Wednesday, January 19

Therefore, the violence increases at Christmas: – The family is caught in a bubble

THE SILENT TIME: Christmas is a great time for many, but not for all.

Who are the perpetrators of violence in Norwegian homes? It’s you and me, that, says project manager Stig Jarwson.

– It is not possible to point out a perpetrator, it can happen to all of us. We are complex as human beings, we all have anxiety and depression and anger, and there are natural emotions that we must learn to live with. As a perpetrator, you must learn what to do when the buttons are pressed.

That’s what Stig Jarwson says. He is the project manager at the outpatient clinic the offer for perpetrators at St. Olav’s hospital in Trondheim, and says that the combination of Christmas and pandemic can lead to several incidents of violence.

– The family is caught in a bubble where there is no outlet for stress and frustration, and then it takes little before it explodes, Jarwson explains.

For the past 20 years, the environment at St. Olavs has developed a scheme called The breast model, which is now used in all counties of the country.

TREATMENT: In the main house on Brøset, perpetrators receive anger management courses.

At Brøset, they normally have around 60 people for treatment, and during the pandemic they have seen an increase in the number of inquiries.

– We see an increase around holidays and celebrations, when families naturally spend a lot of time close to each other. During the pandemic, that time together has been extended, and tensions are rising, Jarwson explains.

He points out that tight finances and layoffs can also raise stress levels.

– The family becomes a bubble characterized by stress and frustration. You lose your job or get laid off, the kids go home a lot and there is a fear of being infected. The nervous system is on alert all the time.

A new study from St. Olav’s hospital shows that during the closures in March and December 2020, there was a 54 percent increase in the number of reports to the police in Trøndelag about violence in close relationships.

– During the shutdown, victims of violence and perpetrators were to a greater extent forced to be at home together around the clock, with fewer opportunities to get away for both parties, Merete Berg Nesset explains.

She works at St. Olav’s Hospital’s department for security, prison and forensic psychiatry and is one of the researchers in the study.

The study has not looked at whether the large increase in the number of reports to the police is due to other bodies being closed or whether it reflects an actual increase in incidents of violence.

Everyone has a potential

The breast model consists of group therapy, which Jarwson believes is particularly useful.

– It is precisely the fact that there are several who struggle with the same thing, and learn how others solve what is particularly useful. Through the course, they learn about their risk situations and what thoughts and feelings can lead to anger and violence.

He describes the typical family that is characterized by violence, as a home where there is perhaps little talk of emotions, and that everything is expressed through anger.

When asked who the perpetrators are, the answer is immediate:

– It’s you and me, that. It is in all walks of life, all professions, it is everyone who can have an anger problem. With us, it is everything from students to top managers. Everyone can have an anger problem in close relationships that is not expressed.

TREATMENT: Stig Jarwson works with perpetrators of violence at Brøset.

This is how to deal with the mind

Jarwson says that the methods and models they use in the treatment of perpetrators show a very good effect.

– At least 80–85 per cent are able to learn the tools they need so that they control themselves better, are able to communicate in a better way, and do not use force and violence.

Limiting alcohol intake and thinking about what the violence comes from, and what the consequences of it are, is central, Jarwson believes.

– Is your partner with you because she is afraid of you, or because she loves you? Should the relationship be based on love or power? Who do you really want to be in the eyes of your boyfriend and kids?

He also points out that stress and frustration trigger the violence, and that practitioners must find ways to deal with this before it crosses the line. A breather, or a break can be the key. He also recommends a contingency plan if you are worried.

As a perpetrator, you must learn what to do when the buttons are pressed. As adults, we must endure to feel a little emotional pain, without it hurting those we love.

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