Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

To be believed

There will be lots of women out there who can express themselves better than I but I would like to share some of my experiences with you.

I stayed in an abusive relationship for almost 8 years. At first it was all rather wonderful and I didn't recognise the early warnings. I was so happy to have met someone and have someone there for me. This meant that when he upset me, I dismissed it and made excuses for it.

Cutting a very long story short ..... Things rapidly deteriorated when our youngest was com conceived. My family became aware that things were not good and I had a lot of pressure in me to leave. It took me another 4 years to leave and in that time I had to deal with family members being less than sympathetic.

It was always 'why do you stay?' And that I had no idea what was going on and was accused of defending his behaviour. I was desperately trying to keep everyone happy and ended up not being able to get out of bed one morning. My ex responded by getting drunk and disappearing for several days - leaving me alone with the children and being physically and medically exhausted.

A few months later I found the strength to leave. Even then I was told if I went back it would be the death of my parents. I had expected family and friends to rally round me and many did however, many have not spoken to me since or have become more distant.

This has left confused and unsure of whether I am a decent person. Some friends even sided with my ex when I left and told me they needed to support him as he was suffering too.

I have doubted myself and what happened to me. If it wasn't for a local DV group, I wouldn't be here now and be able to recognise that what happened to me was abusive and unacceptable . I am now as free as I can be. I will always be looking over my shoulder.



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