Former domestic violence abusers talk about getting treatment

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- High profile murders involving domestic violence in recent weeks have brought the issue to the forefront.

We spoke with two men who admit to abusing their wives in years past. One of them is getting treatment at a substance abuse facility. The other man founded the facility.

"'I'm not going to do it again.' I said that so many times, and then when things didn't go my way for whatever reason I did it again," said Rodney Owens.

Owens abused his first wife and his second.

"There was abuse for probably the first five years of our marriage too," he shared.

"It turned slowly but surely from just arguing to physical," says Donnell. "We'd fight."

For HIPPA reasons, we weren't allowed to show Donnell's face or use his entire name. We asked him and Rodney wens why they abused the women who loved them.

"Because of my substance abuse and no coping skills, and no communication skills, I didn't know how to express my anger and my emotions," Owens said.

"Most of the times I would be mad because she had money and she wouldn't give it to me so i can go get high with and I'd start an argument, she'd argue back with me," added Donnell.

We spoke with them at Pathway to Serenity, a residential substance abuse treatment program that Owens started with his wife, the same woman he used to abuse.

"We have a healthy relationship. I have not put my hands on her in 18 years."

Many of the guys who come through have abused their partners. Dwayne Jackson was one of them. He was killed inside his northwest Harris County home along with his wife Valerie Jackson and six children. Their accused killer is Valerie's abusive ex David Conley. Owens tells us Valerie made Dwayne get help. And he says that's the one thing wives can do if they choose not to leave.

"It's about accountability," he advised. "'If you put your hands on me one time, I'm going to report it. Until you seek some help, there's no relationship.' And I think the victim has to be firm on that."

More on what caused these men to change their ways and stay on the right path is included in their entire interview.
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