information on the topic is Lundy Bancroft’s book “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men”.

    About Chris Brown: his body language looks correographed throughout, but as he says that he is sorry, he closes his eyes. To me, this looks like an unconscious admission that he doesn’t believe what he is saying. I don’t believe he is sorry for the assault, but I do believe he is sorry for being in trouble.

  75. 98 Thomas, CA USA
    July 21, 2009 at 18:33

    The point a few of us have raised is that there is an equal parts responsibility between both parties in an abusive relationship meaning that there is a destructive behavior occurring within the aggressor and the victim. One is outwardly destructive and the other is self-destructive.

  76. 99 Siobhan
    July 21, 2009 at 18:34

    I heard a DJ in the U.S. yesterday speaking about this case. Although his words seemed to be sympahtetic to Rhianna, in regards to Chris Brown, this DJ said, “This guy is hitting bitches” It’s important to recognize that violent words lead to violent actions. It is never acceptable to employ violence against women under any circumstances.

  77. July 21, 2009 at 18:35

    One simple, almost scientific, fact is: the female of the species (when they are free to choose) decides what the male of the species is. From the peacock to homosapiens this fact remains largely true.

  78. 101 John
    July 21, 2009 at 18:35

    Men who strike women are not men – they are animals. They should be dealt with the same way we deal with dogs who turn on their owners. They cannot be trusted.

    John, in Cleveland

  79. 102 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 18:35


    I am not originally from Portland, relatively recently moved here……I started in Los Angeles..was born in LA 🙂

  80. 103 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:36

    I mean, we could take a poll here, what works in getting women, being “nice” or treating them badly. I have a feeling 99% of nice guys would say they are complete failures with women, basically because women don’t desire that. I’ll freely admit, every time I treated a woman well, I failed, and she lost interest. Treat her badly, and she’s crazy about you. I’ve had friends ask me how to break up with a woman without breaking her heart, and I tell them “be nice”, and they are extra kind for a couple weeks, and SHE winds up dumping him, EVERY time. My advice to men who want a relationship to last, provide lots of drama. Have her complain, constantly about you. Because if she’s not complaining about you, she’s bored by you.

  81. July 21, 2009 at 18:36

    You are perpetuating a double standard here. Voilence and domestic violence in particular is wrong whether it is men against women, women against men, men or women against children or any other combination. I too am upset and disturbed that this is focused on men against women. We all have a responsibility to speak out and try to stop any domestic violence. Men are probalby more prevalent in doing this, but suffer the consequences to a much much greater degree.

    I have a friend, a man, who was in a relationship that turned abusive. The woman threw things and hit him, but when police were called they had him put her to bed. She then once accused him of hitting her to friends when she was drinking heavily and the police came and took him away with no proof or witnesses at all (and her record of violence).

    So in my view you are perpetuating the myth that it is OK for women to hit men and provoke them, but men can never hit back (or first) no matter the provocation. The justice system in America is skewed by this arguement and justice is NOT done in many cases. I agree with your guest that we all do have the power to walk away and should, but there are many injustices as well and we need to end all violence in the family if at all possible.

  82. 105 nora
    July 21, 2009 at 18:36

    To the guys who are bitter over women choosing someone else, maybe you should wash more frequently. This has nothing to do with the issue. I, for one, left a house I owned and all my belongings just to get away from emerging physical violence. Then I moved 3000 miles and paid a therapist to work with my ex, since we have a child. Our child is grown, an excellent non-violent parent, and the ex is now married to our former babysitter and does not beat her or his younger child.

    So I bit the bullet because, as a cultural revolutionary, I knew my generation of women attempting economic and social parity threw a lot of men off center. Better to heal what we can. Am I still pissed off when my jaw still occasionally aches twenty-five years later? Sometimes I want the tooth for a tooth, but all in all am satisfied.

    • 106 Thomas, CA USA
      July 21, 2009 at 18:52

      I can’t take your comment all that seriously when you stoop to personal attacks over the internet about our hygiene when you don’t even know who we are. Its a shame really because i’m sure the rest of your post is insightful and valuable.

  83. 107 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2009 at 18:39

    It is a myth that opposites attract, quite often a person who has been abused is attracted to someone who gives them that same familiar and comfortable feeling, and without consciously knowing it. And abusers are unconsciously attracted to people who are used to abuse.

    Talk therapy can help reveal that and help the person change.

  84. 108 Ralph
    July 21, 2009 at 18:39

    “We all kill the thing we love” -Shakespeare

    First, it must be said that, if women had the same physical power as men, there would be far more physical domestic violence inflicted on men by women than vice versa.

    It is tolerated for mothers to smack their physically-weaker children out of sheer frustration, but this does not mean that they intend to hurt them or do not love them. The key here is frustration and no premeditation.

    Frequently, men who abuse women feel suicidal after their actions. It is ironic that when we are really, utterly frustrated, we are liable to lash out at precisely what we value most; we may smash a precious object or the TV! So it often is with men: the thinking is: “you of all people, whom I love so much, is against me”; this is reciprocated by the abused woman. Women need to understand this.

    Can men change? Well, if they continue to feel frustrated, for whatever reasons, it is difficult (as it is with women). They may feel less frustrated with another woman. Or they can practise being indifferent to the woman they are with!

  85. 109 Nate
    July 21, 2009 at 18:39

    I do honestly believe that men (And women) can only change if they want to. Even then, there is probably a psychological reason why they do and can continue even if they seek help. I have witnessed people in domestic violence and most times, it involved men losing their control over the woman they obsess over. They can’t control it, they get angry and they get violent. It is unacceptable and has to stop, but when you look at it, it seems more like an impulse for violence, especially when you look at how much of a socially hated action.

    -Nathan Salt Lake, Utah

  86. 110 Donald Donadio
    July 21, 2009 at 18:46

    Yes men can restrain themselves if they wish.
    You can change from an abusive stance to neutral non physical solutions. It is necessary to think and force yourself out of a physical altercation. While this is open to change, men that are physically attacked by females do have the right and responsibility to remove themselves from the area of the attack.
    Women who corner men, Strike men in the face, or through objects or hot liquids at men have to realize that men will react with equal force.
    The whole physical altercation mentality must be completely abandoned for successful relationships.
    No one has the right to punch, slap, bite scatch kick or otherwise assault a person they claim to love!!!
    This applies to all parties in relationships Straight, Gay or Lesbian

  87. 111 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2009 at 18:46

    I would point out that contrary to the Dr. Phil type attitude, the abusers are also victims and need help instead of blanket outright condemnation.

    A human who mistreats another human is a damaged human and that damage ought to be recognized and treated. That does not justify DV in any way, it just recognizes that both parties are damaged people.

    Prevention first, then stopping and recognizing, then change and healing, then helping with prevention for others.

  88. July 21, 2009 at 18:48

    dv perp triangulation: visualize a triangle and label the points victim, perpetrator and rescuer. The perpetrator when confronted will flip to playing the victim (“she drove me to it”) and accuses the victim as being the perpetrator (“she nags me all the time”) and finds a rescuer (some sympathetic listener like a policeman who buys his schtick). This powerful dynamic is used by the perp to avert responsibility.

    Violence is anything that VIOLATES another. It could be hitting, kicking, rape, etc. But it could also be video or audio or computer surveillance, control of finances, stalking, beating another human or animal in front of the victim, etc.

    Their is a cycle of violence. The violence is usually not spontaneous, but is actually planned. This has been shown with interviewing perpetrators under lie detector equipment. Anger management does not work because its not an anger management issue. The perpetrator who has had anger management can just be a calm and cool abuser, but still an abuser. The cycle of abuse follows a circle: Abuse/acting remorseful, grooming and honeymoon stage/ resentments/planning the next abuse (send woman shopping and when she returns in 40 minutes go off on her for not taking 20 minutes, planning to get drunk and have an episode, etc)/commit violence. The planning and violence are very rewarding to the perpetrator. Its a very similar cycle to pedophilia in the following of a circle that involves planning, execution and extreme gratification to the perp

    For a perp to admit they have a problem requires a Coordinated Community Response. All the members of the perp’s community needs to give the same message that the perp is violent and has NO justification. Judges, police, clergy, family members, colleagues, etc all need to give the same message or the perp will latch on to the one rescuer/supporter who supports them as justification for how they act.

  89. 113 SoreHead
    July 21, 2009 at 18:49

    Interesting topic, but you present this is a very sexist manor. You imply that only men are physical abusers and can these men change. Fact is there are a lot of woman out there that are violent and I think the number is growing. More of these assaults go unreported though for obvious reasons, male pride. I am non-violent and I have been assault by my woman partner before, punched in the face and hit in the head with a full bottle while trying to talk her down. I finally called the police when she picked up a knife. Can she change? Yes. The main part of her violent behavior was alcohol and drug abuse. Once she put that behind her the physical outbursts stopped. Did I forgive her, yes. People need to be given second chances. People make mistakes and can learn from them. But not if your a drug addict, one thing at a time. Oh, and when I talk about this amongst my male friends, you would be surprised at the amount that have similar unreported “beatings” in their relationship. I am by no means trying to take away from woman being assaulted, I know it’s still a majority of cases, but I couldn’t believe WHYS would come across that naive.

    • 114 Nate
      July 21, 2009 at 18:55

      @ SoreHead

      They stated that women can be abusers. Now that you mention it, there is a double-standard with that. A woman slapping a man is considered common. A man slapping a woman is abuse. Neither should happen and I’m glad I have never dated someone like that.

  90. 115 Ben Layvey
    July 21, 2009 at 18:50

    That Lee should sit in that studio preaching a possibility for such men to change is disheartening and sickening at most. These men NEVER change. A simple test of saying “No” to them will prove me right. They do not take kindly to the word, its their trigger. Like Oprah said, “love does not hurt” and if they do it once, they will do it again no matter how many mens groups they join or even administer. On chris brown, his apology is merely done in a career-rehabilitative capacity urged by his handlers. Men will do anything if their financial security is threatened. Next stop on is a sit down with Oprah, I’ll wager. I will NEVER watch Oprah again if she conducts such interview.

  91. 116 steve
    July 21, 2009 at 18:53

    Do you notice that when women describe their abusive relationships, they are long in duration? Like the gf of the guest, who was in a 7 year abusive relationship. I will bet my life savings (which isn’t much in this economy) that her non abusive relationships have been much shorter. So why do abusive relationships last longer than non abusive relationships?

  92. 118 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2009 at 18:54

    I know of at least one culture in the world wherein respect is taught from birth and they don’t have the DV problems that the West has. They don’t have the King Solomon sanction for DV. So the west can learn and change. We ought to make a note in our religious books that King Solomon was and is wrong.

  93. 120 Keith
    July 21, 2009 at 18:56

    Yes, they can change. I believe there are two brands of men who have hit their wives- chronic abusers and those who have just lost control in an argument and made a big mistake. I believe the latter can change- whether the relationship can recover is another question.

    I would say, however, that while it is most definitely wrong for a man to ever hit a woman, I would expect the decency from a woman to adhere to the same standard.

  94. 121 Julia in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 18:58

    @Brian Leavenworth Well said and described!

  95. 122 Venessa
    July 21, 2009 at 18:58

    It’s up to the individual to change that is the abuser and the abused to get away as fast as possible.

    I have been hit by one man in my life. He has a scar on his face to remember me by.

  96. 123 Eliza koch
    July 21, 2009 at 18:58

    What is there to stop abuse continue in future relationships.

  97. 124 Sore Head
    July 21, 2009 at 19:08

    @ Tom D

    Would you mind telling us what culture? I’m kinda curious.

  98. 125 mary
    July 21, 2009 at 19:13

    To stop abuse we need to focus on educating and protecting children from abuse. Adults don’t become abusers b/c of alcohol or anger, they become abusive b/c they learned it as a child.

    To change, takes a lot of soul-searching and will power that can only come from within.

    Victims of abuse are not “submissive” When the person you love becomes abusive, you are at first shocked and dismayed that this beautiful person you fell in love with could do such a thing. You stay b/c you love them and want them to get better, you want to believe they will change. You want to help them change and start to take on the burden which adds to the belief that you are some how to blame for them not changing and therefore you “cause” the abuse. Only when the abuser takes FULL responsibility for changing can change happen. The abusee needs to walk away and let the abuser choose to either change or not.

  99. 126 Bill in Portland
    July 21, 2009 at 19:18

    Until domestic violence is seen in a gender neutral way, the problem will persist. As a man, both of the women I’ve been married to would routinely resort to violence when they became frustrated during arguments. Sure, I’m stronger than them, but one of them came at me with knives and scissors. Violence is violence. Some women are VERY capable and just as prone to violence as some men.

    If the term “domestic violence” is stretched to include psychological abuse then I would submit that women are every bit as prone to resort to it as men. To suggest otherwise is to reveal a severely myopic gender bias in one’s outlook.

    This is a huge problem that affects a lot of people, but it’s a problem that needs solutions that actually address the COMPLETE problem in a gender neutral way.

  100. 127 Jennifer
    July 21, 2009 at 19:36

    Re: A woman slapping a man is considered common. A man slapping a woman is abuse.

    My mom always told me that you should never hit a man without expecting him to hit you back. However, real man would not ever hit a woman. I agree with her but that is one big contradiction. Noone should be hitting anybody. However, it does seem to be men who are most guilty of hitting/being abusive. It’s because they want to keep control. They are afraid to let their significant others see their family or even go to the grocery store without monitoring their odometer and timing them. They suffer from low self-esteem and take it out on their partners.

    Re: Duration of abusive relationships

    Some women walk away at the first red flag some continue to believe the best in their significant other. Some have no money to leave, no support, and are threatened. While the abuser may not kill their significant other; the s/o knows the things that the abuser has done and it could happen. Some do leave and are intimidated into coming back. Then, if one has children with that person; the children can be used as a ploy by the abuser.

    Being in an abusive relationship/child of parents in an abusive relationship will make you either:

    1. Look for someone with the same traits as your abusive parent/ or become the abused.

    2. Make you keenly aware of all of the flags of abuse to keep yourself as far away from abusive relationships as possible.

    • 128 David kamara
      July 22, 2009 at 09:49

      I hope men will change; for the fact that public figure like Chris is appologising publicly.

      David from Freetown.

  101. 129 Mawuko
    July 21, 2009 at 19:45

    I think we men have a big problem when it comes to the way we treat women. As a Christian I believe some men have the misconception when the Bible says we are the “head” of the family. We always want to enjoy that leadership role in all aspects of life for the mere fact that the bible also said that women must “submit” themselves to their husbands.

    I don’t know if some people blame the bible for making those rules. Men who hit women, find it very difficult to change until they can really understand that a woman is in no way inferior to a man.

  102. 130 T
    July 21, 2009 at 20:15

    With celebs, apologizing means doing an Apology Tour. Is it genuine or is it save your career damage control? You be the judge.

    Part of the problem is the emotional double standard. In general, it’s ok for women to be openly emotional. If a guy does it, many still think you have to suck it up and carry on. You’re not allowed to have thoughts, feelings or concerns and openly express them. Until you fix that, nothing will change.

  103. 131 T
    July 21, 2009 at 20:16

    And what about women-on-guy violence? When was the last time a women celeb apologized for that? Imagine the stick the guy would get in that situation.

  104. 132 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2009 at 20:26

    @ Ann
    July 21, 2009 at 19:18

    “Hi Tom – Nepal, Tibet?”

    Hi Ann;

    Bali. A version of the Hindu religion, if I recall correctly. They don’t let a newborn baby touch the ground for something like 110 days after birth because they consider that it has so recently been with “God”, and so it has some sort of the divine about it. They treat the baby with total respect and as a result the kids grow up to respect their parents and grandparents and they don’t rebel as teenagers because they have nothing to rebel against. Tremendous example of positive parental role modeling.

    When I heard about them I gave up most of my cynicism about humanity and gained encouragement about what we humans can be like, I fell in love with what we humans can be, and out of dismay at we westerners actually are.

  105. 133 Tom D Ford
    July 21, 2009 at 20:41

    @ Sore Head
    July 21, 2009 at 19:08

    @”Tom D

    Would you mind telling us what culture? I’m kinda curious.”


    I worry about identifying them out of concern for their culture as I consider them as a precious resource to learn from and I would not like to see them Westernized and their culture destroyed.

    There are little oases of positive behaviors all around the world and I search them out to encourage myself about my new found belief in what we humans can be and do. One is a a “horse whisperer” who lives in Crook County next to me and retrains wild horses by gentling them instead of breaking them in the old cowboy rodeo way. OPB Field Guide did a program about him some time ago. Another is the new way that dogs are taught by positively reinforcing desired behaviors and without punishing undesired “bad behaviors. The difference is amazing and I have that experience. I have also experienced the change in parenting and the difference in how the kids turn out.

  106. 134 ML
    July 21, 2009 at 21:16

    @Israel, Steve and Thomas

    It’s interesting if you look through all of the posts up to this point, they become dominated by men blaming women. There is an enormous amount of hostility that comes through in broad generalizations about women not responding to nice men and seeking out violent men.

    Is it something about your perspective? Are there other factors in relationships you’ve observed or experienced that might explain why certain dynamics have occurred, aside from “women don’t like nice guys”?

    Though earlier in my life I worked in social services and experienced the frustrating dynamics of abusive relationships, personally I’m in my mid-forties and there are no women in my circle who are married to men who aren’t the nice guys (including myself, married for 20 years to a gentle and lovely man who’s helped me raise two gentle and wonderful young men).

    And by the way, I’m from Los Angeles originally, so the “L.A. women are shallow” explanation doesn’t do it for me.

  107. 135 Adam in DC
    July 21, 2009 at 22:20

    Jennifer……no gender is more genetically inclined towards controlling behavior; it’s a personality trait that can afflict men and women equally. Aggression, however, is an emotion that men experience more often than women (generally due to hormones like testosterone). And generally speaking, men also have greater physical strength than women. So take a male of normal size/strength who has a controlling personality and a greater inclination towards aggression than the typical male and there’s the potential he could be a “hitter”. Just realize that being an aggressive and controlling guy doesn’t automatically mean you beat up women. Also remember that the majority of men do not hit women at all. There are many stereotypes that women can be shackled with as well, so I’d recommend not generalizing about men because it’s unproductive and ultimately incorrect.

  108. 136 Emily
    July 21, 2009 at 23:18

    I was completely in awe of the dialogue regarding this very powerful issue! As a woman, and an American, this is common conversation in our lives. To hear an exchange of callers from all over the world, many from countries where this topic traditionally cannot be discussed, was extraordinary.

    Open dialogue is the beginning to change. It may take time but what a giant step forward!!

  109. July 21, 2009 at 23:49

    In my view the problem is not between men and women, but in the human nature itself or what we believe to be the human nature, because when the women are tough enough, they hit men! What must be done is that we should educate ourselves every day and we should not be indulgent.

  110. 138 Anderson
    July 22, 2009 at 00:23

    Yes, people can change. It will take a commitment to learn new behaviors.

  111. July 22, 2009 at 09:43

    whats needed is just a bit of shame,not a tonne of shame.i wouldnt hit my wife when married,not because i can be taken to a police station but because its shameful…infact,here i dont recognise the thing behind the police and its fellow institutions.


  112. 140 khaliq baluch
    July 22, 2009 at 10:43

    I hope this teaches a lesson to those who believe that women can only be treated as subject and chattel. Men possess strength but that is only to earn a livelihood, not to abuse the weaker gender. Admitting one’s mistake is obvioulsy greater a blessing to mankind than just to repent it in one’s heart. This could help make many others realize their deeds…

  113. 141 B Kambale
    July 22, 2009 at 11:16

    I’m honest to say that people learns from their mistake and change when they discover the danger heading them. If people says that men who hit women can never change that is just theory, Men are not animals who are led by the instinct but their intelignece. I would suggest for Rihanna to give him more chance and not being afraid of the past but get chance to talk about what was the motivation and both said learn to avoid it. The world is full of surprise, “Chris might be the best person you’ve never met in your life after he changed”.

  114. 142 Brian
    July 22, 2009 at 11:18

    As someone with a lifetime of childhood trauma behind me i have ended up with a cautious approach to women and was shocked at my girlfriend of many years being totally nasty to me on the first day of our marriage, i had never seen a nasty streak in her before, i nearly left on the spot but talked myself out of running away as i had done at regular intervals through out my childhood. My main problem was i was not believed over an adult or people didnt do their job properly so it pains me after all these years to read news they are developing a new system to spot abuse, even the Police never did anything and i told them my life story more than once on the way home, is it really that hard to spot? a child shaking with fear at the prospect of going home. I shout out if i see anyone being nasty to kids, if they flinch with fear i am in there. Point number two rings true as i have been a single parent for over ten years and cant imagine how i’m going to move on and it seems i have transfered a dim view of women to my son helped by the women around us and the media. I must say if any person hit me i would hit them back, i vowed never to put up with it on leaving home but the mind games are hard to sort. An abused child grows up into an abused adult and “” moving on is easy to say for people who have lived in a calm loving family life all their lives. My ex- wife did her best to be as horrible as possible at the end, she said she had too or i would not have believed her but that 5 letter word sorry and i shouldnt have done this to you didnt really mean anything i’m sure.

  115. 143 Muhammad Aliyu
    July 22, 2009 at 12:31

    Yes,he may stop.Men are alwys gentle

  116. 144 steve
    July 22, 2009 at 13:14

    @ ML

    When you and your circle were in your 20s, did you date bad boys or nice guys? Every guy I know who is my age group or younger, if he treats a woman well, he gets dumped. If he treats them badly, they love him more for it.

  117. 145 viola
    July 22, 2009 at 19:39

    Suppose two women are standing in front of you. One of them perfectly fits your personal idea of what a beautiful woman is. Standing beside her is the ugliest woman you ever saw in your life. Now, which one would you pick? The beautiful one. Right?

    But suppose you looked at the ugly woman and said to yourself, “That woman is ugly. All women are basically alike. Therefore, that beautiful woman over there is ugly, too. Pretty absurd, eh?

    Yet it is the same reasoning that says women have no self esteem, even though that is not always or even usually true, and that being nice to women gets you nothing while they love you if you beat up on them.

    Examine your idea of what being nice is. Examine yourself. Don’t examine the women to find reasons they get mistreated.

    To a large extent the use of violence in male-male interaction is acceptable in most societies, with written rules about when it is lawful and also unspoken rules about when it is acceptable. Men who like to bully others know all the rules but will slyly manipulate them or their targets to start fights. They will always try to target those they judge they can beat in a fight or intimidate, which is even better, as they don’t risk injury if they can intimidate. This attitude is carried over to their relationships with females in many cases even though it is less acceptable.

    It is true that there is female violence. Maybe that can be the subject sometime.

    • 146 Halima
      July 23, 2009 at 13:19

      I think men who hit women also have low esteem, because if they knew more about themselves and the world, they would have access to other means of communication. Sometimes it is a question of a mindset that sees a woman as a possession, a thing to be used, and not as a person in her own right. This must diminish men as much as (albeit in a different way) women. Men have to be rather small in their souls to think like that – half aware, locked up in a little world. Women who believe they are possessions rather than independent persons are also locked up in a small world, defined by narrow borders and ideals. It is pitiful. We can be angry, but is is also very, very sad.

      • August 3, 2009 at 00:45

        MYTH! MANY men who hit women do not have low self-esteem. In fact, they honestly believe that they are superior and therefore the only one capable of making choices and having valid opinions. They simply hit to “get it through the head” of the woman that he is right. Low self-esteem is an excuse and a way to gain sympathy for “the poor guy that doesn’t love himself.” It’s bull and it’s a tactic of manipulation.

  118. 148 NSC London
    July 24, 2009 at 15:04

    It baffles me that these situations are always framed as a “man hitting a woman.” As a woman, I am often amazed at how women are assumptively treated as “victims.” Why is that? My personal feeling is that if someone hits me, be they a man, woman, kid, monkey, whatever, they will be hit back. Furthermore, if a woman strikes first the man has every right to use sufficient force to respond. If we as women want to realise our feminst ideals I think we have to challenge the whole “victim” thing happening in society. Rhianna was right to leave the dude. For women who don’t they pretty much deserve what they get.

  119. July 25, 2009 at 11:39

    Even in a world as violent as our own, self-control is possible to a rational mind. Unfortunately, too many people continue to as they say in US “lose it”. Restoring self-control is easier than trying to acquire it. As in all things, a strong brain is indispensable.

  120. 150 Celeste
    July 26, 2009 at 02:27

    No. The behavior always bubbles up to the surface. Too many triggers.

  121. 151 scmehta
    July 28, 2009 at 08:12

    Yes, they can and they damn well will, when they are hit first or harder either by the partner/spouse or by someone on the woman’s behalf; the only condition is that the woman in question has to have a moral right to do or get done so. There may be some exceptions; in those cases, it is better for the suffering women to walk out on such beastly men forever.

  122. August 3, 2009 at 00:40

    It is a common myth that children who were abused (or witnessed abuse) become abusive. In fact, 80% of abused children are so repulsed by their past that they go out of their way to never tread those waters. One must be careful what we hear and how we interpret it. For example, there is a huge difference between the statement, “Most abusers were abused as children,” and “Abused children become abusive.” While it is true that 50% of abusers were abused as children, it is NOT true that 50% of abused children become abusers. And if 50% of abusers where abused, then doesn’t that imply that 50% of abusers were NOT abused? Sadly, childhood abuse has become an almost acceptable excuse for abusers. It’s time we call BS on that.
    Further, it is mentionable that abusers are making a CHOICE. They ARE in control. If they weren’t then why do they abuse in private? Why do they leave bruises that can be hid? Why do they become suddenly calm if someone shows up while they are in a rage? And why are they not shoving and shaking everyone else who ticks them off?

  123. August 4, 2009 at 23:48

    I have a very sweet friend that just got out of a very short relationship with a 55 year old guy,presumed to be MATURE. All that he wanted was to seduced her with false intentions,promises and lies.He even invited her to live together while he was still messing around with other women on line!
    Those man are all predators and I wish, as a Legal professinal, that they could have a pay back one day… well there’s always,”Carma”.

  124. October 28, 2009 at 10:58

    I am not so sure Karma exists. I think a lot of abusive men hate their own mothers and for many reasons, including drinking they act out their subconscious mind.
    I also agree that they a cowards because before they attack a women they are always talking about hitting a man.

  125. 155 Di
    November 5, 2009 at 23:15

    As someone who has just had an abusive partner arrested, I have found the above comments very usefull. We would fight and then go through the compleate cycle of abuse as described above. I fully take on board the comments about a man loosing defending himself but loosing controal is another matter.
    I long for him but am afraid that he could kill me if we got back together. I have been left with low self esteam. But need to embrace my new freedom.

    • 156 JS48
      January 5, 2010 at 21:28

      I feel your pain Di. I have been there, in fact I am there. I charged my husband in June and he goes to trial in March. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the only thing that EVER made him take accountability. You did the right thing. If you read the comments about “deserving what you get” if you stay with an abuser…ignore them. No one can say that unless they’ve been there. We are not all “trailer trash” losers. In fact, I am worth over a million dollars and my husband and I had HUGE community involvement. There are alot of reasons for not exposing violence sooner. For me, it was embarrassment and fear of losing the reputation and the business that we had established. Stay strong Di. I miss my husband terribly. I know how that feels. I told him that I am willing to be “re-introduced” to him in a year or so, once he has COMPLETED intense therapy and shows me signed documentation from a therapist that he is not longer a safety risk. I didn’t promise to take him back, just to remeet him. I also told him that the process of recovery was his responsibility and I would not “coddle” him through it. We will see how it ends up, but I am going full force into establishing a life independant of him for me and my baby. This way, if he doesn’t change (which most don’t) I didn’t waste any more of my life depending on him to be a better person and provider.

  126. 157 Thomas
    January 1, 2010 at 18:02

    Once again, the issue of domestic violence is brought up. First, physical violence is never the answer and is sick. However, I am getting a little bit tired of this the man is always the bully mentally. Women want to claim equality but then tend to play the victim role when conveinent. That is not equally, it is selective equality. If a man is abusing you, you leave plain and simple.

    However, research has shown that women actually shove men, etc about as much as men do. Granted men are generally bigger and stronger, though there are some exceptions and if a man does not fight back, he certainly can be hurt as well. Millions of MEN are abused every year, but society has a problem accepting that. It is a double standard. Let’s just say domestic violence in general is wrong.

    That being said, some common sense also has to prevail. A friend of mine had a very abusive wife. She consistently hit him, threw things at him you name it. One time she hit him with a skillet and finally he doubled up his fist and defended himself. Despite having several bruises on him, he was the one who went to jail! Violence works both ways and if someone puts their hands on you first, you have a right to defend yourself. Period.

    • 158 JS48
      January 5, 2010 at 21:34

      Your friend should have left her, hitting her doesn’t make him right. Ever heard, “two wrongs don’t make a right?” Yes, she abused him…and yes, he abused her. And let’s not take exceptional stories such as this and use them to defend violence against women. Women who are mentally or emotionally abusive often (not always) are doing so in defense of physical violence. Being weaker and socialized not to hit, women turn to verbal defenses to show their abuser that they are not pushovers or that they too are “strong” in some way.

  127. 159 Mary
    January 31, 2010 at 10:30

    No …. I truly believe they can’t. I am in the situation myself and have been in it for too long to know that they can’t. They are very deciving and know how to use their words to make you stay. It just gets to the point where they always say their sorry it won’t happen again but it does ….eventually , you get use to it and as some else said your scared to leave you don’t know how to let go how to move on or to just pack your stuff and dissapear. It’s a very hard situation I still haven’t figuerd it out I pray that god helps me ………

  128. March 29, 2010 at 00:44

    Really now?? I am recovering from my boyfriend’s recent abuse of smacking me in the head, banging my head, and strangling me…he prevously promised me he would stop. Well, guess what?? He didn’t. The anger and rage and fear became more short lived. I realized that I would be selfish to promote such behaviour, as I am the only parent to my son and I don’t want him orphaned. I am independent, financially and otherwise, have a nice home, good friends and family; and although I miss the beginning of our relationship, it is not worth losing the wonderful things I have in my life. It is tough, and I cry; I don’t understand how someone can pronounce their love one minute, and physically harm me the next. I knew he loved me, as I did him, but that is no excuse for violence!

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