I was interested to read the recent article titled "Domestic violence, a sad holiday tradition." Hackleburg Police Chief Kenny Hallmark reported that even though the holiday season has more burglaries and thefts than usual, "You have to add domestic violence calls into that also." Rachel Cabaniss, executive director of Safeplace, stated that domestic violence is "always about power and control."
I respectfully disagree. Dr. Donald Dutton of the University of British Columbia has done extensive research on abusers. He has concluded that up to 60 percent of abusers are suffering from borderline personality disorder.
I experienced an emotionally abusive relationship with a former partner. I believed that if I just loved my partner enough, I could compensate for the damage done by his abusive childhood experiences and that the hurtful behavior would then disappear.
I didn't know that my partner was suffering from borderline personality disorder – a thinking disorder that makes people misperceive the interactions they have with others, overreact and then act out all the rage they still have stored inside from their abusive childhoods.
The core symptom is seen as frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. When feeling this fear, they have inappropriate, intense anger and difficulty controlling that anger. That's why their behavior looks like jealousy and control. Their actions are an attempt to keep something from happening that frightens them so much. These are our abused, neglected, abandoned children grown up.
Domestic violence abusers need professional mental health help to understand the intense feelings that are causing their behavior. Jail will never cure them.
Santa Maria, Calif.