The Circle of Change is a 28-week program for men and women who have used violence in their relationship and wish to change. Groups are available for men and women, and for Spanish speaking men. Groups are held weekly at Women and Children’s Horizons administration building. Sessions are two hours long.
Referrals for the Circle of Change come from a variety of sources including; courts, the department of corrections, clergy, private therapists, defense attorneys, child protective services, social workers, friends and those who realize on their own that they have been abusive, and want to take steps to change.
Group sessions cover a variety of topics related to relationships and violence. Some topics covered include: what counts as violence?, abuse versus respectful communication, managing conflict, sexual respect and intimacy, ending relationships respectfully, effects of violence on the victim, effects on children, modeling respect and empathy for children, accountability, jealousy, anger, dishonesty, self-care/stress management, and redefining masculinity.
If you are interested in learning more about the Circle of Change program, please contact the Prevention Services Coordinator at 262-656-3500, extension 113.
How do I know if my partner is changing?
You are the best judge of whether or not your partner is changing or not. If you gut feeling is that he has not changed, trust that regardless of other signs. Some of the things to look for are:
- Has he completely stopped saying and doing things that frighten you?
- Can you express anger towards him without being punished for it?
- Does it feel safe to bring up topics that you know upset him?
- Can he listen to your opinion and respect it even when he disagrees?
- Can he argue without being abusive or domineering?
- Does he respect your wishes about sex and physical contact?
- Has he stopped expecting you to do things for him?
- Can you spend time with friends without being afraid he’ll retaliate?
- Can you do other things that are important to you, such as go to school or get a job?
- Are you comfortable with the way he interacts with the children? Do you feel safe leaving them alone with him?
- Is he supportive? Does he give compliments, does he listen to you?
- Does he do his share of the housework and childcare?
Some signs he isn't changing
- Does he use Circle of Change against you in any way?
- Does he tell you that you are abusive?
- Is he pressuring you to go to therapy for yourself or couples counseling for the two of you?
- Is he making his abuse sound a lot less than it really is?
- Does he tell you that you owe him another chance?
- Does he say he can't change without your support?
- Does he try to get you or the children to feel sorry for him?
- Do you have to keep after him to attend the Circle of Change and stay in the program?
- Does he expect something in return from you for the fact that he is attending Circle of Change?
- Is he pressuring you to make up your mind about the relationship or to move back together?
- Is he pressuring you to drop criminal charges or a restraining order?