The Lopez Romero Family

Lopez Romero Family

The following story shows how it is possible to break the generational cycle of domestic violence. The story of the López Romero family shows the positive impact of the JUCONI Programme in the healing of the after-effects of violence and in the prevention of violence in future generations.

Before entering the JUCONI Programme, the López Romero family had typical characteristics of domestic violence. The father, Javier, was an alcoholic, while the mother, Marcela, came from a family where she had been a victim of violence. At the age of 4, their son Jaime was already aggressive towards his companions in kindergarten, and their daughter Ana, aged 3, presented speech deficiencies not normal for her age.

Javier recognised that he often got drunk to the point at which he was out of his mind, sometimes also taking drugs, and under those conditions he would beat his wife and children. To defend herself, Marcela would react violently so that they would both be hitting each other, though she would receive more blows. Distrust was the norm in the marriage. Javier was very suspicious about Marcela, constantly checking her mobile phone, questioning everything she did, the way she dressed, her friendships, and checking the time she took to travel between home and her work in the market. She in turn criticised him because of the things he was unable to repair in the house and shouted insults at him.

Their children, Jaime and Ana, were also negatively affected in their lives. Jaime hit and bit his school companions and was especially aggressive towards the girls, replicating the violence he saw in the home outside it. Ana was withdrawn, preferring to be alone, and she wet herself without giving any warning or showing discomfort at having wet clothing.

Starting from the recognition of this situation, the JUCONI educators began a therapeutic process in which:

  • The identification of the strengths of the family was worked on
  • There were sessions with the family, individuals, and the adult couple
  • Javier was persuaded to see a psychiatrist and to take medication to control his aggressiveness, and also to join a drug addicts anonymous group and, for a short time, a neurotics anonymous group
  • Different therapeutic tools were employed to help externalise the traumatic experiences of each member of the family and to offer ways to heal them
  • In addition, the son and the daughter received support for their school work so that they could catch up with the other students

After a period of three years, from 2007 to 2010, the family graduated from the JUCONI Programme, and today it has solid social skills in creating positive relationships and maintaining safe environments so that the generational cycle of violence can be broken.

Achievements
  • Javier and Marcela are able to speak about their problems and solve their conflicts without aggression. Javier now trusts his wife and his unhealthy jealousy has disappeared
  • Both parents use effective methods of discipline with their children, without recourse to violence
  • Jaime, now 6, has entered primary school and has a good relationship with his companions. Academically, he is at the same level as them. When he feels under attack, he tells an adult about the situation and does not react by fighting
  • Ana, now 5, behaves more confidently and is able to get on with other girls and boys and play in teams. Her language level today is normal for her age, and she no longer wets herself.