David Nugent was once a very angry man. While not physically abusive, he didn't realise the constant verbal and emotional abuse of his wife and family was just as damaging.
Since turning his life around, Mr Nugent has launched a mens' behavioural change program in Pakenham called the Heavy Metal Group to help others.
Some of the participants in the group are forced to attend by court orders while others are there after an ultimatum from their partners.
"Those sent to us by the courts come along saying they don't need to do this course but we find that once they have finished their court order, they just don't leave," Mr Nugent said.
The 14-week program starts by identifying the varied types of violence.
"It is a myth that violence has to be physical. But it can be a form of emotional abuse as well. It can be a power or control thing like always being the decision maker or handling the finances."
Mr Nugent said there was a cycle through which every violent relationship traversed.
"There is a real process to it. The honeymoon periods are good, but they don't last. It is like a pressure cooker and when they explode, they become either aggressive or passive, and neither is healthy. In the end, it gets to the point when she says she can't put up with it anymore."
The way forward is education, Mr Nugent said. "There is always a choice, no one is forcing you to behave that way. Anger is just a feeling. The difference is how we deliver it, all what we do in the program is take off the blinkers."
By Danielle Butcher - Cranbourne Journal