A Quick Education On Domestic Violence

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Hi everyone!

I just wanted to share this with you all.

Mother’s who are in the midst of a domestic violence relationship are caught between a rock and a hard place. They are doomed in a sense as they are victimized and blamed no matter what action or inaction they take, knowingly or unknowingly. For example, behaviors that authorities might label  as “failure to protect one’s child” may actually be motivated by the desire to protect. In this case a mother may not flee because of financial needs, as is typical where the abuser is the primary provider for the family. The mother may also choose not to flee because she believes that her children need their father and/or she fears loosing her children to the abuser. Adversely, if the mother does in fact leave with her children, the court system may critique her actions as a way of interfering with the father’s relationship with his children. Here in Washington State both parents have equal rights. In all honesty, if you beat your wife, but you don’t beat your children, you’re still a horrible father!

Also, when you are dealing with survivors of assault it’s important not to make them feel isolated. You can avoid doing that by NOT making statements such as “I can’t believe he did that to you” or “I can’t even imagine”. The truth is, is that you can believe and you can imagine because this happens to women every single day. I had to explain this to a coworker after we received a Domestic Violence call. It was from a woman who has called in the past and the comment was made, “Why doesn’t she just leave? Why stay with the guy?” It’s not about why she stays, it’s about why he hits her. Stop focusing on the victim and start focusing on the abuser!!!

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8 thoughts on “A Quick Education On Domestic Violence

  1. Descentia

    People may be inclined to say things like, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” because the question of how to deal with a violent spouse if she stays is at least equally confounding. Truth is, when someone’s in that situation it’s really difficult to know what to say that’s going to help them. In all likelihood, she’s probably aware of her options for the most part. She just needs emotional support and maybe a push in the right direction, but ultimately it comes down to her. It was her poor judgement of character that got her into such a relationship, and while that’s no reason for callousness toward her situation, it does remind us that responsibility for our circumstances ultimately lies with us. A man whose wife (or ex-wife) exploits him for alimony while not letting him see his kids is similarly responsible for the results of his poor judgment of character. Doesn’t make what’s happening to him his fault, but it is his responsibility.

    Also, American courts are FAR less kind to fathers, so I don’t really buy that bit about courts accusing the mother of straining the children’s relationship(s) with their father. I recently read a 2013 book called “Men on Strike: Why Men are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream – and Why it Matters” by a psychologist & blogger named Helen Smith, and it was illuminating. One of the few American women I’ve heard from who gives me the impression that she genuinely understands the male experience.

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    • Descentia

      I also meant to say that ‘victimized’ & ‘blamed’ are entirely opposite, so I don’t quite follow. Victimization would probably help such a woman get attention for her circumstance, no?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Depends. Typically our criminal justice system labels those who have suffered as “victims” which can be seen as degrading and further victimize the “survivor”. DV is a very big deal as it effects the entire community and can have deadly results whether the “victim” is involved with criminal court or the “survivor” files civil charges for protection.

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    • It is true that we all are responsible for our own actions and that same holds true to abusive people. Also, abusive behavior is not always apparent. It can be very slight and unnoticeable, the victim may be being abused ans she doesn’t even know it. To say that she should know better is A typical of social preconceptions. Perhaps, if we had proper social training in schools about what Domestic Violence is and how to prevent, but even then, if you’ve never been “abused” before how would you know what to look for?

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      • Descentia

        That’s why I say we should still be compassionate toward her situation. Like I also said, it’s also not a non-violent husband’s fault that his ex-wife turned out to be a domineering psycho ready to use the legal system to gain any leverage she can, even if that means condemning him to spend nearly a fourth of his potential lifespan in what amounts to indentured servitude while not even being permitted to have significant direct involvement in the emotional & psychological development of the people who are the whole reason he goes to work everyday, but that does in fact happen often enough to be a very serious issue, and unlike injustices against women it gets little to no media attention, and those men get ZERO community & cultural support for their predicaments.
        I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not inclined to view DV against women any differently than most other violent or exploitative crime. In her book, Smith actually details a lot of DV & legal abuse by American women against their husbands that goes grossly under-reported. I’m not trying to contradict anything you said, I’m just trying to make the issue more inclusive because I’ve been doing a lot of research lately that has astounded me. I don’t actually believe that most violence against women is committed BECAUSE THEY’RE WOMEN, so they way issues like this are often approached with not an emphasis, but an absolute focus on the female victims of any type of crime bother me a bit. We have such a deeply ingrained attitude that women don’t have it in them, by and large, to commit heinous crimes, but nothing could be further from the truth. Even now that I’m aware of it, it’s still hard for me to believe. It’s just so naturally difficult to imagine, while the notion/archetype of man as the aggressor makes enough intuitive sense from observations of our physical differences that the culture has just eaten the idea up.
        Just because one demographic constitutes 75% of the victims of a given crime doesn’t entitle them to 100% of the media attention & cultural concern, but that’s how it works unfortunately. That’s not even to mention that, worldwide, men constitute the VAST majority of the victims of violent crime in general, war, workplace injury, etc etc. Victims of DV, a majority of which are women, do need support and it’s good that people like you do this for their sake, but I think it could be more inclusive and could be explored further. I think the kinds of unhealthily dominant males that this issue is concerned with are probably more likely to seek marriage in the first place, as starting a family is a pretty straightforward way of establishing an environment that one can treat as their own little realm of hegemony, and people know this intuitively. Women do it too. It simply gets expressed in different ways that are less overt in their moral repugnance than physical force.
        I know these males have a predisposition because I was the victim of their disregard for personal boundaries through most of middle school. I know what it’s like to go for years not knowing that what you’ve endured is abuse. I only finally realized the effect one person’s behavior had had on me recently (two years after acting as Best Man in his wedding), despite the fact that I was well aware that I had had numerous sexual nightmares about him. I even reported one of the other boys to the school office and explicitly told them I thought I was being sexually harassed (if my memory serves me, what he was doing was borderline molestation, and he was older than me to boot), and they didn’t do anything! But the other guy? I didn’t even realize he was abusing me because we were such good friends. It took me over a decade to finally piece together the fact that this “best friend” of mine, among others in middle school, had a large part in poisoning me away from sexuality & intimacy for my entire adolescence & caused me a decade of depression that I’m finally seeking treatment for. But don’t worry, he became a born-again codependent White Knight and is now happily married, with a baby, to a woman who was sexually abused by her father and knows nothing of any of this behavior, which also included frequent exhibitionism & morbid animal-cruelty. Patterns, know what I mean?
        For every one woman in an abusive relationship who hasn’t figured out that she’s being abused and shouldn’t stand for it, there are probably twenty males who are repressing very painful experiences that we’ve been taught all our lives, both explicitly & implicitly, to repress, leading to an entire society where very few men know themselves at all. There are reasons why, as commonly known a term it is for us, the “midlife crisis” is an exclusively American male phenomenon. It doesn’t matter if I look like Johnny Depp, I have to appear emotionally stable and in control to be attractive, regardless of whether or not I am. Women are not so constricted, and I think until we recognize the societal factors that prevent the healthy emotional development & self-awareness of males, DV is going to keep happening, probably at increasing rates. These women certainly need help & support NOW, but if we’re going to approach the problem on a societal level we need to do more than address symptoms.

        It’s kinda like how nothing could ever, EVER justify 9/11, but that doesn’t change the fact that it was blowback resulting from U.S. military operations over the preceding few decades. No one talks about how we overthrew the only truly democratic gov’t Iran ever had, only to pave the way for a figure like the Ayatollah to gain favor, rise to power & create Sharia Law. No one talks about how we were buddy buddy with Saddam throughout the 80’s and even trained and armed Al-Queda before they we ever labeled them terrorists. But 9/11? We’ll never hear the end of that.

        Thanks for posting. I agree wholeheartedly with the bit about the need for financial support restricting mothers’ options, which is essentially due to polarized gender roles and that community-scattering effect we have in this country. It has created a situation where mothers are more dependent on that one man than ever before, which means that in many cases he probably has to work more than ever before, leading boys to have even less of a male role model growing up! I agree with the entire second paragraph. A lot of things people say do inadvertently make those suffering from abuse or mental illness feel more isolated despite the best intentions, and we definitely need to focus on the abusers. I think studying how society and culture have really treated men currently & historically is a good place to start, though it also has to start with getting those women to come out.

        I would seriously recommend reading that book if you want more American males’ perspectives on the whole gender arrangement and how they’re really affected by it. It also helps my case that the author is a woman. 😉

        And most of all…

        I’m so sorry my comment is three times as long as your initial post!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh no you made a very good response! I enjoyed reading it! I have to agree that not all women use the system “services” for good, just like with males. Also, though, not all males or females believe child support is important or they know their partner wont pay, but they still want to be a part of the child’s life. I just hate that whole “children need fathers (true) not child support” (bull shit). A father will financially support his kids in some way or another. To make it solely one parent’s responsibility is just wrong. The state enforces the child’s rights. One way or another and sometimes that means taking the child away from both parents.
        When you really look at all the issues, it’s a humans rights issues not just a male vs female issue. 1. our society should be equal in respect and opportunities to all sexes and genders; 2. our society should be providing real education to children, such as, developing coping skills, understanding basic fundamental rights to safety and happiness, and just some common sense. The problem is that they focus on getting good test scores rather than actually learning something, but I wont get into that; 3. exceptance and open mindedness need to be taught not just learned later in life. All of these things can be done early in child development and that would be a start to ending abusive behavior which is a learn behavior, which also means it can be unlearned. That is why abuser treatment is so unsuccessful, the abuser should SEEK treatment not be forced to by the state or the victim. If forced or coerced into treatment the odds of it being “successful” is not very good.
        I am sorry to hear what you went through, I understand as I am a survivor of sexual assault. Naturally the topic is a difficult one to discuss at times and can be more so for males as our society has that underlining notion that males don’t cry and they don’t get emotional, which totally damages and hinders males ability to cop with certain situations and most likely contributes to abusive behavior itself. Makes sense when you look at the macho man identity. 😛 It’s a cycle within a cycle and being able to identify it is a crucial step. What has to happen is and “want” to push for change. Our society still has a long way to go. Sorry if I came across as being mad at you, I wasn’t, they topic itself is just and enraging topic. But it’s important to talk about it because by not talking about it is how we have dealt with it in the past and the past has not worked well. Time for a change, no? 🙂 Thanks for your response! ❤

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