24-Hour Family Violence Helpline

403.234.SAFE (7233)  
Learn About Abuse

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Abusers Have A Choice

Abuse undermines resistance

The fact that perpetrators make plans to stop victims from resisting indicates that their abuse is deliberate. Perpetrators also make decisions about how they will be abusive. For example, some men think it is “wrong to hit a woman”, but they will push, grab and verbally abuse their partners.


Much attention is focused on trying to understand the reasons people are abusive. For example, it has been suggested that perhaps people are abusive because they themselves were abused as children, or they have mental health disorders. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to excusing perpetrators from responsibility for their behaviour.


It is our experience in working with perpetrators that they are in control of their actions, and that they make deliberate choices about their abusive behaviour. We believe perpetrators can, at any point in time, choose to change and to behave respectfully towards others.

If you think you may be hurting the people you love and want to change, call the Men’s Counselling Service at 403.299.9680 or the 24-Hour Family Violence Helpline at 403.234.7233 (SAFE). You can also visit our Men’s Counselling Service website, www.mcscalgary.com


You can learn more through Choosing to Change: a handbook for men concerned about their abusive behaviours towards those they love. If you are concerned that your behaviour may be abusive, please visit the Understanding Abuse section to learn more.

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