Over lunch recently I read a blog that discusses a study of women in domestic assault cases who drop the charges. The article was interesting but I was thrown for a loop by a statement. The comment was about the woman in a relationship who was attempting to leave “She was trying… but not hard. It seems she still wasn’t sure.” It felt like I had been smacked in the face.
Part of the issue is that this blog is on a site that I read often. I’m not saying that I always agree with them but I like the point of views. Since it is a web site that is psychology/psychiatry based I guess I expect more. I am not giving the name of either the blog or web site at this point. I want to post a comment first.
This is the issue, speaking as an abuse survivor, comments by people who do not understand what it is like to live in that situation. The shame that is felt by the abused and it doesn’t matter what social economic group you are a part of. That shame is felt by all of us who get stuck there. When I read that comment I came very close to bursting in to tears at my desk. I’m not sure why to be honest. I have done a ton of work on my past relationship and I know that it is not now. I survived it. That is what matters.
Until we learn that abusive relationships, of any kind, are psychologically damaging to a point where you think no one will understand people still experience them longer than they have to. Until people understand the shame that victims experience there will still be people who stay. Personally I feel sorrow for the author. May she never experience it.