Originally Posted by Rockcat
IMO, the more we bring this out into the open, the less it will occur. I was in an abusive relationship in the past. I was in denial. I thought if I hit him back harder than he hit me that I wasn't being abused. Theres a lot more to it than that. Control is a biggie. I didn't understand that when it started. It doesn't take long for the control to advance to separation from your loved ones and then mushroom into abuse. When that happened to me, I felt so stupid for allowing it, I couldn't tell anyone. Before it happened to me, I couldn't understand why anyone would let it. Thats why Amy is so right.
Potential victims need to know what to look for BEFORE they are in too deep. I was able to get out. Some never will. Thanks for the thread, Amy.
i think that people/society in general? still seem to think that violence is acceptable and that what happens in a relationship is "none of their business"
and i think they are wrong!
the first time my husband attacked me (it was because he thought i was ignoring him- i was asleep!! and was very rudely awoken!) and i was so shocked, i took off and went to my sisters apt.
she did not think much of it, so i went back, thinking that i was over reacting
well unbeknownst to me, my sister was in a relationship with a boyfreind who was extremely violent, and damn near killed her (as my ex- nearly killed me)
we had spent the first seven years of our lives watching our mom be beaten by an alcoholic dad on a regular basis.
her mother had regularly been beaten by her dad....
its not that you "don't know any better", either, you read and watch TV, you know that "society" does not "approve" of this, but you also know what you were raised with
and even more than that,
too many times,
when you go looking for help,
people turn a blind eye.
my now ex husband was strangling me in broad daylight, yelling that i was gonna die.
there were dozens of people on the street, they watched, but no one said or did anything.
i was able to break away and get inside a store, where the owner was trying to get me to leave
to "not take it in there"!
i ran to the back room, and the owner was still trying to get me to leave.
i told him to call 911
finally, guess who called the police?!?!
my husband! to report that i had stolen money from him and was about to spend it.
i had left him about 3 weeks earlier and my sister had shown me how to go to the bank and ask for a bank check to withdraw money from out JOINT account- he locked up the check book (and the telephone, when he was at work, i was at home with an infant and no car) so i did not have access to any money.
the police had to explain to him that you cannot steal money from a joint account.
i requested that the police take me to the station so that i could file a report, on the way there they told me that if i went ahead with this that they would have to wake up a judge, and the judge would not be happy.
they convinced me it was NOT in my best interest to file charges.
this is just a TINY incident out of dozens over a course of several years, while i tried to get away from this guy.
i got all the restraining orders, they were useless
i was stalked day and night
he broke into my apts.
he stuffed threatening letters under my door in the middle of the night
he repeatedly reminded me about how physically strong he was.
and along with the threats of more violence, were the "i love you so much, why won't you come back to me?"
this would be followed by paragraphs and paragraphs tearing me down and calling me "hateful"
it was insane.
i had filed for divorce and while waiting to the court date, things kept getting worse. what abusers fear the most is EXPOSURE!!
if we went to court, he would be EXPOSED and it would be harder for him to find his next victim (which he would refer to as a girlfriend)
my lawyer told me that the only way for my daughter and i to be safe was to leave the state.
it was against the law, because i had filed for divorce and was not supposed to leave the state, so he said this is off the record, but its your only hope.
in the middle of the night, i left everything behind and went to stay with my sister several states away.
i have since changed my name.
he has since found another victim.
it IS the silence that and the inaction of others, that allows this to continue.
yes there are victims who do not "know any better" and are afraid to leave for economic reasons, and they should be supported both emotionally and financially so that they can leave, and start a new life.
there are victims who do not know that they are victims, because one thing that happens when you are abused is, to survive and to go on living in that situation, you have to purposely FORGET what happened.
its not hard to forget, society helps you forget
the abuser helps you forget too, by showing a COMPLETELY different face to the world and to others! everyone else thought my husband was such a "nice guy".
he did not drink and so few people could believe that this "nice guy" could turn violent when not under the influence of something.
he raped me, and i forgot it on an intellictual level, but in my body and on a deeper level, i did not forgot
after that day, i would walk around with a pair of scissors hidden up my sleeve.
i would keep boiling water on the stove, an aerosol can ready to spray him in the face, a hot iron on the ironing board.
deep inside myself, i knew that he was never going to touch me again without one hell of a fight, even if i died trying to kill him, that is what i was prepared to do.
it never got to that, he made one threatening remark and i took my baby as soon as he left for work, and ran to a friends house.
i never went back, although many of the people "helping" me suggested that i should
because it was SO hard to get any help and to keep them safe from this jerk as well
by then they had the photos of my bruised, the doctors reports, they knew i was not making it up
but they seemed to think it was still "my fault" somehow!!
you can not imagine how much that angered me!!
and unfortunatley i have not seen too much progress in this regard.
a few years ago, i witnessed a teenage girl being dragged by her hair into a building
i called the police.
the boy (about 17) took off, it turns out that he had escapted from a juvenile detention center
the girl swore nothing had happened.
you know what the police WOMAN said to me???
"i dont know why you are so upset about this"
two days later, this teenage girl went to school, she attended the same high school my daughter did,
with two black eyes and a swollen lip.
when does it end???
what is it going to take to stop it???