Anger Management And Domestic Abuse

Posted on: 17 December 2015


In cases of domestic abuse, the type of treatment typically consists of a battery program. While this is certainly commendable, it doesn't address the two root causes of the domestic abuse – anger and power. It is highly recommended that an anger management course be instituted in any type of domestic abuse counseling program. 

How To Tell If It Is Anger Or Abuse?

Before beginning any type of intervention program, it is important to understand what actually constitutes abuse.

Abuse is a repeated pattern of behaviors that establish control over a domestic partner. The angry behaviors are directed solely against those in the household, and the abuser refuses to take any responsibility for their behavior.

Anger, on the other hand, is not a repeated cyclic pattern, and the angry person readily accepts responsibility for their behavior and tries to make amends.

What Does Anger Management Counseling Consist Of?

A typical anger management course will help:

  • Identify anger
  • Identify triggers for anger
  • Identify angry behaviors
  • Learn how to stay calm instead of resorting to old angry patterns of behavior
  • Learn how to solve the problem with reasonable communication rather than resorting to anger

Many times, the abuser literally does not recognize triggers that create the anger and may not even recognize the emotions associated with anger. An anger management class is crucial to help them change dynamic patterns of behavior that have been created over a lifetime.

How To Address Power Struggles With An Anger Management Class

Unfortunately, an anger management class is not the only stop-gap needed to change domestic abuse behaviors. Because in many cases, an abuser will still see the abused as the cause for his anger, simply changing his response to his own anger will not be enough. It is necessary to find an anger management class specifically for domestic abusers. This will ensure that the abuser finally recognizes that he is not being "provoked" but is instead feeling a loss of control over his partner.

Because domestic abuse includes a cycle of control tactics along with many types of anger, the person doing the abusing needs to be in a program that addresses their sense of entitlement and control.

There are many types of anger management classes available, but a generic one simply will not do for domestic abuse. Instead, it is absolutely necessary to find one that directly relates to domestic abuse and violence as well (such as one from Evergreen Recovery Centers).