Friday, September 17, 2010

Commit to Nonviolent Communication

Recently I had a kind of back-row seat to a neighborhood relationship altercation that ended in shots fired. Deborah Tannen is quoted in Eat, Pray, Love (Gilbert) as saying that much of the angst and conflict in the world revolves around two issues:“…how much do you love me; and, who’s in charge.” That applies to not only wars and social conflicts but especially to our most intimate relationships with our partners and families.

Not all family or relationship violence is physical; meaning that not every victim of a violent relationship is hit, beaten, stabbed or raped, or has the physical scars to prove it.

Do you know someone whose spouse, partner, or another person in their life is inflicting abuse through constant hurtful words, like derogatory statements or always has to be right, or some other form of emotional intimidation or control?

The abuser often convinces the victim that they can’t leave or things will get worse; but too often things get worse if they stay and they lose their outside support network. Violent communication is too often the tip of the problem. If the verbally or emotionally abusive partner will not commit to practicing nonviolent communication they may not keep any other promises either.

So, does the person you’re thinking of know they can choose to exit the situation; to just let it go? You can’t make someone leave who chooses to stay, but many don’t know they don’t have to stay.

Broken promises can pave the road to shattered lives.


Family Violence Prevention

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