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Perpetrator Healing Map

Perpetrator Healing Map

Acknowledge & Take Responsibility for Violent and Abusive Behaviour

The first step is to acknowledge you have a problem and take full responsibility for your behaviour.

  • Acknowledgement means recognising that your behaviour is damaging and hurtful to people victimised by your actions. Acknowledgment also means knowing that your behaviour, and the attitudes and beliefs that support your behaviour, need to change. Acknowledgement may come to you because you are unhappy with yourself and the pain you are causing, for fear that you are losing people you love or you may face arrest or humiliation.
  • Once you have acknowledged that you have a problem with violent and abusive behaviour, you need to take full responsibility for your behaviour. Taking responsibility means accepting that violent and abusive behaviour are choices and understanding that no one else is to blame for your choices. The opposite of taking responsibility is passing the buck, or shifting blame. If you shift blame with statements like ‘she made me do it’, or ‘stress at work made me do it’, you are making excuses for your behaviour and the healing process can’t begin.
Get Help & Support

You are not alone, there are people and organisations who can help you on your journey.

  • The Department of Social Development has a free helpline with social worker available 24 hours a day. They can help you directly or refer you to someone in your area who can give you counselling. Call 0800 428 428 or SMS ‘Help’ to 31351 to receive a call back.
  • There are a number of organisations that offer people in violence help and support. You can find them on healthsites.co.za or ar * 120* 662#
  • Speak to someone you trust: a counsellor, priest/pastor, friend/family member or mentor.
Be Honest
  • If you do not face up to your actions you will not be able to heal.
  • Make a commitment to telling the truth about your violent and abusive behaviour.
  • Accept that change doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that takes emotional and psychological work and time.
Practise Acceptance

As an Educator:

  • Take time to appreciate and accept how your behaviour has affected people around you directly and indirectly.
  • Accept the consequences of your actions. People hurt by your violent or abusive behaviour have the right to seek legal help.
  • If you have been violent or abusive towards your partner respect their decision should they decide to end the relationship.
Believe That Change Is Possible

All through your journey it is important to maintain the belief that change is possible.

  • With commitment, support, honesty and acceptance it is possible to change.
  • It can be useful to find role models who have been in similar situations who have been able to change.