When it comes to domestic violence, our first priority is helping the victim. But what if we could also move the batterer beyond abuse?
Now in its second year, our Responsible Fatherhood Program works with fathers to help them build healthier relationships with their partner and their children. Not everyone can make the transformation but, for some, it’s life-changing. Here are their stories.
One young dad, who came into the program because of how he was treating the mother of his two young daughters, shared: “Every person who is a father should have to do this program every year. You get stuff out of here you don’t even realize. It just teaches you how to be a man, to be a dad so that your kids have a positive example to look up to.”
In response to an assignment in which the men are asked to write a statement articulating appreciation for their partners, one dad wrote the following: “I want to thank you for everything you have done for me and my family. Thank you for giving me my daughter and helping me raise her as well as you have. Thank you so much for being there for me and supporting me through some hard times in my life. And even though we aren’t together, it means a lot to me that we are still friends and that you are always there if I need someone to talk to.”
Other men shared:
“Thank you for helping me to believe in myself to play a better role as a dad for my kids’ sake and learning to control my emotions and behaviors.”
“I learned here that I have to do the right thing for my daughter. I’m not a kid anymore, I’m a father and she’s gonna look at me for how a man should act. If I don’t act the right way, she’s gonna try to find security from some clown in the street when she gets older.”