Anger Management
GMTV – Clip 1
3rd November 2008
00:00 gmtv
00:00 Presenter
Now, whenever we talk about domestic violence here on GMTV, I guess we normally assume it’s a female victim and a male attacker. But we know from all your emails and texts and calls that it’s not always that way – and the latest figures back that up. They show that one in six men can expect to be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime, and the number has more than doubled in the last two years.
00:19 Well, it’s a subject for the Tonight programme on ITV1 this evening. And Florence Terry, who used to attack her husband, is with us now. Good to see you this morning. I think people always assume it’s that way round but, as we know, people ring in and say, `No, it’s not. I’m suffering.’ So how did it start in your marriage, the violence?
Used to abuse her husband
00:37 It started through low-level anger, probably, and stress. And at the beginning I was shocked when I hit my husband, and then… `How did it start?’ I mean, that’s a difficult question to answer! But the real thing for me is the fact that it got to the point where I knew that I was out of control. (Ah!)
00:57 So when I went on anger management I hadn’t hit my husband for, I think, six months; but the problem for me was that to me it was completely unacceptable, ever, to be violent.
01:06 Presenter
And of course that’s true. But what sort of things did you do? Was it in the middle of a row that you beat his chest or chucked something at him? I mean, what was the nature of it? Or was it more subtle than that?
01:18 Florence Terry
Oh, I wasn’t subtle! [laughs] So it was red rage for me. And it wasn’t so much a row, because my husband isn’t the type of person who rows. So it was mostly me getting more angry.
01:29 Presenter
01:48 Florence Terry
I think that it was… Again, a difficult question to answer, because he didn’t need help, in the sense that I wasn’t wounding him. And he didn’t need help because he had more insight than me, so he could see that it was me being stressed, and that it wasn’t really about him. Whereas I thought it was about him, though.
02:05 Presenter
Can’t have been pleasant for him, though.
02:06 Florence Terry
No, please don’t think that I’m saying that it was okay for him! Not at all. The big thing was that he was ashamed that I hit him. He thought – how he worked this out I don’t know – that it meant that he was a bad husband. And therefore he didn’t want me to talk about it.
02:24 Presenter
So he was ashamed. Well, you often hear that from women as well who’ve been hit, that they feel ashamed and they feel that somehow they’re responsible. So it’s interesting that it can work both ways. How did you break the cycle?
02:35 Florence Terry
By going on an anger management course.
02:37 Presenter
What was the moment when you picked up the phone or – you know? Because interestingly, you are a divorce lawyer, aren’t you, so you see the tensions of people in difficult relationships.
02:48 Florence Terry
Well, I was in a fortunate position of being, as a divorce lawyer, in the office. So I saw a flyer come in about anger management. And I’d been too ashamed to seek help, effectively, before then. I’d been wanting to have help for several years, but I was raising it in the oblique way: you know, `If you had a problem…’ and just being pointed to men’s help programs, which was no good for me. So I saw a leaflet that came in the post, and I looked on the web, saw that they took women as well as men, and signed up.
03:20 Presenter
So it must have been very difficult to go along that first time?
03:23 Florence Terry
Very difficult! Very scary.
03:26 Presenter
What would you advise people to do? Because I’m sure there are people watching this morning that are either suffering from domestic violence or know that they are being violent. What would you advise them to do?
03:38 Florence Terry
I’m hoping that people watching this morning will be thinking, Number 1, `Am I verbally violent as well as physically violent?’ Because to me, women tend to be verbally violent more. But that is still –
04:10 And whether it’s to children, as well. I’m hoping that women will generally think, `Hey, I get angry. Wouldn’t it be nice to know myself better and be able to, Number 1, get angry less, knowing myself better; and Number 2, behave more appropriately when I am angry.’
04:25 Presenter
Okay, so to get in touch with what? What can they do to get in touch with, briefly?
04:30 Florence Terry
I understand that you’re going to have anisations on the web to get in touch?
04:33 Presenter
Yes, we are. Seek help there.
04:35 Florence Terry
And so an anger management course. Seek help. Psychotherapy.
04:38 Presenter
Yeah. Well, Florence, thanks very much indeed. That’s good. As she says, if you do want advice on this related to domestic violence, take a look at our website at Lots of details there specific to women, and also for men too. Thanks very much indeed. Thank you.
04:52 Florence Terry
Thank you!