Anger is a normal emotion everyone experiences at some point in life. Anger can be healthy or unhealthy, depending on the situation and how it affects you. For example, if you are angry because of an issue that needs to be addressed, your anger is probably healthy. However, your anger may not suit you if someone has insulted or hurt your feelings without realising it. You should know the difference between healthy and unhealthy anger to make better decisions about dealing with your emotions and control yourself when stressed. Healthy anger motivates us to act when we see something wrong happening in our lives or around us. Healthy anger helps us feel motivated to change things for the better by bringing awareness of an issue and getting people’s attention to it so they can fix it before more damage is done. Unhealthy anger does not motivate people this way; instead, they become resentful and want revenge instead of fixing things for the better.
Resentment builds anger which may trigger someone to lash out at others or themselves to relieve their anger. This behaviour can lead to domestic violence if it continues over a period. Anger has many different causes, and therefore there are many ways that it can manifest itself into domestic violence. Using Coercive control is the most common way that anger can lead to domestic violence:
Coercive control is a form of emotional, psychological, and physical abuse. It is a way of controlling another person by using fear and intimidation. This type of abuse can be very subtle, but it can also be quite overt. Coercive control is the umbrella of a range of all the different types of abuse. There are many different types of coercive control, but the most common are:
• Controlling behaviour
• Denying freedom to act on own behalf (also called ‘coercive supervision)
• Using threats
• Using intimidation
• Threats of harm to self or loved ones
• Using fear, guilt, or shame
• Denying access to money or other resources
Coercive control can include preventing a person from leaving the abusive relationship. It is when one partner decides for the other and prevents them from leaving. This behaviour can include
• Preventing a person from contacting friends or family. This behaviour is called ‘coercive isolation’.
• Preventing a person from working or attending school. This behaviour is called ‘coercive disempowerment’.
If left unchecked, these types of behaviours can escalate quickly into more severe forms of abuse, such as physical assault or even murder (Hess & Hinsztman-Nelson & Hess & Hinsztman-Nelson 2019). Therefore, it is crucial for both partners involved in a relationship where there has been an increase in aggression towards each other to seek help from professionals who specialise in helping both perpetrators and victims/survivors of abuse so that they do not continue down this dangerous path towards domestic violence.
Safer Steps is a 7-day, 24-hour free telephone support service for anyone experiencing these behaviours from their partner. Safer Steps can be contacted on Ph: 1800 015 188.
If you recognise you do any of the behaviours mentioned here or if you are:
Furthermore, if you want:
Engaging with a good Men’s Behaviour Change Program can help teach you how to achieve this.
The Heavy M.E.T.A.L (Men’s Education Towards Anger & Life) program will significantly benefit you if you are serious and committed to making a change. Heavy M.E.T.A.L group now offers online programs where participants can connect from anywhere in the world via Zoom. For further information, follow the link here: https://heavymetalgroup.com.au/services/weekly-programs/