Can we heal the culture of violence?

Can we heal the culture of violence? Time to talk
Can we heal the culture of violence? Time to talk

THE issue of violence is prominent in our community conversations at the moment. Terrorism, drug-related violence, domestic and institutional abuse, and even road rage are insistently crying out for our attention.

Despite serious efforts over many years to prevent violence, to deal with its effects and to punish the perpetrators, there's now general agreement that violence will continue to escalate and to propagate fear in the community until we find and treat the real causes.

Fundamental beliefs that underlie and perpetuate violence are: that humans have an animal nature prone to competition, self-preservation and aggression; that certain brain-based dysfunctions may be the root of violence, aggravated by abuse or neglect during childhood; and that there are deeply rooted social and cultural patterns, leading to a distorted sense of manhood and womanhood, that may take generations to change.

People working in the police and community services often speak of how addiction and abuse reoccur from generation to generation, and there is now general realisation that special attention needs to be given to the families involved. There is some progress in breaking this cycle, as communities work together to fight apathy and educate each other.

A retired commanding officer in the police force shared one such approach: "…anytime I knew I was going to a call related to domestic conflict or violence I would pick up the local pastor." Often they were able to provide a spiritual viewpoint and connection that would later solve the problem.

It is often acknowledged that recognising a man's spiritual nature has a healing effect.

Significant psychological research studies find that spirituality is not only helpful to, but integral to mental health. This is an important point in considering individual and whole-society change.

Recognising the need to adjust our thinking about spirituality is vital.

For instance, it is helpful to realise that the spiritual qualities generally attributed to women - such as care for others, gentleness, forgiveness and patience - and those qualities attributed to men - such as wisdom, truthfulness, tenaciousness and strength - are innate in both men and women.

Jesus' ability to express both the fatherhood and motherhood of the divine set the benchmark for us. And like him, we're actually "tuned in" to hear spiritual intuitions that will prompt, direct and uplift thought.

Knowing that no-one can be excluded from hearing and acting on divine thoughts can help to overcome violent impulses and begin to heal the culture of violence.

A pioneer in investigating the effects of our thoughts on our health, Mary Baker Eddy, recognised this voice as the ever-appearing of "the divine message from God to men speaking to the human consciousness." (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures)

When Susannah (not her real name) moved out of home and obtained a copy of that book, she just loved the way the author described the divine power that governs the universe as Father-Mother.

Her family had suffered violence at the hand of her father for many years. To think her father could be capable of reflecting the gentle motherhood of God seemed absolutely impossible. However, she decided to stop wrestling with this idea and worked hard to try to see him as reflecting this tender divine nature; learning that he was meant to be nurturing, gentle, tender.

She began to replace the macho view of her father, and every other man she came into contact with, with this new view of men. Her thought and experiences gradually began to change.

As the weeks went by, she learned that her parents had not had a fight in months and her father was treating her mother and sister with new tenderness. Eight years on, this is still the case. (

A scientific approach to thought and prayer in this way does not whitewash evil deeds; rather it exposes the mistaken beliefs and causes them to be destroyed.

Further changes in thinking about her own spiritual nature, meant that Susannah no longer saw herself as a survivor of mental, verbal or physical intimidation, but as a well-adjusted and balanced individual. She had no lingering emotional scars, but had learned truly to love and see the undamageable good in herself.

As Australian of the Year and domestic violence survivor, Rosie Batty, advocates, Susannah truly took responsibility for her own life, bringing vital change to those around her in the process.

Such an approach can spearhead healing the culture of violence in ourselves and in the community.


Topics:  abuse domestic violence family violence health health research prayer road rage spirituality terrorism

Check out some of the fun events on Coast this weekend

Hervey Bay Antiques and Collectables Fair, PCYC - Kaitlyn and Charlotte Smith enjoyed looking over the jewellery on the Magpies Collectables stall. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Fraser Coast Antique Collectable Fair on this weekend.

Headspace grows to help our young

Psychology issues and concepts word cloud illustration. Word collage concept.

The day celebrated 10 years of innovation in youth mental health

REVEALED: Meet the Fraser Coast's top voted cleaners

Fraser Coast favourite cleaners - (L) Kristen Carden, Lynda Edwards and Alissa Mahoney from Action One Cleaning.

REVEALED: The best cleaners on the Fraser Coast

Local Partners

Library to air next classic film series at free event

FRASER Coast Libraries will screen An American In Paris as part of the next series of their classic film series.

Something for young and old at annual antique fair

Hervey Bay Antiques and Collectables Fair, PCYC - Kaitlyn and Charlotte Smith enjoyed looking over the jewellery on the Magpies Collectables stall.
Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

The Fraser Coast Antique Fair is on again

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Veteran photographer's work on show at gallery

Fraser Coast Chronicle chief photographer Alistair Brightman's photographic exhibition at Hervey Bay Regional Art Gallery is on now. It's called 20twenty20 Vision - Views & News.

"In my free time I do a lot of landscape and nature photography."

In Flames are super 'proud' of new album

In Flames album to be released in November.  Photo Contributed

In Flames to release new album in November

Selma Blair blames flight outburst on 'psychotic blackout'

Selma Blair

"I am someone who should never drink, and I rarely do"

Bob Dylan acknowledges Nobel Prize win

Bob Dylan has finally acknowledged his Nobel Prize win

WATCH: Trailer for Jackman's final Wolverine film released

First trailer for the last Wolverine film with Hugh Jackman.

Thrilling trailer promises a dark, dystopian finale for Wolverine

CCTV footage surfaces of Kim Kardashian West's robbers

The blurry footage shows three men on bikes and two on foot

Cathriona White's mother claims to have Jim Carrey's results

Jim Carrey and late ex-girlfriend Cathriona White

SHE claims Carrey exposed White to herpes, chlamydia, Hepatitis A

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.