Sanctuary for the Abused

Friday, November 28, 2008

Responsibility & Making Amends in Recovery

Responsibility is the cornerstone of recovery. We may feel guilty about the ways we’ve acted and about those we’ve hurt. This is part of recovery; it is part of having a conscience. But we must not label ourselves as bad people, for this can restart the addictive process. In recovery, we learn to change our perspective on ourselves. Our illness can’t be cured, but it can be treated if we are willing to work on it. Members of a support group who have “been there” can help in the healing process as we walk through the minefield of our shame.

In recovery, we learn to monitor our actions, and when we act in negative ways we do not become shameful and defensive; instead, we admit our mistakes and make amend for them. Making amends does not just mean saying we’re sorry. It means recognizing and thinking through our behavior: Because of how I acted, there is an inequality in our relationship. Now I need to find out from you what is needed for the relationship to become equal again.

For a person who, during his addiction, continually blew up at his partner or spouse, making amends would not mean saying, “I’m sorry for blowing up at you.” It would include admitting to his spouse what he has done, recounting a specific incident, and then saying, “I know this caused you great pain and frustration. What do you need from me to make up for this?” If her request is within his realistic limits, he would act to make restitution to her. By making amends, he commits himself to a change in his behavior.

By claiming responsibility for our actions, we may win back some of the relationships we lost through our addiction. We are all human and we all act foolishly from time to time, but shame is a distortion of reality that makes it impossible for us to make amends. In recovery, we learn how to see ourselves realistically, as human beings.

from: The Addictive Personality, by Craig Nakken, MSW, CCDDP, LCSW, LMFT

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Short Video on Domestic Violence

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Media Opportunity: Calling all Mothers!

Want your story heard on ABC News television show 20/20? Read this post for more information!

The ABC News television show 20/20 are now considering producing an hour-long story on a MOTHER who has suffered/is suffering from domestic violence and has had a negative experience within the family court system.

This is where YOU come in! If you have a story about a mother whose experience within family court resulted in

1. Disbelief of her allegations of abuse
2. Her children being awarded to the abusive father,

Please submit it to the Public Policy Office no later than November 30, 2008. Be sure to place "ABC Custody Story" in the subject heading of your email or fax. There is no guarantee your story will be chosen.

We will inform you of 20/20's final decision and the show's air date. Thanks in advance!!! Story Guidelines

1. No more than 1 page. If your story is chosen for further review, you can then provide additional details.
2. A mother who lost her children to the abusive father because her allegations of abuse (against her or her children) were found not credible.
3. Be willing to appear on television. Your identity can be concealed.
4. Contact information of the mother.
5. Contact information of the story submitter (if you are NOT the mother).
6. Submit to or 202.745.0088 (fax).

Please email all questions to

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