Anger Management for Men

During its years of operation, many of CWCC’s clients and abusive men suggested that CWCC should counsel men on how to manage their anger. Some men explained that they cannot control their anger and cannot think of alternatives to solve their problems peacefully. During pilot training sessions conducted by CWCC, most abusive husbands also claim that they are not aware that beating their wives is illegal, arguing that they have seen other men abuse their wives without receiving any punishment from local authorities or Cambodian police. The Anger Management for Men Program was piloted and then established in 2007. In 2010 the program will be extended to Banteay Meanchey Province and Siem Reap Province.

CWCC’s Anger Management Program (AMM) is unique in Cambodia. It is designed to address a major social problem in Cambodia, indeed in all countries, by addressing the root cause of domestic violence. While other NGOs have training on Non-Violent Conflict Resolution, the training addresses violence in general. CWCC’s program directly addresses violence in the family by dealing with the root cause which is uncontrolled and unexamined anger/rage usually unleashed through drinking alcohol and manifested in severe physical or psychological abuse throughout the course of the marriage. CWCC’s Anger Management for Men program is part of a long-term, holistic strategy for bringing down the alarming levels of domestic violence in Cambodia as men are the aggressors in most cases.

The context analysis of the situation of women and girls in Cambodia clearly indicates the continued need for CWCC to offer protection and legal services to ensure the personal security of survivors of violence against women while training and working with duty bearers in government and in communities to strengthen their capacity to protect the most vulnerable among them. This Anger Management for Men training is not only helpful in protecting survivors but in preventing violence against women in the forms of domestic violence, rape and trafficking.

AMM Program Addresses Gaps in Services to Survivors

1.  Forced Reconciliations in Communities that Are Often Detrimental To the Women

Forced reconciliation often leaves the women with feelings of guilt as it is thought that she is responsible for breaking up the family rather than looking at the violence that is at the core of destroying the family. Forced reconciliation often results in delaying getting at the real cause of the breakdown of the marriage and the family. Frequently, Village Chiefs and other authorities do not have training in understanding domestic violence and how to intervene effectively or they believe it is a private family affair.

2.  Lack in Coping Skills by both Husbands and Wives

In cases of domestic violence, the husband often does not know how to deal with his frustration and anger and how it is impacted by drinking. The wife is often without education and fears she will not be able to make it on her own financially and will not be able to support her self and her children and so she continues to stay in the violent situation until things get so bad that she is forced to flee. Neither the husband nor the wife knows where to get help.

3.  Enduring Violence through Lack of Community Support

Domestic violence isolates and shames the wife and after a number of ineffective attempts to get the Village Chief or local police to intervene to stop the violence, she loses her confidence to reach out for help and endures until the severity of the beatings increase and result in major injuries or until the perpetrator begins abusing the older children.

4.  Lack of Immediate Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence and Their Dependent Children

There are only a limited number of crisis centers and safe shelters where victims of domestic violence can flee for immediate safety from imminent danger. This gap was recognized by the Ministry of women’s Affairs in its Policy Recommendations that stated: “Increase the quantity, quality and access to social services for women subject to violence and abuse”. More specifically, the recommendation states:

  • Increase access to services by mapping existing services and promoting these avenues for help.
  • Increase the quantity of available services and improve the quality by establishing minimum standards for agencies and professionals of social services, especially shelters: improving social work education (counseling); and, developing evidence-based best practices. (A Fair Share for Women, p. 143).

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