Tag Archives: domestic abuse

anonymous

My friend told me the events of her past week. There is an abusive man living next door to her and her flatmate. He has a restraining order placed against him going near the woman who also lives next door- they have had a relationship. Last week he committed two acts of violence against her by entering the property. Once with a baseball bat, the other time was an attack sustained over an hour long. My friend said she and her flatmate (who is male) could hear it and she says it was the worst thing she has ever heard. Then she tells me that while the hour attack was going on- her and her flatmate did not call the police and that they chose not to because they were worried that this man would end up in prison if anyone found out about his attack- he’s not only committed a violent assault- but he’s broken a restraining order to do it. They spent the whole attack- listening to the whole thing and protecting the abuser by not calling the police and listening to acts of terrible violence because ‘he’d end up in prison’…. then she tells me that her flat mate- (lets call him Dave although this isn’t his real name) “Dave says” she goes (and i’m paraphrasing here)— “Dave says that she was in bed with another man in his house and so the attacks were justified…” and then she tells me that Dave went over to the police today to give a good character witness for this violent and abusive man because they are ‘soulmates’. Then she tells me what a ‘good person’ Dave is- how he’s “one of the good guys”…. Then she tells me that she’s thinking about going over to see this woman- a woman she has never met and has no relationship with to ask her if she wants my friend to call the police the next time he attacks her. I’m so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so so fucking angry right now. And I can’t believe I heard this. I told her she was supporting violence against women, protecting the abuser, colluding in violent crime and that her friend Dave is clearly not one of the “good guys” if he’s prepared to support the actions of violence against another- as well along with everything else that’s wrong with this picture. And as for going round to see the woman. I was speechless…. speechless. She told me that another woman who’d been in a abusive relationship had told her to go and do this—– I said I’ve been in an abusive relationship and I’m telling you NOT to do this. I also asked her what about trusting her own sense of right and wrong?????? It doesn’t matter what I or anyone else says- What about her own moral compass???? This in itself is an act of abuse.. How fucking DARE she collude with the abuser and then think she can just go round to this woman’s home and expect to take her trust and “ask” her what shes “wants” the next time her partner is violently attacking her. People have been asking- “how do abusers get away with it” and “why doesn’t anyone do anything”… well here we have an event which is live and which describes exactly how this process takes place in our society. I’m utterly utterly utterly horrified.

Candy

My daughter works at a homeless shelter for very young parenting or pregnant (or both) girls. I could fill pages with the things men do to these girls. The one that bothered me today: One young guy prevents the girl from using birth control and he won’t use a rubber–so of course she gets pregnant. . . which makes him happy because then he can crow about it to his friends. But then, when she gets a bit too heavy, he oops pushes her down the stairs. She miscarries. And . . . he’s happy again. Repeat ad nauseum. Because he thinks it’s his unquestionable right to treat her that way. Apparently it must be, as nobody ever nails him for it.

Kitty

A bit of a rant about domestic abuse: Murdered By My Boyfriend was repeated on the W channel recently as part of a segment they’re doing on programmes based on real life (other programmes in the segment are fly-on-the-wall documentaries). This segment has been trailed a few times on the UKTV network, & the voice-over woman says “it’s the choices we make that determine our fate”. So Ashley Jones (the young woman who was murdered by her boyfriend) brought what happened to her on herself, did she, by ‘choosing’ to be with her abusive partner Reece? What nonsense! I presume that she didn’t realise he was abusive when they got together, as I gather that he charmed her (that was certainly the case in another film I’ve seen which featured domestic abuse, where the abuser won his victim over by turning on the charm & making her believe he was wonderful, before isolating her from her family & friends & trying to kill her in order to get his hands on her money)- ’twas ever thus. I don’t know if what I just said was what the voice-over woman was implying, but I did feel as though Ashley was being implicitly blamed for being abused because of a ‘choice’ she’d made, & her ‘fate’, sadly, was being murdered. The phrase ‘falling in love with the wrong man’ has also been used to describe both Ashley’s situation & that of another young woman who ended up in an abusive relationship which ended in murder when she had the audacity to try & end the relationship. I have a problem with this, as this also implies choice. I also dislike the phrases ‘crime of passion’ & ‘victim of love’ when they’re used in relation to domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is not about love, it’s about power & control, & it’s not a crime of passion either! Another thing I’m not happy about in relation to domestic abuse is the way in which some people joke about it (in the same way that they joke about rape, & I think the same sort of people who joke about rape also joke about domestic abuse). I remember an episode of The Hotel Inspector where there were a young couple doing up a hotel, & the guy had already made a comment about how his female partner wore the trousers. A bit later on in the programme, they were having a heated debate/discussion about something or other, & the female partner (I think) said that they were having a bit of a domestic, to which the male partner said, “that’s domestic abuse!”. I thought that was an extremely crass & tasteless remark, & I was displeased to hear him trivialising domestic abuse in such a way. I’ve also heard men making ‘jokes’ about ‘giving their wives/girlfriends a good hiding/thrashing’, which I also disapprove of. What do these idiots get out of joking about things like that? Is it some macho kick, I wonder, to make themselves look like big he-men who know how to keep their girlfriends/wives in their place in front of their mates? If so, then they need to wake up- there’s nothing big or clever about beating women. I’m not saying women don’t do this, however- I’m pretty sure that at least one woman that I know of has joked about domestic abuse (& approved of rape jokes), & that woman I mentioned, who was on The Hotel Inspector, also didn’t bat an eyelid when her partner said what he did about domestic abuse.

Pippa

I left my now ex-husband four years ago. I packed things for my son and I and left whilst he was at work. He was abusive – not just to me, he had already started belittling my son; shouting, force feeding, withholding affection and refusing medical treatment. We were married for seven hellish years. But I was too afraid to leave. The verbal, emotional, mental and financial abuse was so destructive, his influence over my life was crippling. But the worst thing he did was rape me. Time and time again. It was my ‘wifely duty’. It was ‘God’s order of things’. His dark moods would last for days, every night I’d go to bed dreading hearing his footsteps on the stairs. Sometimes he’d go into another room, other times he’d come into the room in the early hours of the morning and force himself on me. I felt disgusting, dirty, ashamed. I wanted to die. I couldn’t tell anyone, I was totally alone. Eventually I found the strength to leave. It’s appalling that it took until 1991 for rape within marriage to be recognised as a criminal act. I’ve been asked “if it was so bad, why didn’t you tell the police?” I’ve just watched 24 hours in police custody and it covered the investigation of the rape of a young girl by a stranger. The events of that night have destroyed her life, yet the CPS considered the case unsuitable to charge. Her ‘credibility’ was called into question. There was nothing that the investigating officers could do. The police admit that rape is difficult to prove, how much more so then rape within marriage? The long and short of it is, I didn’t say anything because of how it made me feel about myself. Why would I choose to report sexual offences committed by my husband against me, acts which drove me to a nervous breakdown and the brink of suicide, knowing full well that it would just lead to more pain for me with nothing at the end of it in terms of him being held accountable? The programme referred to it being easier to prove rape when the woman is dragged into the bushes than if there was any suggestion that the victim may have, at some point, consented. The law may now state that a husband cannot rape his wife, but what good is a piece of legislation when the attitudes and opinions of those tasked with enforcing it are still stuck in the past? The police need more training to help victims of domestic abuse. Not every abuser leaves visible marks after their attacks. And the CPS need to do more to fight for those victims, to punish the offenders. Otherwise that law is just meaningless words on paper; an attempt to show how ‘seriously’ it’s taken. But as a survivor of abuse it doesn’t feel that way. When will things change for us so that we are no longer left to be the victims of men who consider it their right to violate their partners? Why are we not ‘credible’ enough? The odds are always stacked in favour of the man.

Kitty

To enlarge on the comment I posted the other day (re how in cases of rape & domestic abuse, everyone sympathises with the perp & has a go at/forgets the victim, especially if the perp is famous/of high standing in the community), I was disgusted to hear about the abuse that Johnny Depp’s significant other has gotten as a result of her having the audacity to make allegations of domestic violence against him, & how everyone is taking his side without question. I’m not sure why I’m surprised, as this isn’t the first time that this sort of thing has happened. I noticed yesterday that someone on my Facebook friends list now has a meme that says “keep calm & love Johnny Depp” as their profile picture. I nearly had apoplexy when I saw that, I was so annoyed & disgusted. What added insult to injury was the fact that this person is female. I despair.