Family violence is a condition that pertains not just to a few members of the family, but affects the family as a whole. All assume a role to maintain the status quo.
Why the attachment to a style that is both socially concerning and destructive to the growth and esteem of the family members? Generally, it is difficult for families to risk change. Shared fear of change, no matter how unrealistic and harmful that fear may be, keeps families entrenched in their negative style. Maybe this fear has been passed down from generation to generation. Maybe the style was adopted in reaction to a traumatic situation and, at the time, seemed the path of least resistance. Already enforced by ritual and unwritten rules, when that style is shown no longer to be effective, no other alternative is willing to be risked. Payoffs are in place to keep families attached to their maladaptive style. Unwittingly, family members collude with one another to keep all aligned with the family dynamic.
Most families seeking assistance from The Family Nonviolent Project have not on their own come to the realization that change is needed. Usually something difficult has happened to the family – so difficult, that they are forced to consider the alternative of nonviolence.
In all cases, despite whatever social suasion is forcing families to change, it always takes courage to take this step. It is to trust an unknown horizon. The dedication of all – facilitators, families, social institutions – join to make a better world for everyone.