Returning to Honor: Using Culturally-Based Teaching in Batterer’s Intervention Training
Published by: Jeremy NeVilles-Sorell
The “Returning to Honor” project is based on the Native American concept of reciprocity. As Native People, we give before we take anything. We will give a gift to a person if we want them to teach us something or we give an offering of tobacco before hunting, fishing, or gathering fruits or plants. That is showing respect, thus honoring the people and things around you. When men batter, they are taking something from their partners, their family, and community. We all suffer from the effects of domestic and sexual violence as a society because we see it on the television or hear about it from friends and family even if we have not been assaulted. We certainly all pay for it when it comes to expenses with funding courts, police, direct services programs and medical premiums. Our communities once had high standards of expected behavior, and if those were violated, there were swift responses and harsh consequences. One was expected to act with honor yet today we see that many men don’t and even more stay silent. This presentation provides examples of Native American teachings to create awareness around domestic and sexual violence based on those teachings so men act with honor to treat women as sacred within batterer’s intervention programming.