Men who act abusively have their own story to tell, a journey that often begins in childhood, ripens in their teenage years, and takes them down paths they were hoping to never travel. Men Who Batter recounts the journey from the point of view of the men themselves.
The men’s accounts of their lives are told within a broader framework of the agency where they have attended groups, and the regional coordinated community response to domestic violence, which includes the criminal justice workers (e.g., probation, parole, judges), and those who staff shelters and work in advocacy. Based on interview data with this wide array of professionals, we are able to examine how one community, in one western state, responds to men who batter.
Interwoven with this rich and colorful portrayal of the journey of abusive men, we bring twenty years of fieldwork with survivors and those who walk alongside them as they seek safety, healing and wholeness for themselves and their children. Women who have been victimized by the men they love often hold out hope that, if only their abusers could be held accountable and receive intervention, the violence will stop and their own lives will improve dramatically as a result. While the main purpose of Men Who Batter is to highlight the stories of men, told from their personal point of view, it is countered by reality checks from their own case files and those professionals who have worked with them. And finally, interspersed within its pages is another theme: finding religious faith or spiritual activity in unlikely places.