CBS 58: Salon shooting sparks "bad memories" for former abuser

October 25, 2012

by Tiffany Tarpley

We often hear about programs for women involved in domestic abuse situations but there are groups for men who are abusers.

Nevermore: Batterers Intervention Program holds weekly sessions for men who’ve either been court ordered to attend or who volunteer to enter the program.

Program Coordinator Steven Thomas was once a client. He admits to being abusive to his wife ten years ago while they were going through a divorce. “Physically, verbally, mentally, emotionally,” Thomas said. “I had to be in control of the situation.”

Now he takes what he’s learned and teaches it to other men in similar situations. Thomas said the deadly shooting at Azana Salon and Spa in Brookfield brought back bad memories. He said there were similarities between himself back then and Radcliffe Haughton, the gunman who opened fire in the salon. “If I didn’t get help that could’ve very well have been me,” he said.

During the 23 week program through the Milwaukee Women’s Center, a division of Community Advocates, the men go through sessions learning how to let go of power and control in their relationships, how to become a new man and much more.

Director Latrice Buck Hogan said it is working. “They’ll say I was raised to think that women should be controlled or that women were property or that I’m the head of the household and my decisions stick,” she explained. “I never thought about women as an equal partner or thought about their feelings or how my actions hurt them or hurt our family situation.”

Thomas said the program has an 85% success rate with nearly 250 men in attendance at various sessions each week.

If you’re interested in learning more about the support group you can call (414) 828-5190 or log on to their website by clicking the above link.

Click here to view this story on the CBS 58 website, with accompanying video.

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