Why would any offender talk?

Questions that keep coming up when I present to new groups about DVSD is “why on Earth would anyone that abused a person want to talk about it in front of other people” or “what do they get out of it?” The offenders we work with have guts.  It is too easy in the world we live in to pay a great lawyer and get out of trouble rather than facing it head on, learning from it and making it a teaching moment.  

As I have talked about in previous blogs, domestic violence is a learned behavior (except psychopaths) THUS, behavior can change — if the desire is there.  Those that participate in our program do so because they have that desire for change.  They want to stop battering or they do not want their children to follow in their paths.  People can change and I admire SO much the work that batterer intervention programs do to help change behaviors.

Recently, a video surfaced on becauseisaidiwould.com of a man who drove drunk and killed someone. He had the opportunity to take the easier way out — lie about the arrest and have it thrown out — but instead, he did what he should have done.  Said “I did it. I am ready for my punishment. Don’t do what I did.” (view the video at the bottom of this page). 

The exact same reasons are given by the offenders that I work with at DVSD. They are sorry for what they did. They are taking accountability and they want to give back to the community that they harmed.  This sort of act is at the heart of the Restorative Justice movement. Trying to “restore” the community that you have harmed is a difficult and challenging prospect — and I admire those that try.

I am impressed with this video and admire the way that he is moving forward.  Everyone makes mistakes. It takes real character to face the world and admit it. Fabulous example. 



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