Why don’t ‘those women’ just stay away from abusive men?!
Hello, it's Maya. I'm not sure whether you will remember me since my other postings on the site.
I just want to say a bit about blame. It is probably not that coherent, because my hyper-vigilance is through the roof and I cannot concentrate.
I wish it was as simple as 'staying away' from abusive men. But let's ignore that saying that is BLAME and use it as a strategy.
I left. I filed for divorce with the fear he would kill me. He punished me for that with rape. Are you sympathetic about this rape that I still have nightmares about? No, you BLAME.
I did what you wanted; I left and became a single parent. It's not single-parenting but double-parenting - I've never known tiredness like it (yes, I worked). I recall single mothers being reported as 'the cause' of the 2011 riots, and statements that children need male role models. I’m sure statistics show that over 20% of single mothers are on their own due to leaving abusive partners in the previous year. They did what you wanted them to do, by leaving. My son is a high achiever and, more importantly, he respects women. So are you proud I raised him alone? No, you BLAME.
Despite understanding domestic violence, it might be best to have counselling; just to make sure I don't 'choose' another violent man. The counsellor (woman) told me I should cut my hair and wear a top that isn't fitted because I'm sending out the 'wrong message'. This is BLAME.
I did end up with another violent man, silly me! I finally remembered though that I should 'stay away'. However, leaving didn't mean that he would let me go and I was seriously stalked for almost a year.
A lawyer (woman) would understand, wouldn't they? Well, no, she said this: 'Aren't you too old for all this now and being with these men? You really need to start taking responsibility!' This is BLAME.
I'm really heeding your 'advice' now. I really AM staying away from abusive men by avoiding them all and staying on my own, so that I am safe. I don’t want to ‘choose’ an abusive one by mistake.
A man asked me for a date and I said no. Because I said no, he physically assaulted me and then reported me to my professional body with completely unfounded allegations that I was having sex with men at work. Then I had to be investigated due to my role.
A neighbour asked me why he'd never seen me with a man (it had been so long, because I am following your 'advice' so well!). He said it was because I was a lesbian (like that's some kind of crime) and that I just needed to learn how to 'like it'. Then he pinned me down and sexually assaulted me. Did I report it? Of course, I didn't. This is due to BLAME.
There’s worse. But, you know, I am traumatised and have to leave it there. What I am writing about is MALE ENTITLEMENT. They take it, because they can. It is ingrained in culture.
I'm now under the care of the CMHT (finally) and this will mean more stigma and discrimination. If someone breaks your leg, you receive support and understanding. But if someone breaks your mind, you receive pity and BLAME.
I wouldn’t be in this place had I not experienced male violence. At the multi-disciplinary team meeting, they’ll be making decisions about me – what to do about me and I feel like an exhibit. I know I will fare badly on suicide risk; it will be much too high. Post-Traumatic Stress comes under the Mental Health Act which means that they can make decisions over my liberty. Someone else will have control over me again. And I tried to ‘stay away’. My life feels like it’s always someone else’s decision.
What if I died by suicide? Would you feel sorry for me then, and get angry about male violence? I doubt it. Those who die by suicide are selfish, right? This, too, is BLAME.
Why are you doing this to women like me, when the blame and shame should attach to perpetrators? The shame I feel is engulfing and I think I am the most terrible person. This leads to self-hatred. I am ashamed of all the violence committed against me. I am now ashamed of what you think about mental illness. I can’t do anything about it; it is the price I paid for male crime.
Love, Maya x
We do NOT give permission for posts published as personal experiences to be reproduced, translated or otherwise published elsewhere. We will not contact people who submit their personal experiences on behalf of journalists, bloggers or other third sector organisations. These testimonies remain the intellectual copyright of their authors and must be treated with the ethical guidelines used by academics for research involving human subjects. Our full guidelines can be read here.Download this post as PDF? Click here