Violent Men – Prevent Violence against Women

Note: Jean-Pierre Bellemare was convicted in 2021 of a crime committed in 2018, and is currently incarcerated.

I was so afraid of becoming like my father that I became like my mother, a beaten person.

By Jean-Pierre Bellemare

My alcoholic father was violent against my mother. He was the worst possible example of a man when I was a small child. In aging, I was always anxious that I would become like him. I was scared that I would become an angry father who, under the influence of alcohol, killed his wife.

That’s why, as a preventative measure, I got involved with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous early on. For several decades, and still today, I attended meetings of these groups. They helped me recognize myself through them, and understand my problems.

We all have moments when the urge to sink is greater than the urge to swim. Letting ourselves float off seems the only way out, and we use alcohol or drugs as a desperate measure.

As for me, I wake up in the morning with a mirror and I go to sleep with one. It’s a humiliating and often hurtful experience, but I get to see my difficulties quicker. It permits me to correct my course as fast as possible before my problems grow to be bigger than my ego. My huge fear of resembling my father has subconsciously contributed to me to become like my mother, a submissive person, a perpetual victim.

I became like her, in constantly second-guessing myself, telling myself off for what I’d done to make things go so badly. If things weren’t working out I believed it was entirely my fault, thanks to my lack of judgment and clear-sightedness.

Curiously, my attitude was condescending and contemptuous towards a policeman who was beaten by his wife. And that other guy, a hockey player whose friends put in a complaint against him for spousal abuse. Both cases that made the media. Then it became my turn to be swept up in the same sort of maelstrom. I had no idea what to do. Me, who the criminologists and psychologists describe as violent.

The woman I loved turned into a lioness, her claws only surpassed by her even sharper, more cutting words.

Now if a killer wants my skin, I’ll negotiate with him – in the worst of cases, with a baseball bat. But when it’s a question of a woman attacking me, especially one I love, because of a problem involving control, I’ll admit I’m stumped as to what to do.  I might in the end turn into one of those men who do the worst, rather than phone the police.

Now in a society such as ours with its history of conjugal violence, you think twice before making a complaint against your wife. And I know the justice system too well to have any faith in it.

That’s why I had to separate from her. Not because I didn’t love her, but because it would only be a matter of time before I’d want to defend myself. And given the fact that I have a criminal record, I wouldn’t trust the police or the courts to be objective in my case. All I can do is to pray that one day she finds peace.

For all the men who minimize, ridicule or ignore these acts of violence, don’t wait. Family dramas don’t only happen to other people. You have to recognize the seriousness of the problem as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’ll face arrest, loss of reputation, dignity, or even freedom, for defending yourself when you’ve had enough.

When a woman strikes, it’s a slap. When a man strikes it’s a criminal act punishable by law. Lawyers will bleed you and you will discover the inner workings of the justice machine, which I would counsel you to avoid.

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