Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Nobody believes me because of what my abuser was.

I escaped a violent and abusive parent, unusually my abuser was my mother.

And yet society still insists that I need to love my mother because they're my parent and to forgive the violence, abuse and theft of thousands of pounds from me. To the point where when I am open about my past people either scold me for not loving my abuser or fixing her, or flat out don't believe me because we're taught that giving birth makes someone loving and wonderful, and that mother's don't do what mine did to me.

I am chronically lectured on my failure to be a "good" and "dutiful" daughter, because society thinks it is the role of women to absorb this type of abuse and to change the abuser by endurance rather than supporting our right to get the hell out of danger and to protect ourselves from the rampaging of violent people who happen to be our parents.

I am tired of being told that if I'd just been a "better" daughter, then my mother would have been what society deems a mother to be. My "mother" is an abuser. Her choice to abuse me was not caused by anything I did or didn't do. It was all her, and society needs to see that, not my supposed "failure".



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7 thoughts on “Nobody believes me because of what my abuser was.

  • Diane Robertson Martin says:

    Hi Dawn,
    I believe you and stand with you in the truth that you were in no way responsible for the abusive behaviour of your mother. It makes me feel angry and sad that you have had misdirected blame heaped on you by others. It’s also apparent though, that you rightly reject those lies. I wish you, love, healing and all the support you need. Take good care. xxx

  • Louise says:

    I believe you. My own mother was similar. It is horribly isolating and I feel so sad that you have experienced this. The blame lies solely with her, not with you. Sending you love xx

  • Admin says:

    We believe you. Thank you for posting this.

  • Jackie says:

    I believe you.

    YOU must believe that your mother’s abuse was NOT your fault.

    There is no reason for you to love your abuser because she is your mother. Anyone who says otherwise is an insensitive ass.

  • Mandy says:

    I believe you, Dawn. Any parent can be abusive, regardless of their gender. My next-door neighbours are living proof of that (both parents are abusive; I have reported them twice). No-one has any right to expect you forgive anyone for what they did to you. I don’t forgive my dad for nearly putting my eye out, and especially for saying that he did it because I “made him angry”. You didn’t ask for the parents you have, no-one does. Your experiences must have been horrific, but the fact that you speak so openly and stoically about it is inspirational; you clearly understand that your mum’s behaviour is her own responsibility and no-one else’s, and clearly you’re a much stronger person for that.

  • Emma says:

    I believe you, Dawn. In fact I could have written your post, if I could have described what you have so precisely. I lost the rest of my family because of my refusal to ‘forgive’, when what they really mean is ‘keep quiet and act like it never happened’. It’s very sad when people cannot get their heads around the concept of a mother abusing a child – in whatever form – and deal with that by trying to silence the child to avoid facing up to their own discomfort.

  • Caroline says:

    Me too. Physicaly and emotionally abused by my mother up to her death. My (absent) father still sees her as a Saint, my brother will not speak about it. I am alone in dealing with it. The myth of unconditional maternal love doesn’t help.