104 POLICEASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA FICTION FACT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE: FACT AND FICTION continued... Men who abuse their partners fit a certain profile: they’re physically imposing and talk loudly. Men who are violent toward their partners are regular Joes. They come from all backgrounds: they could be well-educated professionals or barely literate and jobless. There’s no typical profile. Domestic violence is an illness. Violence isn’t an illness. It’s a behavior chosen by abusers to dominate and control others. Men are aware of what they’re doing and they’re doing it for a reason: to control everything and make all the decisions. Men aren’t the only ones responsible for their violent behavior. Men are entirely responsible for their violent behavior. But they’ll try to blame their partners so their partners won’t leave them or turn them in. Once men seek therapy, their problems with violence are over. Therapy is a step in the right direction. Violent partners can change to the extent they truly want to and make sustained efforts to do so. Years of work could be required to change violent tendencies that have gone on for months or years. Men who are violent at home are violent in all their relationships. Men who abuse their partners are not necessarily violent with friends or colleagues. Often the families and friends of these men don’t want to believe that they engage in such behavior, since they can be charming and pleasant in other environments. If men seek help and resolve their violence issues, everything will go back to normal and the couple will get along fine. Therapy addresses the problem of violence, but it’s not a miracle cure. The consequences and injuries suffered by victims of domestic violence won’t go away on their own. It’s important for victims to find ways to heal their physical, emotional, and mental wounds.