Anyone who is actually blaming Janay Rice for staying with her abuser is engaging in some degree of victim blaming and does not have a good working understanding of abuser dynamics, battered woman syndrome, or Stockholm Syndrome —and right now, should she decide to leave, is an incredibly dangerous time for Mrs. Rice, even if she doesn’t realize it: the most dangerous time in the life of a battered woman is when she attempts to leave her abuser. Threatened by the loss of control, the batterer is likely to become even more violent and may even try to kill her. And please do not make the mistake of thinking that the danger is somehow minimized just because the abuser is famous and wealthy
And while it might not “make sense” to a lot of people, abusers are often world class manipulators and there are actually several very understandable reasons an abused woman might choose to remain with her abuser:
LOVE/HOPE: He is not always brutal…She hopes he will change, and the beatings will stop…An abused partner still loves the abuser even though he hits her
FEAR : She believes his threats to beat or kill her, the children, her family if she leaves him…He’s done it before, she fears he will do it again
SOCIETAL PRESSURE: Society has conditioned women to believe their primary duty is to keep the family together no matter what…She would be admitting failure…She may have been successful in other areas of her life and believes that if she works hard enough she can also have a successful relationship or marriage
LACK OF SUPPORT: Family members are threatened physically… After repeated attempts to help, family may distance themselves from the victim…Friends don’t want to get involved…Isolation from family makes it difficult
RELIGION: Divorce is not acceptable…Vow was to love, honor, and obey
EMBARASSMENT, SHAME, GUILT: She doesn’t want her family to find out…If her family likes him, they may not believe her or they might blame her…If she is the wife of a prominent citizen she may worry about how the publicity will effect his reputation, career, and whether people will believe her
FEELS RESPONSIBLE: She doesn’t know anyone else being beaten, so she must be doing something wrong…She believes what her abusive partner says that somehow it’s all her “fault”, therefore he had to beat her
SURVIVAL IS ALL SHE THINKS ABOUT: All her energy and thoughts are focused on surviving…Formulating a plan to leave is overwhelming…Trauma is similar to that of a prisoner of war who is reduced to the level of mere existence and survival
HAS NO PLACE TO GO: She may not know about shelters or lack transportation…She has worn out her welcome at mom’s, sister’s, etc.
ECONOMIC DEPENDENCE: Many batterers have strict control over the purse strings…Husband convinces her that she will not receive any child support if she “abandons” the family…Over 50% of victims have no marketable skills…Feels she can endure beatings so that children have more financial advantages
Personally, I think we should support an abused woman who hasn’t left her abuser in exactly the same way we support a drug user who hasn’t stopped using, or a depressed person who won’t just hurry up and “feel better” —we don’t agree with, understand or condone the choices of people engaging in various forms of destructive self-harm, but we offer them our support, be there for them, and never blame them
Knowing these reasons is not “agreeing” with someone staying in an abusive relationship, but it does allow us to better support and understand abuse victims. And iMho, passing judgement on her, the victim, just takes far too much of the onus off of her abuser. #whyistayed is an important discussion, but an equally important question, if not more important, is #whydoesheabuse?
And, ANY domestic abuse is a criminal act. Period. It is wrong, and needs to be condemned and stopped, but while we can acknowledge that yes, men and same sex partners are also the victims of intimate partner violence—and again, they are no less important—it is very important I think, to keep in perspective who the overwhelming majority of abusers are and avoid any disingenuous “both sides” false equivalencies:
This post goes so hard and y’all need to understand this!
I was discussing this with one of my fellow survivors. She barely made it out alive. I moved in a last ditch effort, but I ended up lucky as it ended up my situation was mostly gas lighting (mental manipulation) and empty threats (when it came to distance). My friend and I were lucky. LUCKY.
So I hadn’t yet come out to my mum and today I got home to see that someone had changed the cover on my bed to this
And then I saw that they left a note on the bed, so I went over to take a look at it and
My mum is the best
Whenever I see this I think well what if you weren’t gay and you came home one day to this
Beautiful and flawless character designs by Jamal Campbell:
New Pita-Poke figures, coming out July 19th!