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feeling weary

(48 Posts)
sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 17:20:07

I don't even know if this is a feminist issue, but I had no idea where to put it.

Some things have been happening IRL, not to me, but to a family member who is also a neighbour. Domestic abuse. Violence and emotional. Really fucking nasty stuff. It has sort of triggered things for me, because I have been through similar. It has taken me back, kind of, to those feelings.

Since I went through it I have become more aware of the issues surrounding DA, and toxic relationships in general. I have dealt with my issues, and sorted out my warped thinking. Sadly, IRL right now it feels like I am the only one who has any grasp on reality.

The victim blaming that has been going on, from someone I consider to be my best friend, has sickened me. The general lack of awareness of this stuff, the stuff that is discussed all the time on MN, is astonishing.

There is this real attitude that women are bringing it upon themselves, and the men don't seem to be getting a hard time at all.

Does anyone else see this or is it just me?

StealthPolarBear Fri 04-Sep-15 17:22:51

Well I don't personally but can well imagine.
I hate to sound like a stereotypical mner but it all comes from male entitlement doesn't it. Men (the small proportion of them) who think women are there to serve them and be a bit player in the man's life rather than being humans at the centre of their own world iyswim.

StealthPolarBear Fri 04-Sep-15 17:23:24

Are you in a position to help? Or is it too much?

StealthPolarBear Fri 04-Sep-15 17:24:01

My money on 6 more posts before someone reminds us that women commit domestic abuse on men too.

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 17:34:06

I am trying to help as best I can. Mostly with practical things like the kids. But I am finding it difficult. I am not sure what to say, because I know she won't listen really. Though she has listened to my DH and she did kind of listen to me after the last incident. So I am trying to support without giving opinions that will shut her down.

I mean, she has her faults, but don't we all. No one is perfect. But my friend keeps saying she only has herself to blame for taking him back etc etc. I can see how frustrating it is to watch, but a bit of empathy wouldn't go amiss. It is like my friend refuses to acknowledge that actually, the man involved has orchestrated this whole situation, and his behaviour is inexcusable, no matter what.

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 17:38:14

And the victims family have all but abandoned her because she took him back the last time. They can't see its his fault either, because if they did they would support her until she was strong enough to leave, not just cut her off.

But it isn't surprising, because where do you think the victim has learned that being treated like this is acceptable? You guessed it! At home! She grew up with it. FFS.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 18:20:21

sad so sorry

capsium Fri 04-Sep-15 18:36:59

No matter how difficult and emotionally wrenching, this is a situation that cannot go on. It is damaging for all involved.

IMHO apportioning blame is futile, it just leads to more anger and hurt. Practical solutions to stop the abuse must be the priorty. The thing is if her abuser cannot / does not stop this needs some intervention now. I'm assuming neither parties have sought any official help. Can you introduce you neighbour to any organisations that might help?

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 18:46:08

There has been intervention. He is currently on bail and a condition of that is that he can't contact her or come near her. But I have my suspicions that they are in phone contact.

I think that a SS intervention is imminent also as the police will have been obliged to refer her.

I have already given her links to the womens aid website. I have told her to ask SS for counselling for both her and the eldest child. But therapy in our family is just not the done thing. confused I am constantly baffled by the attitudes of the people around me.

This thread wasn't really about that though. It is specifically about the blame that is being apportioned on to the victim. Therefor it is not futile in the context of this thread.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 18:51:54

Capsium, really? I know you have a broader issue with the anti DV campaign but please save it for that thread. A woman is being abused here, is being blamed for it by her nearest and dearest, and a former abuse victim is trying to help her. This isn't a debating society, this is a current terrible situation.

capsium Fri 04-Sep-15 18:54:15

My personal opinion is that this abuser could be very damaged himself, so in that respect blaming him is futile, his control over his behaviour may well be arguable, although it is obvious he has perpetrated the abuse.

Whilst saying this, I would in no way blame your friend, as a victim either. It sounds like a terrible situation she has found herself in, it will have taken a huge amount of strength not to have been totally overcome by it before this point. She needs support not criticism.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 19:00:24

Since the abuser is currently on bail and SS are aware, I don't think you need to worry about his issues. Let's focus on the woman that's the point of the thread, hey?

I shan't respond to you again on this.

capsium Fri 04-Sep-15 19:01:00

X post Yonic. It was not my intention to debate. I am trying to help, I feel the hurt caused when there is no available explanation for abuse, apart from a hatred extended towards the victim, is more difficult to deal with than an understanding of how abusers can be damaged themselves.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 19:01:16

OP, is he somewhere far enough away? Can she move away to a friend if no family are supportive?

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 19:04:26

Well forgive me if I don't have any sympathy for a man who has just nearly strangled a woman to death in front of a 5 year old. This isn't the first woman he has done it to, nor is it the result of an abusive or damaging upbringing. I know him, I know his family, I know his sister. I will blame him for destroying her confidence, for convincing her she is no good and worth nothing. The bruises will heal in weeks. The emotional damage may never go away.

Your opinion is the exact fucking problem I posted about. I thought that MN might have been a safe space, but clearly not. angry

capsium Fri 04-Sep-15 19:08:37

Sorry. I did not mean to cause you more hurt. Of course his actions are devastating. I hope you can get your friend the support she needs and her abuser is effectively dealt with - he needs to be kept from abusing again. X. flowers

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 19:08:39

He isn't near her. For now. I don't know how long that will last. But if we see him at her house I will be phoning the police myself to report him for breaching bail conditions. Whether she likes that or not, I can't stand by and let those kids be terrified in their own home.

capsium Fri 04-Sep-15 19:17:32

Absolutely call the police. Has she changed her phone numbers? What is security like at her house? Is anyone able to stay with her?

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 19:26:40

A few of her friends are rallying round her. The house is secure enough. She has my number and I have told her to call me any time, even in the middle of the night. But the problem is more that she wants him there or lets him back. I don't know. She knows it has to end, but shes already feeling bad for reporting him, and him being charged seems to have made the guilt worse.

She has asked him numerous times to go to anger management, he refuses. He really is a nasty piece of work. He has to be in control. He verbally degrades her in front of people, in front of me many times, and now she has told me the stuff he was saying behind closed doors. She has no idea how to protect herself emotionally because our wider family is made up of toxic, emotionally stunted adults with no self insight. She doesn't see a way forward, and I can't make her see it either. I am at a loss, and today have backed off completely because I fear they are in contact.

Can anyone tell me, is "withdrawing a statement" even possible now? I thought the law had changed in DV cases so that they will prosecute regardless. She hasn't done it, and everyone is telling her not to, but she is waivering.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 19:30:35

Can you (or other friends) keep her busy this weekend? Can anyone take her away, down to their ow. Relatives or something, maybe show her a functional relationship. Just to break the link a little but more.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 19:31:19

Was there medical evidence of the strangling?

capsium Fri 04-Sep-15 19:33:18

She should in no way feel bad for reporting him. Not only does reporting him protect her and her children, it protects him from himself to. If there is any hope for him to have any life at all, beyond being abusive, this will require a great deal of intervention. She needs to stay away from him and protect her children and heal.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 19:37:51

I asked because that would be objective evidence if she withdraws. Also SS may need to intervene re the kids if she takes him back.

sliceofsoup Fri 04-Sep-15 19:38:35

Yes the police took photos and did some kind of abuse questionnaire with her. There was damage in the house too and hes been charged for that also.

DH and I have spoken to her separately. She seemed much more receptive to DH. We have both pointed out "normal" things that we do (that are directly the opposite of what is happening to her) and the way we are, and she has taken that on board. One of her friends who is also male has been reinforcing what we have been saying (she told us this) so she is listening. But then if he is on the phone apologising and blaming her, saying she provoked him and all the usual shit, then I don't know if that will drown out all the stuff we are saying iyswim. I am just really worried. I think she is ready to be rid of him, but she needs counselling or something. She wont do it though.

The people that should be helping are her immediate family, but they are no where to be seen.

YonicScrewdriver Fri 04-Sep-15 19:39:09

Dud he ever do or say anything I. Front of you? Did she describe any incident in emails you still have? You may be able to make a statement too.

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