Angry outbursts increasingly an issue for women
Women need to tame their tempers before their angry outbursts start to have a negative impact on Bermuda's way of life.
This is the view of The Centre Against Abuse who say seeing women who are unable to keep their cool has become “a daily occurrence".
Staff believe the rise in women's stress levels can be attributed to their struggle to cope with factors such as working and family life and the rising cost of living.
To try to combat the increasing problem the charity will tomorrow start a new course aimed specifically at women with anger issues. They hope the problem can be tackled before it spirals out of control through gang and violent crime.
The charity's programme director Rosana Vickers has worked with men for 13 years, but she is now turning her attentions to women with a 12-week 'anger management and relationship education' course.
The course called 'A New Beginning' is for women who find themselves shouting all the time, find that everything and everybody gets on their nerves or become so consumed with others that they lose sight of themselves.
It is the second time this year that the abuse charity has run this course and Mrs Vickers says “the need is greater than ever.”
Mrs Vickers said: “We see so many women coming in for help and these women are angry.
“They just don't know how to control their anger. They are so angry it's affecting their daily lives as they can't eat or sleep and have difficulty concentrating on the job.
“Women may try to keep things under wraps but then they will just explode with anger. The way they are expressing their anger is getting out of control.”
Mrs Vickers said women not controlling their tempers was resulting in “a whole host of problems” for them. This includes deteriorating health, the loss of employment and sometimes lengthy prison sentences.
Mrs Vickers said anger affects people of all ages from all walks of life and she had seen examples of women stabbing others, assaulting others and throwing boiling water over others.
She said: “Women are becoming increasingly violent towards each other and towards men.
“They are threatening to 'cut each other up' and are fighting like we've never seen before. This can be in the home or in the street.”
Mrs Vickers says she has a “direct teaching style” which includes giving plenty of examples and case studies. She said: “This course is not therapy, it's not counselling, it's education.”
She will tell course participants that it is okay to be angry but because “no one is born angry” it can be controlled by learning to identify triggers and anticipating certain reactions.
Mrs Vickers said: “It's important that women learn how to stay cool and calm and learn from past experiences.
“We want to help women to make better choices and to help them get better control. It's about reclaiming their lives.”
Mrs Vickers believes a woman's anger often stems from “poor relationship choices” be it a current boyfriend, husband or ex-partner. This is why the course will also analyse the relationships women get into.
Mrs Vickers believes women “repeatedly pick the same type of men” then express their pent-up anger when things start to go wrong. She calls this the “same person with a different face” theory as women go for the same personality traits in one man after another.
Mrs Vickers will be urging everyone to do “background checks” when they enter new relationships by asking friends and family to find out if “a person is who they say they are” as “they will only tell you what you want to hear.”
Another common problem, according to Mrs Vickers, is that many women are also far too eager to please by quickly getting engaged and having children “without much thought.”
She said: “It's unhealthy that women are so keen to get a ring on their finger. We've seen women engaged three times in the space of six to nine months.
“As soon as a guy says 'hi' you shouldn't be choosing your wedding dress.
“But time and time again we see women who are so excited about being engaged they don't think about much else. Then the baby comes and then unfortunately they end up on the streets.”
The Centre Against Abuse's starts its 12-week course on anger management and relationship advice for women tomorrow (Thursday, September 8).
It will be held weekly at the HSBC Learning and Development Centre on Church Street every Thursday from 6.30pm to 8pm. The course is open to a maximum of 15 people and the cost is $100.
To register for the course or for further information call 292-4366 or e-mail rvickers[AT]centreagainstabuse.bm