Maria Akatemia provides services for women, who have either used or are afraid that they might use violence. That’s basically all I knew as I was offered a job as a violence prevention specialist at Maria Akatemia. I had a lot of working experience with victims of domestic violence. Therefore, violence as a phenomenon was something I was very familiar with. Despite that, I was hesitant. Who are women, who use violence? What are they like?
It turned out that the women are ordinary people – just like you and me. They’re typically mothers of small children – tired, overburdened, trying to meet the overwhelming expectations of what motherhood should be like. They might have been lacking proper sleep for weeks due to their baby’s colic and suddenly ended up shouting at them. Or, they found out that their partner has been unfaithful to them. They yelled at them and pushed them. Understandable, yet not acceptable.
What I mean by that is that violence is never justified. Although every human being has the potential to act violently, we’re always responsible for our behavior. Thoughts and feelings, no matter how challenging they might be, never lead directly to actions; they only create a strong urge to act in a certain way. Things do not ”just happen”; it is us who decide to do something or not to do something. Thus, we do not judge you for using violence, but we strive together to stop the violent behavior. We do not accept violence, but we accept you as a person.
Do not hesitate to contact us. You can find our schedule on https://www.naisenvakivalta.fi or you can contact us by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you find it convenient. We’ll get back to you within three working days. We speak English and our services are free of charge.
Writer Ewa Hirvonen works as a Violence Prevention Specialist at Maria Akatemia.