Program helps men and women break cycle of abuse
Understanding the cycle of violent behavior and different ways to deal with stress is the focus of the Beyond Abuse program at the Sojourner Family Peace Center. "Culturally, we have attitudes that support violence," says Carmen Pitre, Executive Director of Sojourner Family Peace Center. "We can't prosecute our way out of domestic violence. We're going to prevent it from happening, help people with problems and help change their behavior."
The Beyond Abuse program at Sojourner helps 500 men and women each year deal with their abuse issues. The majority of the people coming into the program are court-ordered to do so, most after an incident has already occurred.
Shannon recently completed the Beyond Abuse program, and has made great strides to turn his life around. "I like the fact the group isn't biased," explains Shannon. "As the program went on, I started seeing things in my own home, how my words were affecting others." Shannon went on to explain how his own childhood filled with verbal abuse has affected how he treats those around him. The program made such a difference in Shannon's life, that he is considering being a mentor to others. His biggest inspiration now comes from a 3-year-old named Michael and his Mom. "He centers me. They keep me positive. It's a more caring type of love now."
Listen to the story above to hear more about the Beyond Abuse program, and find help for someone you care about by calling Sojourner's 24-hour hot line at 414.933.2722.