Tuesday

Domestic Violence - What Mothers Must Teach Their Sons

It wasn't too long ago that many of us were reeling from the news of domestic violence involving singers Chris Brown and Rihanna. According to the Domestic Violence Resource Center, more than one million people, on average, are victims of domestic violence each year.

The vast majority of victims are women, and if there is any hope to lessen domestic violence, it's important that we start educating our sons about it at an early age. This includes:

1. What Constitutes Domestic Violence. While many people think of domestic violence as a man consistently abusing a woman, we must help them understand that domestic violence is any violence which takes place amongst family members or those in an intimate relationship and that it can be a one time occurrence or continuous.

2. Respect For Women. Respect is the foundation of any healthy relationship. Men who have little respect for women can often get abusive when things go awry. We must continue to teach our sons that women are to be treated with respect and that this means they should love, cherish and never harm them.

3. Don't Remain In An Unhealthy Relationship. In this culture, where many of our young men are being raised by single mothers, without any or minimal interaction with male role models, their vision of masculinity can get skewed. The same is true for young men who grow up in abusive two parent households. In such cases, these young men may believe that love is chaotic so they emulate what they've seen. This is why it's important for moms to ensure their sons also see examples of healthy relationships and men who represent the example they want their sons to be. Our society is filled with men who are good men and our families are filled with couples who have healthy relationships. We may have to seek those examples out, but it's imperative that we do.

Additionally, we should remind our sons that domestic violence is a two way street and can also involve a woman hitting a man. As such, we should encourage our sons that if they are in a relationship where the woman gets physical, i.e., pushing, hitting, biting, slapping, etc. that they terminate the relationship because this type of behavior represents the emerging stages of what could escalate into unthinkable tragedy.

4. Violence Never Solves Anything. We must reiterate to our sons that no matter how angry they may become about a situation that violence or use of force, absent of self defense, is not an acceptable form of behavior and that there are better ways to handle their anger than harming another human being.

In the end, there is a lot we can do to lessen the number of domestic violence incidents that occur each year. One such thing is educating our sons about the importance of healthy relationships and better ways to handle their anger than the use of violence.

Kimberley Crouch is an attorney/author/radio show host. Kim is founder of First Generation Publishing and author of Mother To Son: Words of Wisdom, Inspiration and Hope for Today's Young African American Men. Known as the 100% Mom (someone 100% committed to the health, welfare and education of every child), Kim is a firm believer that one person can make a difference. To learn more about Kimberley Crouch, go to http://www.kimcrouch.com.

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God didn't put you with an abusive mate. Your flesh did.

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