Intimate violence is a major global problem. We all know of the suffering that results from domestic violence, rape, child abuse, female infanticide, and other brutal practices. What is less known is the link between violence in the home and violence in the world.
Victims of Intimate Violence are
More Prone to Violent Behavior
The aftermath of violent homes is a higher risk for
depression, substance abuse, and violent behaviors – even if the violence is directed at another family
member. The effects are not only emotional, but
physical. Research from Harvard University and
McLean Hospital shows that the brain neurochemistry
of adults who grow up in violence and neglect is
often optimized for the fight-or-flight response.
The Link Between Intimate
and International Violence
In her germinal book The Chalice & The Blade and
her award-winning The Power of Partnership, Riane
Eisler shows that throughout history, and crossculturally,
the most violently despotic and warlike
cultures have been those where violence in homes
is culturally condoned. We see this connection in
Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union. We see
it in the Taliban, and other cultures that feed terrorism
and war today. Logic alone tells us that early
training to accept violence as a means of imposing
one’s will on others is useful to violent and repressive
Engaging Religious Leaders
It is estimated that over 80% of the world’s population
belongs to a major religion. These people often
look to their spiritual leaders for guidance. Yet
religious leaders have been mostly silent on the issue
of intimate violence.
The greatest opportunity to reduce violence in the world is being missed. SAIV is working to change this.
SAIV is a project of: