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How it works

Violence Anonymous is a solution for living free from violent behavior. Whether you are a rock bottom violence addict or a high bottom, “not yet” case, this way of living demands rigorous honesty and fearless perseverance. VA’s who have come before you can attest that this is “the easier softer way” to recovering from experiencing life as a victim, rescuer or persecutor. Those who are unable to be honest with themselves will not comprehend this simple program. There are many more cases who, despite physical, emotional or mental trauma, do recover because of their willingness to be honest and accountable.

Our experience tells what it was like on the drama triangle, how we recovered, and what our lives are like today. We lived as victims, persecutors and rescuers. We once believed that people, places and things could make our lives unbearable, but came to understand that it was our own twisted thinking that kept us imprisoned in the cycle of violent thought, emotion and behavior. If you have decided you need the same liberation that we in VA have found, and you are willing to face all of your fears, then you are ready to take the 12 steps of Violence Anonymous.

Here are the steps we took, which are suggested as a program of recovery:

1. We admitted we were powerless over violence - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Many of us feared that we would fail and return to our old way of living. Do not be discouraged. There is no right or wrong way to proceed with this program. The point is that we begin and, just for today, do the best we can with the skills we have. We strive for spiritual progress rather than spiritual perfection. We are not perfect, nor do we need to be, to recover from violent behavior. All we need is a sincere willingness to start.

And so we begin with the admission that:

1. we are powerless over violence and our lives have become unmanageable;
2. probably no human power could change our violent behavior;
3. God could and would if we asked.


Copyright © 2004 Violence Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.