Stopping the Cycle of Abuse in Andrews

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS- A dozen men file into a small room inside adult probation in Andrews each week for Project A.D.A.M., a domestic abuse recovery program through Safe Place. Director Nilvia Rodriguez-Yarbrough asks the men if they had any trouble with their homework on Tuesday evening. Men and Women with anger issues can volunteer to take the courses, but many are ordered into the program by a court order.

"It's hard for guys to get in touch with their emotional feelings. You learn about that a lot in this class." Jesse Martinez said he's learning better ways to handle his anger when dealing with his wife.

Yarbrough told NewsWest 9 the economy may be adding to the case load in Andrews and around the area.

"We always see the victim, but we don't see the abuser." Jerry Melendez, a former student turned mentor said this program helps stop the cycle of abuse with the abuser.

"I saw it with my parents, I saw it with everybody." Melendez said in his family the abuse was only emotional, but had devastating effects on his family.

In the class, men learn about power and control in a relationship. The men talk about various situations and how they can better deal with their wives and girlfriends.

"It can be the smallest little thing and a lot can happen in a matter of seconds." Yarbrough said some men explode, reacting without thinking, she says it's important for these men to get help before they end up killing their significant others.

Martinez said he is taking the steps to make things better with his wife and children.

"It's as simple as going to the next room and calming down, giving yourself some time to think about it." Martinez said his quest for calm is even more pressing after his wife's cousin died at the hands of her boyfriend, "That's why I am taking this class a lot more seriously, I want to change. I want to learn how to control my issues."