DV intervention clients make pledges
Allen McBride, Alternatives to Violence Coordinator with the Pee Dee Coalition, says this year many clients in Florence, male and female, have sought a new method for dealing with their anger by making pledges or declarations of nonviolence and sharing the pledge with others.
Following are their pledges:
I declare to maintain stronger communication without selfishness. I must remember to treat you like I want to be treated and pray about things that I feel is out of my control.
I declare that I will continue to use a third party when it comes to my children thereby stopping any further conflict.
I declare that I will listen and be more open to what you are saying and be more concerned about the children. I plan to show you that I appreciate you as the mother of my children.
I declare that I will treat you with respect and talk things out with a level tone and not raise my voice about when I am upset.
I declare that I will slow down and think through things before I make any harsh decisions.
I declare that I will stop arguing, communicate better, do more things together and not be afraid to say that I am sorry or admit that I am wrong about anything.
I declare that we will have a family night each week. That we will start spending more time with your family and mine too.
I declare that I will talk more about our issues and not ignore them and that I will refrain from talking about any differences that we might have in the presence of our children.
I declare that I will apologize when I am wrong and I promise that I will work on my communication skills
I declare that I will be honest and loyal to this relationship and that I will invest my time in making happy memories with you.
I declare that I will use what I have learned in my group sessions to make my relationship better with you and I will listen more and not interrupt you when you speak.
I declare that I will take deep breaths, be empathetic toward you and have more patience about my actions when I am upset.
I declare that I will think twice and I will go for a walk and take deep breaths before I will let anything escalate between us.
I declare that I will do what makes me happy. That I will speak to others in a nice tone and with a respectable attitude. That I will walk away from what I might conceive as potential conflict and be more positive about myself.
I declare to be more aware to the signs that precedes anger and violence and that I will work on improving my communication skills.
I declare that I will keep my hands to myself and calm myself down when I become frustrated about anything.
I declare that I will avoid as much contact as possible and try not to be affected by your triggers. That I will redefine what use to make me angry with you to give it new positive meaning.
I declare that I will examine issues in a more positive way. I will agree to disagree on issues that become complicated and move on without regret.
McBride says that clients will share their pledge or declaration with their significant others, family members and/or friends.
The impact of the effects of this exercise is high, he said. It highlights the admission of guilt while at the same time influences a high level of resolve to make amends for the wrong doing.
The posting of the pledges amplifies the promise in that each client is making plans to do something about the abuse, it puts all readers of the pledges on notice and it challenges the authenticity of the declaration. The more people the client shares the pledge with, the more effective the pledge becomes thereby creating a safer environment for the family and thereby reducing the chance of repeating the behavior.
Clients involved in the domestic violence intervention sessions are referred by the upper and lower courts to complete a 26-week approved program to learn how to make better choices to their anger when faced with conflict. These members sit and engage in discussion about domestic violence and learn what better choices they can make as opposed to what they did to put their victims in fear of their lives. All sessions are 90 minutes long each week.
Court ordered clients are faced with a huge fine up to $5,000 or 90 days if they fail to complete, and clients that are referred by SC Dept. of Social Services will get the opportunity to reunite with their children if they complete the program.