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To think that women in domestic violence situations deserve more understanding and compassion

(57 Posts)
ReallyTired Sun 31-May-15 23:11:21

A nasty goady thread was quite rightly deleted. It is sad as the topic of "why women do not leave violent men" is a reasonable topic to discuss. I know that this is a thread about a thread, but please mumsnet don't delete it.

I have started this thread in hope that it will educate and maybe give more support and information to those in a domestic violence situation. Please be kind as the experience of domestic violence takes years to recover from.

I experienced domestic violence at 19 years old. It took me six weeks to get out of the relationship. It was easy for me as I had no children and people around me to support me. However my mental health has never fully recovered. I still experience flashbacks 21 years later of having a broken piece of glass held to my throat. During the six weeks of violence I was experiencing a nervous breakdown.

To answer the goady post question.
Why do women not leave their partners? ...

Stockholmn syndrome

Women in such a situation are mentally and physically battered. They find it hard to think and often are suffering from severe depression or post traumatic stress. The abuser often systematically cuts off the victim from family and friends who can help, and can be very controlling financially. I think it must take a hell of a lot of courage to leave a house with a small baby in winter with no money and nothing but the clothes you are standing up in. (Even if your confidence has not been dented.) Occassionally there can be language barriers that making accessing help difficult. Councils are not good about rehoming women who are fleeing from domestic violence.

AnyoneForTennis Sun 31-May-15 23:13:23

Domestics abuse. Not violence

TheOnlyOliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 31-May-15 23:16:23


A nasty goady thread was quite rightly deleted. It is sad as the topic of "why women do not leave violent men" is a reasonable topic to discuss. I know that this is a thread about a thread, but please mumsnet don't delete it.

Don't worry, we won't be deleting on those grounds.
Peace and love

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 31-May-15 23:17:01

I guess every situation is different.
The longer you are in that situation, the worse it gets.
The 'bully' has more chance to take everything away from you. Not always the man, either. Majority, yes. But not always.

I am finally free of 'the ex' after 20 years.
He wasn't always awful, it just seemed to gradually get worse.

Fortunately, I still have my family, even tho they can't do much to help.

My kids are much happier without him around, even tho we hav a LOT less money.

If you think you are being bullied, get out. It's not worth risking your life for.

ASAS Sun 31-May-15 23:19:34

Totally agree. If everyone could possibly pop over to purple's thread and reinforce to her that it's HIS responsibility (and bail condition) not to contact her rather than her responsibility not to go back I seriously think we might be able to help her.

Come on mn, we can get a Pringles tub of pee in the DM, let's use the force for good.

notmyusualMNname123 Sun 31-May-15 23:21:03

I name-changed ready to respond to deleted thread, but by the time I'd done that it was (rightly) deleted.

I work with victims of DA all the time. It's shit and it's absolutely not their fault, and often the unseen victims are their children. And sometimes they are the victims too.

If anyone reading this thread wants to PM me, I can signpost you to agencies who will support you.

You are NOT ALONE!

ReallyTired Sun 31-May-15 23:21:26

AnyoneForTennis are you the name changer? I can't see why you have any reason to correct me?

Its my thread and if I want to use the term "domestic violence" then I can.
My experience was domestic violence. Domestic abuse is far wider and domestic violence is a sub category. I have diliberately used the term "domestic violence" as its far less subjective than "domestic abuse".

Domestic violence rarely exists on its own. Just like physical child abuse is often accompanied by other forms of abuse. (ie. neglect, emotional abuse, malipulation etc.)

notmyusualMNname123 Sun 31-May-15 23:22:28

Where do we find it, ASAS?

ASAS Sun 31-May-15 23:23:29

Relationship board 123

notmyusualMNname123 Sun 31-May-15 23:24:06

sorry for xp Reallytired.

Lovemydogs2015 Sun 31-May-15 23:24:10

As a child, I was taught in school that you tell a teacher about bullying... that abuse is wrong. I could recite that, parrot fashion.

As an adult, and as a professional dealing with abuse in its many forms, I understand that life is not so black and white, and that leaving a bad relationship is not as easy as I was taught.

I hope never to judge a victim's choices.

SurlyCue Sun 31-May-15 23:24:12

For me it was because it wasnt actually sure i was being abused. Yes i was aware that i was petrified, constantly on eggshells, being physically hurt. But i wasnt actually sure it "qualified" as a good enough reason to leave. I didnt think people would be on my side if i left and had to explain myself. I didnt realise i didnt need my partners authorisation to leave. I thought i had to convince him that it was the right thing for us to break up. I tried many times to get him to agree that "we" werent happy and that "we" werent working out. But he would always say that "we" needed to work harder at it then, which meant me not seeing friends as much and spending all my time with him, and me not provoking him into losing his temper and me instigating sex so he knew i fancied him. He did quite a good job of convincing me that i was the problem and the scary thing is, i think he believed it too. I tried very hard to make our relationship right. Because that is what i thought was wrong. It is only with hindsight, and yes MN, that i can now see that i was a victim of DA. I only realised a few years ago that i had actually been raped too.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Sun 31-May-15 23:26:17

I would be helpful if people could just close their eyes and just imagine walking out of there home in 5 minutes time.

Unless the DV and DA has been documented by police, the other parents still has rights to that child. They can go to court and with out much evidence the NRP will get contact with that child.

Then it's the money side, JSA and tax credits can take 4 weeks to get sorted, how can the Rp feed and clothe a child on child benefit assuming it's in the RP name and being put in that person account.

Also where to go, if the browsing history is checked and the person is constantly being watched, where would that person find out where to go.

This is on top of fear of leaving.

ReallyTired Sun 31-May-15 23:27:38


Don't feel sorry for me. I have had a wonderful life since. I have a wonderful husband, two goreous children and wonderful extended family. A lot has changed in 21 years. In someways having an abusive ex boyfriend makes me appreciate my husband more. It shows that victims of domestic violence are not doomed to have abusive relationships for life. The "weak" domestic violence victim can go on to lead a happy productive life with positive relationships.

JeanneDeMontbaston Sun 31-May-15 23:29:08

I'm glad you posted this.

I'm sorry - or, a bit fed up - you think domestic abuse is more 'subjective' than domestic violence.

Fatmomma99 Sun 31-May-15 23:34:44

I'm happy for you ReallyTired if you've moved on flowers

AnyoneForTennis Sun 31-May-15 23:37:31

its not even called domestic violence anymore,but yeah, course I'm the namechanger

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Sun 31-May-15 23:37:53

Surly cue
I totally agree. You could have written that post about me!

ReallyTired Sun 31-May-15 23:37:54

"I'm sorry - or, a bit fed up - you think domestic abuse is more 'subjective' than domestic violence."

Domestic abuse is incideous. The subjective nature of emotional abuse is why many women do not spot that they are being abused in the early stages.
When emotional abuse starts many women do not realise that they are being abused. Imagine that you and your partner have a row about the washing up. You both call each other all the names under the sun, but you make up an hour later. Most people would not see this as domestic abuse, especially if both people said nasty comments in the heat of the moment. (Even if the abuser started the row over one dirty saucer on the side of the kitchen.)

Certainly social services or the police would have no interets that a couple had had a blazing row over whose turn it was to do the washing up. Lots of arguing when a relationship falls apart is not necessarily abuse.

There is no question that hold a piece of glass to someone's throat to force them to behave in a particular way is not domestic violence. Even if the partner has never been abusive in any way before. It is behaviour that has definately crossed a red line.

MrsTerryPratchett Sun 31-May-15 23:43:07

A friend who left took a long time to get out. Her father had taught her that men are cruel and she wasn't worth a lot. Her 'partner' reinforced that. She did leave, thank fuck, but it's very hard.

flowers ReallyTired.

JeanneDeMontbaston Sun 31-May-15 23:46:05

really, I've been physically and emotionally abused, and I disagree with your characterisation.

It's a minor point. I know that. But I thought it mattered.

And I am so very sorry you've suffered this.

TheABC Sun 31-May-15 23:46:08

I am lucky enough never to have experienced domestic violence/abuse. However, equally I would not know how to really support someone who is. Can anyone on this thread point to links or resources that would help educate me?

You would not tell a bullying victim that it's their fault for not leaving, so I don't get the victim shaming of DV which can be much worse.

ReallyTired Mon 01-Jun-15 00:04:23

ABC The mumsnet web guide is a good place to start

Jeanne I am sorry that you have suffered abuse.

I want any abuse victims to know that it is possible to lead a happy life with good relationships the future. An abusive relationship is a very dark place. I feel it's hard for anyone to realise quite how dark and desperate to be in an abusive situation.

JeanneDeMontbaston Mon 01-Jun-15 00:13:09

I know, really - I didn't think you were trying to do anything except open this up to a proper debate, which definitely needs to happen!

Another point I think is important: women may look as if they are ignoring good advice, and defending their abusers. But this is a necessary step for a lot of people and doesn't mean they are not listening.

Is it ok to link to this post? I think it answers some of ABC' questions (besides being one of my touchstones for healthy relationships).

Moominmarvellous Mon 01-Jun-15 00:18:32

I recently attended an impact of domestic abuse training course for work and the speaker did an exercise with us where we had to imagine we lived in a country under a dictatorship and think of ways such a level of control would affect your life.

Education, spending, freedom of movement, worship, laws, travel options, size of family, clothing, media and outside influences - plus so much more. Which she then translated into real life terms and explained that it's the same when you live with DA.

It's total control and brainwashing, and she spoke of Stockholm syndrome as well OP.

I'm no expert but looking at it from that angle certainly put things into perspective for me in terms of how very difficult it must be to leave on a practical level,et alone the various emotional ties that bind you to such a situation.

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