Did you know that sometimes “professional help” is not helpful?

Helping professional are well intentioned but sometimes for women experiencing abuse, that help is not helpful. In fact, sadly, sometimes the ‘help’ is harmful to women. How is this possible? Well, let’s think about the dynamics of abuse. Men who are abusive are motivated by a desire to have power and control over their partner. They have a need to feel superior. Men who are abusive can feel superior, for example, by putting down their partners’ ideas, feelings or needs and by forcing their views on women. So what happens to a woman when she goes to a counselor, advocate or other professional who tries to tell a woman what the problem is, how she needs to “fix” herself or “fix” the problem in her relationship? The ‘helper’ is using the same approach as her partner – taking control of the situation and assuming he or she knows better than the woman. Women know their experiences best and service providers must listen carefully to women’s stories if they are to be helpful.


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