the woman in the water: how domestic abuse is psychological abuse

 

 

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“It’s very difficult for people to wrap their minds around the concept of a man actually balling up his fist and hitting a woman…The video forces you to take it in. There’s no escaping. You can’t dance around it, you have to deal with it. That’s why video really becomes crucial for this cause, the fight against domestic violence… People say: ‘That guy is so nice when he’s with me. What did you do? What did you say to him? He’s cool. I play golf with him. I can’t imagine him doing this.’ Women are simply not believed.” — Robin Givens

A woman with a famous and/or wealthy man is suspect.

I was a kid growing up in Canada when Wayne Gretzky announced that he was leaving the Edmonton Oilers for the L.A. Kings.

Let’s think about this: man decides to leave Edmonton, Alberta, to go live in one of the most exciting cities in one of the most charismatic states, and is paid an insane amount of money to do so. But rather than admitting that Gretzky might have been making a sensible decision, many people blamed –

his blonde, nubile, American-actress wife. I remember conversations on the playground in which kids denounced her as a slut and a whore. She was stealing Gretzky away from us! Never mind that Gretzky was a fully functioning, intelligent human being with a will and reason all his own. She was – say it with me, boys and girls – a golddigger, forcing him into the, uh, coal mines and general brutality of Beverly Hills.

The nerve.

I remember when Robin Givens admitted, on-air, that her husband, Mike Tyson, physically abused her. She was reviled and denounced as a – wait for it – golddigger. I remember thinking about Robin when a very pregnant Denise Richards left Charlie Sheen, practically fleeing in the middle of the night with a toddler in tow. Sheen had a well-documented history suggesting that he was, shall we say, a difficult personality. But in online forums and tabloid magazines, Denise Richards was the one at fault. Never mind his addictive tendencies: the gambling, the hookers, the cocaine. She was a golddigger.

Since the day that Eve manipulated Adam into eating the apple (no doubt by flashing her breasts and promising him a blowjob afterwards), women have been regarded as rather shady characters. If she’s not a virgin in white, she can’t be trusted. If she cries rape, she’s out for money or attention or revenge. If her sexuality is not safely contained within a monogamous relationship, she’s a homewreck waiting to happen. The combination of female sexuality, intelligence and autonomy especially unsettles us. There’s a name for those kinds of women: femme fatale. Whether it’s Jezebel back when or Glenn Close in the movie FATAL ATTRACTION, she will lure an innocent man to his doom (unless she’s thrown out of a tower window or stabbed and shot, respectively.)

Granted, Jezebel and the Glenn Close character are extreme examples – and fictional. Janay Rice is neither. She is a woman in an elevator who got cold-cocked by her famous boyfriend. Then he dragged her unconscious body out into the hall.

Reader, she married him. It happens everyday.

It is easy for some to say that Janay “shared responsibility” for this event. Because she went back to him, and stayed with him; because she was lunging at him in the elevator as if to hit him when he punched her in the face and knocked her unconscious; because this culture likes to make men out to be the victims of women, partly out of respect for all the good men out there and the acknowledgement that women themselves are no angels. It might even be easy for others to say that, hey, the real victim of domestic violence here is Ray.

(And let me stress that in many cases, the abusive partner is indeed a woman. For this particular piece, I’m not talking about those cases.)

But that is failing to understand – or refusing to understand – the actual nature of an abusive relationship.

Abuse is not just physical. Many abusive relationships don’t include physical violence at all.

An abusive relationship is not about violence; it is about power and control.

It is not about how many times you hit your partner, or insulted your partner, or whether your partner strikes back.

It is about the systematic use, over a prolonged period of time, of a variety of tactics intended to keep the abused partner in his or her place, which is wherever the abuser declares it to be (and always in a subservient position).

Not every psychologically abusive relationship culminates in physical violence.

But every physically abusive relationship begins with psychological abuse.

Dr Clare Murphy lists many of the tactics that male abusers use, in various combinations, on their female partners, and summarizes them in her blog:

One-sided power games including behaviours that ensure he has his way at her expense
• Mind games including guilt trips and confusing her in ways that make her feel crazy
• Inappropriate restrictions including refusing to let her work
• Isolation including controlling incoming information such as what she reads
• Over-protection and ‘caring’ including dissuading her from going out alone in case she gets raped
• Emotional unkindness, violation of trust, Cyberbullying including promising to help and then ‘forgetting’
• Degradation & suppression of potential including criticising her strengths and achievements
• Separation abuse including stalking such as leaving flowers – this sends a threatening message that he can always find her no matter where she is. Whereas, an outsider might look at this act, and think of it as a caring gesture.
• Using social institutions including engaging in child custody battles to maintain power over her
• Using social prejudices such as saying to a disabled partner that she can’t even walk out the door – this reinforces his power
• Denial including refusing to take responsibility for the harm he causes
• Minimising by saying “it wasn’t that bad, get over it”
• Blaming by twisting the story so she appears responsible
• Making excuses such as blaming stress at work
• Using children for example saying he wouldn’t get so angry if she kept the children quiet
• Economic abuse including not allowing her access to any money, or putting her in charge of the budget, but then spending all the money and abusing her when the debt mounts
• Intimate Partner Sexual abuse including pressuring her to have sex when she is sick
• Symbolic aggression including threats to harm her family, friends, pets
• Domestic slavery including punishing her for not carrying out duties he claims she should have, while not carrying out his own

As she observes:

“Each behaviour, when looked at separately, could seem justifiable. Each singular behaviour could look like something minor. Each behaviour on its own could appear that the woman provoked it. Just one of these behaviours viewed from the outside — out of context — could appear like he was just having a bad day. However, look at this short list in its entirety. Now consider this mass of behaviours as a systematic pattern. Also know that women who are subjected to this pattern of abuse and control experience MANY of these tactics — every day, every week, every month, every year — for years and years. Then ask yourself if you think this systematic pattern of power and control is about the partner just having a bad day.”

Abusers are master manipulators. Nobody knows you like your intimate partner; nobody knows how to press your buttons, or reach inside your head – and your heart – in quite as much intricate detail. The abused partner becomes convinced that the abuse is her own damn fault. If only she can figure out how to fix her defective and offensive self, then the relationship will return to the glory days that marked its beginning: the whirlwind romance, the swept-off-her-feet candlelit magic.

Over time, this eats away at her self-esteem until she appears to outsiders just as fragile and unstable as her partner often depicts her to be.

To expect a psychologically abused woman to simply get up and leave her partner is like asking someone to run a marathon – after they’ve been standing inside a cloud of nuclear radiation. What is likely to happen is that the woman will defend the man who abused her.

If a woman went so far as to bring charges against him, she is likely to drop them.

This piece tells of a rather fascinating study that took place in 2011, examining how abusers will convince their partners to deny that the abuse ever happened:

“…a group of researchers published their findings after studying the recorded detention-center phone calls between 25 couples. In each couple, the man had been charged with felony-level domestic violence and was behind bars while awaiting trial in Washington. In each couple, the victim was a woman. Of the 25 couples, 17 women eventually recanted their stories. The phone calls show exactly how the attackers convinced their victims to do this. Attackers in domestic violence have an advantage most criminals don’t. They have an intimate relationship with their victim and know exactly how to appeal for sympathy. They prey on our capacity to forgive. In the detention-center calls, first the men downplay what happened, then they beg for help. They bemoan the horrors of incarcerated life, fret about their children growing up fatherless, worry about how their victims are doing without them, even threaten to kill themselves. They tell stories about the good times, how they first started dating, invoke the Lord, even Buddha. Finally, the attackers tell the victims to change their stories. It works.”

(The piece goes on to quote directly from those conversations.)

Abuse is a colossal mindgame as much as anything else. It is the slow, steady, extreme distortion of the abused partner’s sense of her identity and her very reality.

It deepens over time.

It can be (and often is) compared to a frog in the pot.

The relationship starts out with sunshine and romance. The water is lovely and calm.

But then the cook starts to turn up the temperature — slowly, so that the frog acclimatizes to the change – until the water is boiling and the frog too weak and disoriented to jump out. And if the frog should complain to the cook (stretching the analogy, I know, but bear with me here), the cook will tell it that it is crazy, or oversensitive, and in any case it’s all in the frog’s head. Water? What water?

My heart goes out to Janay Rice. Ultimately it’s her own decision what to do and how to live (and none of our business in any case).

But maybe one day we, as a culture, can deliver a message in a strong, unified voice to Janay and every other woman and man in her situation. We can say that yes, we see the water, it’s getting hotter all the time. It is not and has never been your fault.

And if you ever decide to fight your way out of it, we are here on the other side. We are waiting to help.

Sep 14, 2014
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23 comments · Add Yours

It is not her fault. It is not her fault. It is not her fault.

She didn’t stay, no one does, for a cushy lifestyle. She stayed because she cannot leave at this time.

That is what abuse does. It destroys and perverts reason.

A culture that begrudgingly accepts that truth when the victims are children but not when the victim is a grown woman.

The hateful comments blaming the victim, showing contempt for her failure to leave?

That is abuse too.

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Throughout all of this news coverage I hope so much that there will be a focus on how being raised in an abusive family contributes greatly to being a victim of domestic violence. I am a survivor domestic violence and, unfortunately, I was taught to live with an abusive parent and a parent that was a complete enabler. It was ingrained in me that what happened behind closed doors was never to be talked about, I was taught to live a lie and to cover up the behavior of the ill parent. I was isolated, no one was allowed to enter our home, there was no extended family to check in on us. My mind was constantly on the abuser growing up, “Where are they?” “What kind of mood are they in today?” “Will they talk to me today or ignore me again for a few more days as punishment?” “Is it time for another explosion with their temper?” “Is it ok to say this?” “Am I going to get locked outside again?” Being so preoccupied with thinking of the abuser I didn’t have time to focus on my own needs. Unfortunately this carried over into adulthood and I constantly thought of the needs of my partner before me, I knew exactly what to say if someone asked about a black eye, busted lip, bruises. I knew what to do to make the abuser feel ok, as I would carry the weight of the world on my shoulders so they did not have to hurt knowing what they had done to me. I had been taught to do this at such a young age. If only we could catch these children and their families at young ages. The little girls that get a childlike rush out of being the one to step into the fights knowing with all of their hearts that they have the ability to talk their father out of their angry mood….it is heartbreaking knowing so many of these little girls will step into this role again in adulthood. The dynamic of staying with an abusive partner starts so often many years before.

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Where is the similar outrage over Adrian Peterson? Is it because kids can’t speak for themselves, they can’t call the cops? And where is the similar outrage over Hope Solo? Is it because men don’t want to be seen as weak? Justine, one of my biggest problems with the Internet nanny experts always inserting themselves in affairs like the Janay and Ray Rice one is written exactly by you in your own defense of Wayne Gretsky: Janay is “a fully functioning, intelligent human being with a will and reason all {her} own”. It is a conceit and arrogance to assume you know the dynamics of the Rice relationship; you take this incident and assume you know it all, what’s best for Janay (‘we’re here for you”…practically screaming for her to end her marriage). Janay is not some ghetto wallflower who doesn’t know what’s good for her; she’s a college educated, very articulate and intelligent lady, She can speak her own mind, and for that matter, deserves your respect (and other’s respect) when she says, ‘leave us alone’. She did not excuse Rice’s hitting her, but she has asked for the Internet hysteria to back the eff up, because she can figure it out on her own, thank you very much. How people can not respect that is beyond me, however it merely underlines the rapid disintegration of respect accorded others, by people who assume they know what’s best for others…a sure sign of a society well on its way to complete thought control by the very class of people you ought to distrust the most (never trust a person with an IQ of 190, who thinks he has the IQ of 250…). As we look back in life, what really mattered was love…the more appropriate response to the Rice affair is to offer help “for” the marriage, not tear it to shreds (like every self-righteous Internet relationship expert). If Janay feels that privacy would go a long way to help her marriage, she deserves to be given that privacy. As a human.

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Aloha, Thank you Justine for this thoughtful and heartfelt understanding about the reality of the many layers of abuse. Super healing and affirming and there for freeing, thank you. Mahalo ke Akua

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And the following football link will not endear me to the anti-NFL brigade, but it’s an important story to help people realize how unwise it is to make sweeping generalizations about groups of people, and that some people have incredible hurdles to overcome (hurdles you may not be aware of, nor have come into personal contact with either):

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/football-star-shows-you-cant-judge-a-book-by-its-cover/

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Stephen, read the piece more carefully. “Practically screaming at me” that I am assuming Janay Rice to be some “ghetto wallflower” is offensive in the extreme; smart, educated, articulate, independent women are just as subject to abusive relationships. The patterns of abuse are not that mysterious or invisible, and people like you should become better informed; it’s by turning away and refusing to acknowledge what’s actually happening that we allow abuse to flourish in the first place. Not to mention, I’m always bemused when people assume that writing about one subject is somehow refusing to write about other subjects (Adrian Petersen, Hope Solo), as if every subject can be crammed into a single blog post. This “internet nanny” feels very strongly about psychological abuse and is deeply acquainted with the subject. Perhaps you should be checking your own assumptions and “sweeping generalizations” instead of “practically screaming” at me about mine. Be well.

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You’ve got a virtual writing wackiness that’s attractive, but unsettling. First, I appreciate the honesty when you recognize that you are indeed an internet nanny (a plague IMHO…not you, but the phenomena). Personally, I don’t pretend to know anyone’s business other than my own and my children…were that the case for all. Second, if a strong independent woman’s BF/husband beats the crap out of her often (or plays endless mind games), then just leave…why is that so impossible? I ‘get it’ if the person being abused is not strong or self-sufficient (think children primarily), but that is NOT the case here with Janay Rice. If the i-nannies don’t respect others enough to make decisions in their own best interests, one day someone ain’t gonna respect your own self-determination as well (after all, if lack of respect is institutionalized, then everyone’s fair game). This is a slippery slope, this business of always being in other people’s business (Mmw. Curie: ‘be more curious about ideas and less about people’…solid advice). As I wrote, Janay is a tough, smart woman who has kindly asked you and others for privacy and respect, as she shorts this out directly with her husband. Just respect that. If the punditry truly has humane motives, they’d work toward helping the two of them, not ripping them apart. Why does it take a lifetime of mistakes for people to realize what was always most important (look up Ray Bradbury and his most famous quote), or is click-baiting, drama-escalating, snark-infesting, and celebrity-worshipping the new paradigm?

The reason I included Solo and Petersen is not to draw straws nor belittle your original post…it’s a place marker to see if the chattering class exhibits similar outrage about those two situations, down the road (though I think the answer there is pre-ordained, as the initial outrage is unfathomably quiet…and can there be anything worse than beating a truly helpless child to a bloody mess?!).

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Stephen Green, your apologia for abuse is what’s unsettling. That an apparently well-educated man is not only so ignorant of the dynamics of abuse but is also trying to “neg” a writer like Justine is… narcissistic. Distasteful.

Justine, thank you for your writing, as always, but in this particular piece your link to the Deadspin article and 2011 study. We know the contours of this story well from experience. Seeing it starkly and scientifically, like a butterfly pinned to a board, just deepens the impact.

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KT: certainly no offense, but how is anything I have written an “apology” for abuse? The same nanny-ism that makes experts out of all is the same strange new dynamic that allows someone like yourself to pull settled facts from a genie bottle. Btw, I’m on record (after all, why would I post here) of being a fan of Justine M’s writing. It gets a bit ethereal, flowery, and occasionally unintentionally pedantic, but what the hey…so would we all if we wrote all day. Otherwise, she has a great artistic sensibility, one that I have no doubt would lend itself famously to other endeavours besides writing.

The issue with Ray and Janay Rice (KT) is not to apologize for the uppercut, but to help recognize that only two persons know their back-story well enough to really comment, and calibrate our virtual reactions accordingly… When the Internet nanny brigade gets its game face on, you can be sure of one thing: the truth almost always lies on the other side of the divide.

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I think it’s also hard for people to see the abusers as they are. These wealthy men who abuse are obviously people who are insecure because they are used to having all this public attention and not putting effort into their relationships. People leave celebrities like this all the time I’m sure. Everyone sees them as so desirable but then when they get close and see that they don’t put effort into the relationship or don’t know how to communicate their emotions maybe if they’re a tough athlete taught not to do that, they leave. So what’s a handsome insecure athlete supposed to do when the whole world expects every woman to want to be with him and stay with him and they don’t? Prove his worthiness by using the only tool he’s been taught to use. The only tool is acceptable for a “real man” to use in our society. His aggression, to make her stay. I’m not condoning it, I’m just saying everyone so pumps up their egos. They start talking to their partners like the public would talk to them. Like you’re so lucky to be with me bla bla bla. It’s not right. If you’re afraid of intimacy too and you’re a guy it’s great for you to just take care of someone and then make so they can’t leave. All power no fear right? Except you can’t own people and the fear and then the aggression only gets worse over time. The fear of the ego is what leads us to do all wrongs. You can’t control another person like that. So wrong.

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thank you for writing this again Justine, oceans of love, and wishing deep healing to all women who have ever had to deal with this in any way…Aloha nui loa

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@Lauren Thank you Lauren, I truly appreciate that.

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I sincerely am trying to understand this issue (DV) better. Part of me thinks there is some exaggeration and some inconsistency on the part of many, but another part of me knows that just because I wouldn’t consider it, there are tons more who not only think of abuse but act on it too….one instance is too many (btw, I was glad to see the NFL act on Peterson, perhaps a day late, but at least…). I saw the attached link (below), narrated by a woman whom I believe has humane relatability and is not so much ‘celebrity’ as someone who has demonstrated time and again that she is ‘real’ (among other hurdles, she has stood nobly by her husband, who has had significant medical issues)…anyway, she really got me to think about DV and ‘leaving when you know you should’, and I thought I would post the video, in case anyone else is also still thinking through this issue. Viera makes sense about not being able to ‘just leave’, when you know you should; and I had not considered her reasoning before. Anyway, here it is:

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When I learn other facts, I’d like to think I’m ‘man enough’ to own up to them. So that’s why I added this video. Thx.

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Stephen, your argument here is the same old, “It’s none of our business so we should stay out of it” that ends up being the prelude of *thousands* of instances where the neighbors are gathered on the lawn in their pj’s, shaking their heads as the stretcher is loaded onto an ambulance and the crime scene tape is tied to the white picket fence. Wondering how it could come to this and weren’t they such a nice couple and sure, he seemed a little tough on the old girl, but she always got right back in line and didn’t he do all that work around the yard and didn’t she have jewelry and a nice car?

DV is a concern that everyone should be talking about. And quite frankly, yes we do, in fact, have a say in this. Perhaps not in the Rices’ relationship, but in the larger society as a whole. It is our job as citizens of civilization to say that Ray Rice’s behavior was unacceptable, and no, we do not have to sit down, shut up, or mind our own business–this part IS our business. This is the part where we show, by example and by discussion, that domestic abuse is not acceptable in our society. The message is not solely intended for Janay or Ray Rice. It is intended for the millions of abuse victims out there who are in abuse situations, to let them know that *this is not the way things are.” And yes, it is intended also for the millions of abusers out there, to also let them know that this behavior is NOT normal, that it does NOT fall within accepted parameters of good behavior.

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King John by Shakespeare: “And oftentimes excusing of a fault doth make the fault the worse by the excuse.”

Excuses are weak. When you mess up, own up. Be remorseful about the mistake or transgression–and be energetic about making it right. I’ve screwed up, and hopefully I’ve been aggressive about making amends.

If Rice does the above (which imho I think he has tried to do, before the avalanche of internet opinion-aters overwhelmed him), I’m good with imploring the same folks to pull back on the the verbal daggers in his back while he and his wife sort out their relationship. In no way does it excuse the action…I hope I’ve made that abundantly clear.

I hope I’ve also made it abundantly clear that your life is not improved by bashing another’s…the one thing you’ll find in some time is that love (and all that that implies) is what matters in the end, so instead of abetting any couple’s uncoupling (conscious or not), see instead what you can do to help restore and improve it.

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Sometimes it is just “Love” that makes the abuse worse. If one partner doesn’t love the other in an abusive relationship, he/she would have left long time ago. It is really a balance between love and your own mental well being. One balance is that you have to receive about the equal amount of love from the person you love, otherwise, it will give more power to the person who is more loved and drive the other person crazy. That’s why I so agree with Lana on the efforts in a relationship. Both sides have to put in about equal efforts.

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I am an extremely intelligent women. I was in an abusive relationship. I stayed because I loved him. I thought it would get better. Instead, it got worse. People ask me all the time, “How could you love someone who gave you black eyes?” That’s a stupid question. It’s like asking, “How can you love someone who never takes out the trash?” or “How can you love someone who cheats at Monopoly?” or “How can you love someone who exhibits X-Y-Z flaw?” The answer is simple: Love is love. You don’t love someone or stop loving someone for one facet of their character alone. You love someone for MANY facets. Likewise, you stop loving someone because of MANY flaws. Black eyes alone did not define our relationship. People with no experience in DV believe it’s easy to walk away. To them I would ask, “Really? It’s easy to walk away from someone you love? Then do it. Right now. Prove how easy it is. Quit your job and move to a difference city overnight. Then tell me how easy it is.” The black eyes hardly matter, in the light of all you give up by leaving. Love is love. When you love someone, you want to be around that person. You want to heal their hurts. You want to make things better. You want to stick it out. You want to believe this is something you can work through, together, the same way you might stick by a partner with a gambling addiction, or alcoholism, or loss of limb. No, I’m not comparing all these things to DV. Not at all. I’m just saying, when you love someone, you will endure a lot to keep a relationship together. And it doesn’t even always feel like endurance. Especially if you know for a fact the abusive partner does actually love you, too. My ex had anger issues which had nothing to do with me. And I had self-esteem issues which had nothing to do with him. We made a lousy couple. We loved each other. And we divorced, eventually, but I never stopped loving him. I heard from him again several years later, and he revealed that he never stopped loving me, either. We are both now happily remarried {me, twice-over, because I take a longer time to grow and learn}. His anger issues have been dealt with, and from what I understand, he and his wife and baby are doing really well. She seems very strong-willed, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t hiding abuse. He hit me. Often. Hard. I still love him. I don’t want him, I’m not *IN* love with him, and I certainly don’t long for those days. But I still love him. It is possible to love a person with flaws — even when those flaws end up poisoning others. And that’s one reason women stay. They probably love their abusive partners. Abuse and love are NOT mutually exclusive. And they can’t necessarily be separated without a lot of outer influence… the exact kind that Stephen Green seems to be saying isn’t appropriate. I don’t know if he is right or wrong — except for in my case. I am grateful for the individuals who spoke on my behalf, and for the strangers near and far who write on this tough subject, who don’t know my personal situation, and who have the answers I seek. I’m grateful for people like Justine.

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I’m a highly intelligent woman. In an abusive relationship. Trying to get out (in my case it’s very complicated – international divorce, accusations of kidnapping across international borders, custody case looming). This is the stage, often, just as the woman tries to leave, when the abuse mounts and becomes potentially fatal (I know, I have direct experience of this) [in my case, I was – sometimes am – scared for my life and so did not attempt to leave, as I valued my life and that of my two children]. I am blogging my experiences (parts of them) as a way of dealing with it all and REGAINING CONTROL of ME. [People who’ve not been in such a relationship will never understand but I have women writing to me, every day, who’ve found my blog and who thank me for being open and honest about it. It’s the horror that dare not speak it’s name, it seems].

The world is beginning to see the power of story. Let’s hope that, through women standing up and saying ‘this happened to me, it’s not OK’ then, eventually, preconceptions about DV will be changed (I’ve found its women, not men (even at a professional level), interestingly, who are least likely to believe you when you provide testimony about DV) and, through this, women will be able to seek justice for the injustices that are meted out to them (as you describe, always repeatedly and, in many cases, so severely and so inhumanely that women almost lose their minds).

You end your post by saying, “And if you ever decide to fight your way out of it, we are here on the other side. We are waiting to help”….it was a very twee ending to your post but, for someone who lives with the effects of DV daily, it’s not useful….as you point out, very few women are believed when they step forwards and say something (something that will have taken the woman a Herculean amount of courage, and probably many, many, months to do) and this speaking out places them in greater danger – the man now knows she’s said something and is more abusive and, even if the woman has physical signs of abuse at the time she speaks out, she probably won’t be taken seriously by the authorities and no protection will be offered to her outright. Leaving her vulnerable to further, **more violent** abuse (I speak from experience). That’s why the majority of women who’ve experienced DV are in the greatest danger in the period immediately after reporting the DV…there’s no adequate ‘help’ out there anywhere for women who decide to speak out. In some cases, a protective order will eventually be granted. Great. The police will come if you phone them. In the meantime, by the time they arrive, he’ll have killed you….. [It’s a reality that women experiencing DV are faced with when they make the brave decision to speak out – hence why many choose not to speak out…in the UK, the statistics say that, of the women who speak out, they’ve experienced, on average, 67 incidents of DV before they decided to speak out].

Everyone I’ve mentioned my personal DV situation to asks, ‘But why did you stay?’ or ‘Didn’t you know you were sleeping with the enemy?’…these are friends of mine, long-standing friends….until these kinds of opinions are changed, nothing will change. Women facing DV will either have to stay or they’ll make the decision to report and then face increased violence and very little real practical support or legal backing (as you rightly say, most DV suspects are not charged).

There is, unfortunately, no easy answer, no solution, certainly no twee ending for any woman who faces this living nightmare.

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Well- yes- those women probably are golddiggers. That is- they put themselves in a difficult situation- and money and fame (the men mentioned are very famous- that might have been more of the attraction than cash) were part of the equation.

Frankly- if a woman puts her child in a position of risk- like being with Mike Tyson- and to a slightly lesser extent- Charlie Sheen- they probably deserve some ostracism.

They don’t deserve physical or emotional abuse from their partners- but some guy in Indiana labeling them Golddinger? yeah- that sounds accurate enough.

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I believe it is hard for males to comprehend abuse as they have been raised to believe that abuse is life itself.. What being a man is… Sucking it up, NOT Feeling etc..

The wrong messages but what has desensitized males today. Why to me they are not helping females and children is All are only a object…. What is the big deal they say…. He socked her she past out… she is alive walking talking now… forget about it.. let me watch the ” game” !

The football Game is males tackling each other hurting each other.. This is the TURN ON for males today.. Which is NOT because it is natural human behavior of the male but because it is Fantasy.. Football to me is Males having Really Bad Sex.. Males being a animal etc… This is NOT a human instinct but one made by the media. Football really equates with Porn.

Males are trained to look at hand to mouth. They are NOT looking at the ” Pattern of Behaviors” and how unhealthy Ray and his girlfriend ” Patterns” are.. Especially now in that they have a child together… The way he hit her showed clearly this is a Normal action of his… NOT the 1st time as they told the press…

The real downside to males having been brain washed and taught to SUCK IT UP and ignore all Feeling is in sex abuse.. They do not see it as abuse as majority of males were groomed in one way or another growing up.

I was a therapist for a long time.. I have no doubt every man on the planet was sexually abused as a child… The difference is the males think this is right of passage… This is just part of life, like playing Dr or even better if their perpetrator as a Kid was a woman.. They think they are ahead of the curve sexually.

Except the opposite is true… In that they were turned on to sex early in life via a person there could be NO relationship with…. It was One Way … and they were the victim…. no reciprocation. No place for FEELING.. so go through life shut down and tend to be abusive not able to have deep relationships..

This video really hits the nail on head what the problem is… It is easy to watch as it is a simple tutorial She captures whom the real criminal is that allows all the abuse which many spoke about in comments and you addressed in blog The #bystander . The person whom refuses to acknowledge the reality of abuse…

.https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=751761211579341&set=vb.258355280919939&type=2&theater

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Women who have been abused need to be strong and look after themselves, be selfish, irrational etc, because they are feeling bad for a reason…and once you have given the abuser up, like smoking , keep going give up for good, if you slip, give up again. No contact, they will just play on your emotions, treat yourself well, recognise their behaviour, how it doesn’t change , they don’t own up, they’ve done that before ..whatever it is , they are not wrong or sorry unless it is cursorily , to placate you. Stay strong , keep on going you can wish them well but you don’t have to have anything to do with them , even if they are the father of your kids !

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Thank you Justine! Very useful article! Printed part of it for future reference as well if will be needed. Thanks!

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