Violence resulting from family patterns are a set of behaviours that tend
to establish and maintain control over women and, at times, over their children.
These include strategies directed at exercising power over the other person by
means of threats, devaluation and denigration, exclusion, prohibition of financial
resources and unwanted sexual intercourse (Ponzio, 2004). All these actions result
in the establishment of a situation marred by threats and arrogance on one side,
and of constant fear, tension and submission on the other side, in a relational
dimension where feelings of anger with the persecutor cannot be recognized and
expressed, and often fall upon the weaker links: the children (D’Ambrosio, 2004).
Children who have witnessed violence inhabit a family situation where the
experience of seeing women as victims, and men as having legitimate reason to use
power, is natural; so in turn they themselves are often victims of a violent
upbringing and violent educational styles and are not however adequately
protected (Hirigoyen, 2006).
There are no clear boundaries between extreme violence and normality; we could
perhaps speak of a continuum in maltreatment and lack of respect often found in
the story of every woman, every man, and in the “educational style” of adults
towards children (Ponzio, 2004).
Our proposal consists of conducting experiential workshop on violence in
relationships between men and women, in order to move towards the
acknowledgement of one’s wounds. The women’s group and the men’s group, are
offered a creative space for sharing and expressing joy, pain, traumas, statements
and submission, and for meeting one another (Dotti, 1998).