October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence is now more often referred to as partner abuse or intimate partner violence. Rates of intimate partner violence are staggering. I worked for many years at an agency that supported survivors of partner abuse and have seen a positive shift in the level of awareness we bring to this issue. However, the dynamics at play in partner abuse still seem very misunderstood. As a therapist, I am shocked and saddened by how little training most therapists receive on this topic.

The Catalyst Center would like to recognize that so many of our fellow humans are currently grappling with this issue in their lives. One thing we can all do is educate ourselves on the power and control dynamics that drive abuse. In areas of societal ignorance such as which exists in our society’s incorrect understanding of partner abuse, gaining knowledge is truly gaining power. The best book I have found on the topic is a book called “Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” by Lundy Bancroft, https://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656. Although the title is a bit limiting, the information in the book is incredible. Bancroft excellently details the ins and outs of why abuse happen and dispels many common myths about abuse.

If you or someone you know and love needs support, it is good to know that we also have some wonderful agencies in Colorado and Nationally working hard to support survivors of abuse. The statewide coalition is called Violence Free Colorado and is in touch with hundreds of agencies and programs statewide, https://www.violencefreecolorado.org/. A wonderful national organization called Break the Cycle can be found at, https://www.breakthecycle.org/. A national hotline number and online forum can be found at, https://www.thehotline.org/

All survivors of abuse need…

To be listened to

Even when their stories are difficult to hear or process,

To be believed

Even when their stories seem unbelievable, and

To be supported without an agenda

Even when we worry for them and want to rescue.