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 itís a female victim and a male attacker. But we know from all your emails and texts and calls that itís not always that way Ė 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, itís 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 itís that way round but, as we know, people ring in and say, `No, itís not. Iím suffering.í 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 thenÖ `How did it start?í I mean, thatís 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 hadnít 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 thatís 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 wasnít subtle! [laughs] So it was red rage for me. And it wasnít so much a row, because my husband isnít 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 wasÖ Again, a difficult question to answer, because he didnít need help, in the sense that I wasnít wounding him. And he didnít need help because he had more insight than me, so he could see that it was me being stressed, and that it wasnít really about him. Whereas I thought it was about him, though.
02:05 Presenter
Canít have been pleasant for him, though.
02:06 Florence Terry
No, please donít think that Iím saying that it was okay for him! Not at all. The big thing was that he was ashamed that I hit him. He thought Ė how he worked this out I donít know Ė that it meant that he was a bad husband. And therefore he didnít want me to talk about it.
02:24 Presenter
So he was ashamed. Well, you often hear that from women as well whoíve been hit, that they feel ashamed and they feel that somehow theyíre responsible. So itís 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 Ė you know? Because interestingly, you are a divorce lawyer, arenít 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 Iíd been too ashamed to seek help, effectively, before then. Iíd been wanting to have help for several years, but I was raising it in the oblique way: you know, `If you had a problemÖí and just being pointed to menís 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 Iím 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
Iím hoping that people watching this morning will be thinking, Number 1, `Am I verbally violent as well as physically violent?í Because to me, women tend to be verbally violent more. But that is still Ė
04:10 And whether itís to children, as well. Iím hoping that women will generally think, `Hey, I get angry. Wouldnít 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.í
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 youíre 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. Thatís 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!