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Since WBY was such a huge success, how about turning our collective attention to DV?

(278 Posts)
lissieloo Mon 22-Jul-13 19:24:51

Quash a few myths, challenge a few preconceptions?

WBY was, and is, awesome. I really think we could do the same for domestic violence. There seem to be an awful lot of posters in, or who have survived an abusive relationship. Reality's "Now Look Here" is brilliant, and we could incorporate that. I'm sure that the bloggers would get behind it too.

Whaddya think?

minkembernard Tue 23-Jul-13 08:13:37

I am with feegle on the issue of contributing factors. as the saying goes if you get an alcoholic abuser to stop drinking all you have at the end if it is a sober abuser. alcohol cam help the abuser to minimise their own behaviour and it can gave them.permission to increase the scale of the abuse but it is not what makes them think it is ok to abuse.

also on the issue of statistics and mutually violent rs. there are no proper clear statistics as it is believed women tend to under report violence against them and over report their own violence while men do the opposite.

So i think we want to avoid getting bogged down in stats. and things such as:
- defining what is abuse
- the legal definition of abuse (which has just change this year)
- who to contact
- some of the effects of abuse
- how difficult it is to leave
- how survivors cope after abuse
-statements that ate often used to blame victims
-victim.blaming in the media

although one stat that is probably useful is how many women and children are killed every year by violent partners. because you cannot really fudge that one.

minkembernard Tue 23-Jul-13 08:16:22

just my 2p.

one of the things i hear most often on MN is women saying but WA is for other people..people who are really being abused.

if we can get rid of that one myth we will do a lot to help.

although i would of course also like to deal with some of the victim.blaming nonsense that women choose to be abused etc.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 08:17:49

sadly far too many myths y y y!!! Men certainly (and media) claim the its the woman abusing the man - police are very well versed in this, and preempt that a male perpetrator will report a female partner for abuse. They are not stupid. If the police are aware of this regular tactic of male abusers (and I am only talking about male abuser's here) then we can't trust the stats that keep being quoted by men that there are high numbers of female abusers.

any of you involved in and around those experiencing DV do a straw pole of the women battered (emotionally physically sexually and mentally) by men, of how many have already been reported to the police for being the abuser. The number is extremely alarming.

If the police know it, then I think we can accept its regular practice and blow open that particular 'myth'!

The OP quite clearly states wby as being the sole driving force here, and so anything else posted is in obvious contradiction of that and missing the point.

3 women a week in the UK... not 3 men a week! and of the tiny minority of women involved in murdering males, the vast majority of those were abused women. there is a key difference in the reason for manslaughter (not murder, sorry) and that is to kill the perpetrator.

Its not the same and Ronald you are wrong here, the purpose of the OP is very clear to all I think, and a very good cause OP! Support here definitely.

The lively debate here has already blown some myths wide open, which is just brilliant smile more of this please smile

Abuse is a male issue.

We are here, from what I understood of the thread to challenge the normalising and minimising that goes on in society that prevents women survivors from being believed? The vast issue is with male abusers, women are dying every week, but noone knows these ladies or very very rarely hears them speak!!!

It is absolutely time .....

Reality Tue 23-Jul-13 08:21:12

I would 100% be behind a campaign around domestic abuse.

I think, as others have said, we could target those that don't think the abuse they are suffering is 'that bad'.

I spent most of my abusive marriage wishing he'd batter me or openly cheat on me (so I could leave), it was only after leaving that I had the clarity to see that the physical, verbal, financial and sexual abuse he put me through was awful. My boundaries and standards were so skewed I thought that stuff was all normal.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 08:22:35

another myth... I think already spoken of/touched on...

DV suffered in childhood is not an excuse for DV
Alchoholism is not a cause for DV
Personality disorders are not a cause of DV
MH issues are not an excuse for DV... and on....

DV is only about control, isolating women and removing any control, and y y commonly occurs once 'feet well under table' - hence pregnancy is a common trigger for the female hate campaign to start.

vulnerability in the woman is often the opening gate for the perpetrator to really start stamping his mark. Then the dynamic swings noticeably, also marriage, another.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 08:28:23

yy Reality and very sorry to hear your situation.

It is common for women to actually desperately need the validation of physical abuse.


because of society! Because many more women would feel able to act on that, as it is a widely accepted societal norm that physical violence is unacceptable to anyone.

So once society stops normalising and minimising and educating in schools the (challenging the beliefs of those in future relationships) change will happen.

it is also common for women to actively instigate an escalation in order to get relief from the constant egg-shell walking that their daily lives become.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 08:38:54

this: So once society stops normalising and minimising and educating in schools the... ooops!

should say

So once society stops normalising and minimising and start educating in schools the ...

another one... whilst I'm back before clearing out for the day...

80% of women in secure MH units are there as a direct result of living with a dominator.

Men's most common tactic in controlling is blame, and particularly targetting 'her' mental health, that she made him shout in her face/push/block/rage/hit....

Women given time away from the dominator turn out not to have PDs, Depression, suicidal thoughts, and everything in between....

LeStewpot Tue 23-Jul-13 09:06:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GettingStrong Tue 23-Jul-13 09:08:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 09:09:37

Abusive men are so well versed in managing their anger that they should be running the classes! - spot on Stewpot

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 09:10:19

<waves> to GS smile

RonaldMcDonald Tue 23-Jul-13 09:22:05

Hey feegleFion

You haven't upset me. We are just in disagreement. Your facts and my facts over a few Internet posts don't seem to tally. That is fine.

I am not an apologiser for DA/DV. Nothing I will ever say will eradicate my contention that it is the abusers intent to be violent, controlling and abusive.

Abusers however don't immediately identify with that contention.
Often they have lots of surface reasons they have used to explain away their role as an abuser. They may have also misread or ignored all manner of other information they have come to understand about women, their relationship and the reasons why they abuse.
They mostly need to undergo education in the form of therapy and group therapy to get to the point where they see and understand their abuse for what it is in reality.

Re education and therapy is also not a 'cure'. It is just a step in the right direction.

That said many but by no means all domestic abusers also have issues with substances, mostly alcohol. Ditto many test to have issues with depression.
Substance abuse doesn't make someone an abuser. Depression doesn't make someone an abuser or perpetrator.
It is used by some abusers to excuse for what they do.
It in reality in no way excuses their behaviour as abusers as it is something they must own.
However it can and does exacerbate domestic abuse in many cases. Again that does not mean that if an abuser becomes sober that the abuse stops.
Again I think it is an important area that needs to be addressed when treating an abuser if they are going to get to the point where they take responsibility for their behaviour.

I can recognise your concern. If you think that I am discussing these factors, often present in abusers, as some sort of excuse for intent, anger, violence or control I am not.

I am saying that they must be acknowledged and treated.

RonaldMcDonald Tue 23-Jul-13 09:28:36


Thanks for the recommendation for the book. I have already read it and agree it has many important things to say. It is far from my sole source though.

KarenIngalaSmith Tue 23-Jul-13 09:33:28

I've written about the differences between male violence against women and women's violence against men here:

K8Middleton Tue 23-Jul-13 09:33:33

This thread, with its myths and incorrect terminology, is an excellent example of why such a campaign is needed. So rather than being all self defeated we should be feeling validated and galvanised.

Everyone deserves respect. It doesn't matter if the person being abused or their abuser is typical or a-typical of the statistical majority - they need to be able to recognise the abuse and have opportunities to access help and support. Focus on the acts, not the profile of the victim or abuser.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 09:35:25

challenging /changing entitled /sexist/ female hates beliefs early on through education is a huge answer.

Sadly in the land of no-conscience.... psychopaths rule

minkembernard Tue 23-Jul-13 09:40:18

ronald thank you for your post. that greatly clarifies your position on the mattersmile

I think though that there are several issues here:
- are we concentrating on myths about abuse and the survivors of abuse
-on the causes and treatment of abuse?
or both?

I would love to think there was a treatment for abuse...or even that it was possible for MN to shift societal attitudes enough to make abuse less prevalent and less accepted and I do think it is important that we never stop trying.
However, I am in agreement with this TED lecture by Jackson Katz male violence is a men's issue. The main shift in society needs to come from men. So MN may not be the best place for this?

however, when it comes to attitudes towards the survivors and sufferers of abuse I think both men and women really need to shift their attitudes.

In amongst all the wonderful help and support, I have seen some really backward attitudes to abuse posted by women regularly on MN. sad

I have also seen many survivors unable to identify what is happening to them until someone else tells them (myself included. I had no idea).

hence the suggestions that we focus on myths about abuse, abusers, and what can be done to help the survivors rather than on treatments for abuse which I think might be a bit of a red herring. yet again focussing attention on the abuser, which is actually what they want. they want it to be all about them. poor old them and their issues and their feelings. when the only context in which it shoudl be about them is when it comes to apportioning responsibility. it is their fault

In the context of MN it is not necessarily abusers that would benefit most from the help or a shift in attitude. focussing on treatment can give some survivors false hope that their abuser will get better and that they should stand by their man while they receiver treatment when in actual fact they don't need to. if an abuser is serious about treatment they will get it whether their victim stays or not. if it is done only if the victim stays it can just be another aspect of abuse.

I think we should make it about the survivors. and make sure that when survivors come on to MN this is a friendly supportive place for them that can help them rebuild their lives and move to freedom (which in the main MN already is- it is a fantastic source of support thanks thanks again all the ladies (and men) of MN)...but here is still more than can be done to educate and inform.

FairyFi Tue 23-Jul-13 09:41:19

knowing is protection, and that is about the profile... detecting early warning signs, definitely.

K8 can you be specific about 'this thread's... myths and incorrect terminology' please? Who is being all self-defeated do you think?

It is a male issue, it belongs really on Dadsnet

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Tue 23-Jul-13 09:43:29

I would like to see the focus remain firmly on the victim.

To be honest, I don't care about helping the abuser. That can be a completely different thread or support or whatever. Because ultimately, the victim needs to understand that it's not their job and not their concern to "help the abuser get better." IMO that's one of the things that makes them stay longer when they should be getting out and getting safe. I know it is one of the reasons I stayed as long as I did, through a misguided sense that I needed to support my H, as it wasn't abuse, it was "anger management problems" or "depression"... surely it wasn't abuse. But it was and the longer I stayed, the more it escalated and the harder it became.

I think when we wander into "why" he does abuses, it starts to become our responsibility. And it is NOT our responsibility to explain why.

We need to support victims, give them avenues of information and escape if necessary.

minkembernard Tue 23-Jul-13 09:48:51

alice y y y. you said that so much better than my overly long post. exactly that.

LeStewpot Tue 23-Jul-13 09:49:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FeegleFion Tue 23-Jul-13 09:56:19

Tee I'm really not running anywhere and please believe me when I say I always do my utmost to help.

I agree that I should reconsider my opposition to this thread, as there are many posters here who have obvious insight into DA (I'm guessing professionally) and many more who are keen to understand just exactly what DA is.

However, when offering information, support and/ or practical and emotional assistance to women experiencing DA, it is crucial that it is accurate and relevant to their individual circumstances and is recognised as a huge responsibility.

These are real people's lives and we have to get it right or risk putting women in further danger.

That is why specialist support services such as DA Helplines are the best 'first port of call', always.

It is an unfortunate fact that a woman is most at risk from DV (I use DV ,here, for obvious reasons) homicide as she is preparing to leave or has just left. In fact of the approx 4000 DV homicides in the UK, each year, around 3 quarters are committed then and under these circumstances, if the perpetrator threatens to kill the woman, he is much more likely to go through with it.

On average, a woman will leave 7 times before she leaves for good. It's difficult for people to understand why the woman goes back time and again, especially those who love the woman but the simple fact is that the perpetrator has total control over the woman and knows exactly how to persuade her. Her self esteem, confidence and self worth have been totally eroded and the perpetrator uses various tactics to ensure the woman is kept in that 'state'.

It's important to recognise and understand that the woman loves the man and wants the relationship, she doesn't want the abuse.

FeegleFion Tue 23-Jul-13 10:02:30

Ronald yes, we can agree to disagree.

As someone who wishes to support the women experiencing DA, my ultimate goal is to see the woman take back control of the decisions affecting her life and to be empowered.

I am not in favour of the group therapies imposed on perpetrators by the Criminal Justice System, as I believe they are potential breeding grounds for 'learning' alternative ways to abuse.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Tue 23-Jul-13 10:14:17

FeegleFion And I think that alone illustrates why this is important. If you look at the EA thread (ongoing), you will see that people are regularly encouraged to ring WA, tell their GP or HV, or seek support in person and to make sure they are safe first and foremost. We've been there, we know it can be dangerous, therefore we want others to be safe as well.

I get so frustrated at seeing all the victim blaming and minimising I see on MN, especially relationships threads.

Also, FWIW...

- No, all men are NOT like that.

- No, just because you've stayed that does not mean you've asked for it.

- No, couples therapy is most likely not going to be helpful.

K8Middleton Tue 23-Jul-13 10:18:23

FairyFi there are several examples on this thread of people who know better than me, but a good example is the use of DA instead of DV. You can read for yourself who is being self defeating. Anyone who says a campaign won't work really. It might not work but let's try any way.

By profile I mean things like age, sex, sexual orientation, race. By acts I mean things people do which could be termed red flags and should be looked out for.

I thought I was being clear but apparently not. I have not suggested this is a man's issue so why the dadsnet comment? My point is I don't care what flavour the victim is. A victim is a victim.

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