Marianne Ingrid Moner, MNM
Creator, Culture of Abuse
In the early 90’s as part of my psychology undergraduate program, I volunteered with the Alternatives to Violence Project in the Connecticut Prison System. Workshops and exercises were aimed at helping inmates develop empathy and conflict resolution skills. It was my first time hearing stories of violence towards women, wrapped in denial, minimization, and deflection. I thought I would continue working with violent offenders to help prevent future abuse. Instead, I worked for nonprofit domestic violence programs, and then for The Commonwealth, to provide outreach, education, and assistance with both the civil and criminal process. During that time I also completed a batterer’s intervention certification program, which helped me be a better advocate.
Since the 90’s many things have changed in how we approach violence and abuse. Unfortunately, many of the obstacles faced by victims endure. Education continues to be a crucial means of fostering healthier, safer lives. We still need education that extends to those within the systems intended to hold abusers accountable, as well as for those who have opportunities to support targets of violence in our communities. We need informed people to sit on our juries, lead our public offices, and sit next to us at the theater. Nonprofits need to be creative in appealing to communities to increase funds, and to inspire support of their mission and participation in their programs. By focusing on those who are working on creating change my hope is to keep up the momentum in the efforts to reduce the level of power and control seen in so many of our interactions and relationships. Just as abuse and violence can happen anywhere, so can our interventions.