Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Questions For A Victim

I don’t get it.

Funny thing about abusive relationships- there can be both good times and bad times. Or you hold onto the good times. You convince yourself that things are not as bad as they seem, that you aren’t as miserable, trapped and terrified as you suspect you are. You convince yourself, just as he does, that the problem is YOU. It is because of you that he has to act this way, and if you were better, more worthy, he would treat you better. You convince yourself to succumb to his almost seamless mask, just like everyone else, to not delve any deeper.

Because if you had known what he was truly capable of, you would have run at the first opportunity- kind of like that time you did run and reached your car with its poorly timed flat battery. You wouldn’t have been manipulated by his tears when he said he didn’t know how to be ‘just friends’ with you. You wouldn’t have taken offence when your older brother called him a paedophile for sniffing around a teenager like you. You would have known that first time he prevented you from leaving, his hands on your waist, his erect penis against your leg but you didn’t know what it was because you were too pure.

Because everyone likes him, your friends are his friends. And you know full well that walking away from him is walking away from your whole life and you might as well hop on a plane going interstate because he is not going to make this easy for you- wait, make that damn painful. And if you do manage to get on a plane he will be three seats away from you. But this is your doing, if you had just put up and shut up there would be no need for all this unpleasantness. He didn’t want to threaten you, to publicly destroy your reputation, to show up outside your house after midnight to check up on you, to call sixty four times in a row while your Flinstones ringtone played over and over again and now you cannot hear it without feeling like vomiting.

He would never have had to play dirty if you had never challenged him. If you had just agreed to marry him as a teenager, if you had fallen in love with him like he planned none of this would have been necessary.

If you had not tried to push against him with all of my might, push his body off you, pinned down on his bed, he would never have had to tell you that that’s how men’s bodies work, like trucks with no brakes. If you hadn’t pushed so hard, tried and failed to free yourself so many times he never would have had to change his pants while you lay dead on my back. You understand now, you forced his hand.

Yet the questions remain:
Why didn’t you stop it?
Why didn’t you leave?
Why did you let it go on?
But he seems nice. (More a statement than a question, but go on.)

Who is asking about his actions?

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