BBUK’s Daley – snapshot of an abusive relationship
Big Brother showed some awful scenes last Sunday where Daley threatened Hazel. It started out innocently enough, with a bit of drunken play fighting. But lightening-quick the mood turned sour – Daley’s mood that is. From laughing and hitting with pillows and slaps, suddenly it turned to angry swears, “do you want me to f**cking go mad?” put-downs “listen little girl…” threats “I’ll nut you one” and physical abuse - his hands around her throat, pinned to the bed.
As a victim of domestic violence myself, it was all very familiar. And I couldn’t help but feel satisfied that a third party – big brother – immediately pulled him up on his behaviour. A very rare occurrence in the real world – normally the isolated woman is left to fend for herself.
What was even more familiar was the abuser’s self-righteous indignation ”Aggressive?! I never did anything aggressive to her”, minimising “just play-fighting”, victim-playing and victim blaming “I’ll tell her not to do that again”. “I’d never do anything to a woman — never ever.” Well, mate, you just did- and in this rare circumstance it’s all on camera.
The rage that flared on his face when Big Brother told him the next day how Hazel felt – threatened and cornered – spoke volumes. He now had an outlet for all his indignant rage, a target. You could see in his eyes how he changed the story – he was mucking about, and then this terrible woman came and played the victim and pointed fingers at him.
In fact it was sad to see how the victim in this case minimised what she went through. She even said she may have over-reacted, when she hadn’t reacted at all – it was Big Brother who did that.
The fact that it’s all on camera but he denies it anyway highlights the extreme denial of abusers.
“If it was threatening, how comes we was cuddling after it happened?” – good question Daley. The answer is victims of domestic violence do whatever they can to contain the rage and attempt to control the situation. If you’re cuddling, you’re less likely to start getting aggressive again.
Since being rightly evicted from the show, and since there was video evidence, he was compelled to publicly apologise. His apology included the following excuses: he was hungry, he was tired, he was drunk.
For me and other survivors, these incredibly lame excuses are oh-so-familiar. Sometimes the excuses change, but the behavior is always the same.
In his apology his hatred for the woman was still palpable. He refused to waste his “breath by saying her name”. If this had happened in the real world, he would have taken this aggression out on the woman, and the cycle would have continued.
For other women, women without a ‘big brother’, the cycle continues.