Experts say Early Intervention is Key to Prevent Domestic Violence
BEXAR COUNTY -- One in three women here in Bexar County is in an abusive relationship or situation.
Experts say aggressive behavior often starts at a young age.
“It is a cycle. A cycle we see perpetuating all too often,” said parenting facilitator Airanda Wollney.
Wollney works at Family Violence Prevention Services also known as the Battered Women and Children’s Shelter.
She works with perpetrators who often times were victims of domestic violence themselves.
One of the things I noticed the most is that they were victimized,” she said. “They had very harsh childhoods, very traumatic childhoods.”
“I would get things thrown at me, picked on, mostly girls would tell me that I’m ugly and stuff like that,” said 30-year-old Rose.
Rose wanted her true identity to remain anonymous, but she’ sharing her story.
She says being bullied and victimized as a child caused her to abuse those around her as an adult.
“It's kind of like in your mind, what is love? After being mistreated by everyone around you,” she said.
Now, Rose is receiving help from Family Violence Prevention Services.
Wollney says domestic violence is a learned behavior children easily pick up on.
Practicing that behavior can turn them into bullies who grow up to be batterers.
“They're able to perceive that this behavior works to dominate and maintain control and power, and so they utilize this at school because they haven't been taught other skills,” Wollney said.
Wollney advises parents to talk to their kids and get them help if needed.
“Instead of labeling them as a bully, or later in life a perpetrator, and really get to the root of the problem,” she said.
Family Violence Prevention Services offers counseling and other help for kids and adults.
As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the annual Purple Run will be Saturday, October 22, to honor of victims and survivors.
To learn more, go here.