George's Story
My anger has never died, but it's morphed into something else now

I was shocked to read these stories, it was very new to me. Every single bad thing that could happen to someone happened, it just opened up my mind.

Vanessa Morrison

I told him to take his wife home, and I asked Marina what she’d said. “I promise you, I didn’t say a word,” she told me. But I was fed up with her lies, and I slapped her. She called the cops, they arrested me and I spent a night in the cells. I came up before Judge Mick Brown, and the duty solicitor advised me to do an anger management course because that would bode well with him.

So I did the course. I was simmering inside, but now there were all these other angry guys around me. One Indian guy kept blaming women for everything. And I thought he was right at first. I was always vocal. When they said that we make a choice about our behaviour, I’d say “that’s rubbish – we don’t make choices, it just happens”.

But I finally accepted that we do choose our behaviours. Although the course started out as a strategy to escape trouble, by the end I’d learnt a lot of very helpful things – I even thanked Marina for it. I went before Judge Brown again, and he gave me the benefit of the doubt – “just this time”. He didn’t convict me, I just had to do some community work.

After that I went to university, got a degree in communications, started tutoring and lecturing and enrolled in a doctoral programme. I just loved it. I started to develop and see the world differently. Before that I had no understanding of society or politics, which is a demonising word to the Jehovah’s Witnesses who see Christ’s Kingdom as the supreme form of government.

I have been free from violent acts since I did that course in 1993. Once since then I’ve made a threatening gesture to Marina because she was baiting me, but even then I felt that was reprehensible.

My anger has never died, but it’s morphed into something else now.It’s not anger at my parents any more, I’m just angry at other things – like false statements by the Jehovah’s Witnesses (although I am still in the religion). I live on my own now. I can’t give any words of wisdom on domestic violence; I don’t feel I have any moral grounds on which to be saying anything. But being called to account was the best thing that happened to me.