Author and activist Kevin Powell has an inside look into the mind of a domestic abuser—he used to be one. When he was 25 years old, his temper was caught on camera during MTV's first season of The Real World. Off camera, Kevin says he was also abusive to women and sought counseling. For the past 18 years, he's been working with men across the country to end violence against women.
Kevin agrees that abusing is an addiction. "I think it's a form of mental illness to commit any form of violence against a female or a male," he says. "I think we've got to strive for a society that's rooted in nonviolence."
The first step? "Having the courage to own your mistakes," he says. "That's something I had to do."
Get Kevin's 7 steps to ending violence against women
That doesn't only apply to men who've abused in the past—Kevin says every man must step up if they see the men around them engaging in abusive behavior. "Your silence is agreement and participation," Kevin says.