Videos of Don Hennessy and other Irish DV professionals (Don Hennessy series part 9)
The real question is, “How do men get a woman to go back into an abusive relationship or to stay in an abusive relationship?”
Here are three documentary videos made by Gerard Lough (10 mins each) which feature Irish experts in domestic abuse. They were made in 2007.
- Don Hennessy (Director, National Domestic Violence Intervention Agency)
- Fiona Doherty (Manager, Donegal Domestic Violence Service)
- Kate Hudis (Counselor)
After each link I will give some of the best sound-bite quotes from the speakers.
Why does a woman stay?” is the wrong question. The real question is, “How do men get a woman to go back into an abusive relationship or to stay in an abusive relationship?”
It is the emotional/psychological abuse which is the most damaging to women, and they’re the hardest to prove.
While we had an occasional phone call from men who said they were victims of violence and abuse in a relationship, I’ve actually only met one.
Perpetrators are driven by two very powerful combined forces. One of them is a sense of entitlement. The other is a word which is probably a bit old fashioned but I call it lust. And when you combine those two together, there is very little that limits the energies they provide for guys.
Essentially what a man is looking for when he meets a partner, is a sexual partner. He’s not looking someone to make his bed or to make his dinner or anything else; essentially he’s looking for a sexual partner.
When and if that lust is in some way to be modified, the sexual entitlement that he has doesn’t allow him to modify that sense of lust. So his sexual desires and his sexual motivation become the driving force in everything that he does.
We have had three women come through our program who have been abused by the same man. So obviously the pattern of abuse just continued.
Note 1: In this video Hennessy refers to how he was a car salesman earlier in his career, and that experience helped him to recognize the con-man tactics of men who abuse their female partners.
Note 2: This video refers to “anger management programs”. The abusive man’s anger is not the root of the problem. Many people have mistakenly believed that it is, and have prescribed anger management programs for men who abuse their intimate partners. I am confident that Hennessy would agree that anger is not the core problem, because he says that the abusive man’s mentality of entitlement along with his lust is the core of the problem.
It is pretty certain that about 20% of women who are in intimate relationships are being abused. And that is the standard in all western cultures.
What the refuge movement is about is to give the victims space to think for themselves. Outside of the physical protection, if you can protect the victim’s mind from being got at by the perpetrator, then over a period of time – and it can happen quite quickly – the victim will recover her ability to think for herself and begin to see the world as she saw it when she was 18 or 20 before she ever got into this relationship, and begin to use her language again, as distinct from the language of the perpetrator.
Our Don Hennessy Digest lists all the posts in this series and gives biographical details of Don Hennessy.