It’s all about Power, Money & Sex.
Power can be shown in many ways i.e. physically, emotionally & financially.
This is usually done via the use of manipulation & control by, one person over another/others.
Unfortunately some men & some women have a plethora of mental/psychological & behavioral problems for a variety of reasons.
It might be past abuse, pathological traits as in narcissism/sociopath/psychopath & or psychosis from drug abuse etc…or all of them combined.
Different personality types & problems go unchecked & are often well hidden, excused & often un-diagnosed.
Sometimes they are lauded by others, power is attractive. Victims are vilified by followers, enablers & the perpetrator.
The ‘Abusers’ underlying personal character traits/dysfunctions can proliferate for years & cause ongoing major domestic abuse/social problems.
Abuse is usually inflicted slowly & often not apparent in the beginning or in the initial stages of a domestic relationship & relationships in general.
It is very insidious & the victim is often unaware until, they are already in a very controlled & manipulated situation.
Others that may see a problem are either enablers, followers or scapegoats while some, are ostracised by both the victim & the abuser for interfering.
For fear of losing the victim to the abuser, onlookers just live in hope that the victim will be okay & free one day.
The victims of abuse are often brainwashed or suffering cognitive dissonance & completely powerless to remove themselves.
Many have been beaten down for many years/ decades & generations.
They may have carried a dysfunctional life patterning/DNA & have been traumatised & victimised for so long that, they disassociate themselves & are often depressed or just continue to accept the unacceptable.
They live in a fog of confusion & or depression.
In my own experience the withholding of financial support made it extremely difficult to leave & survive especially, as children are involved.
You also have shame & fear of the unknown to cope with. You also have emotional attachments that are not easily abandoned.
When you do leave an abusive relationship, the abuse continues as, in my case withholding financial support & further emotional/verbal abuse ongoing. Threats of violence & intimidation are par for the course.
Counselors help but, are costly & are only band-aides for the deeper problems that exist. When the deep work is involved, the victim must be prepared for self analytical & coping strategies that are often grueling & exhausting but, paramount. They can sometimes suffer PTSD which is very debilitating.
Treatment is time consuming, expensive & must be gentle & well understood. It is hard to find this help. It is hard to know you need it.
The abuser, is rarely counselled in my experience or plays a game with the counselor & stays in denial & does not accept responsibility for relationship breakdowns etc…They continue the abuse unless, complete No Contact is instigated. (If children are involved, this is impossible.)
The abuse is often ‘paid forward’ to another victim & or the children.
In reality, I have found that there are no long term solutions.
It is a deep seated societal issue, is very personal & the cause of many mental health issues.
The support agencies have little control if the abuser avoids their responsibilities.
They cannot garner wages if the other party hides their earning etc…
If the other party refuses to accept counselling & acknowledge their actions & work actively to alter their behavior then, in the long term the cycle will & does continue.
If counselors/law officials etc… are not able to recognise the same manipulation tactics that, some abusers are extremely proficient at then, the original victim will be further traumatised or made to feel they deserved the abuse.
The victim can find themselves further victimised by the system. The telling & retelling of the abuse over & over can further impact the recovery time.
People with unhealthy boundaries, need to work hard to re-establish good ones. A lot of people don’t actually adhere to healthy boundaries consciously but, do try. Making a list of one’s core moral values & defining healthy boundaries is not taught in school.
Both the victim & abuser need to do this.
The promotion of healthy self esteem, strong core values & the setting of safe & healthy boundaries (that are individual), must be established & would be great teaching tools for life.
Classes in ethics & psychology early would, in my opinion be beneficial & help shape better relationships & moral standards plus greater self awareness & respect for ourselves & others.
This is a long process but, nevertheless crucial if abuse patterns are to cease.
There is still a very strong underpinning of misogyny & patriarchy in our society.
Feminism is still viewed as, women wanting power over men. Obviously this is not the case but, still often viewed as such.
Feminist should be replaced by the word ‘Humanist’ or Humanitarianism. I am a feminist but, have often had to defend this word etc…Humanitarianism is non-specific & relates to all humanity.
HUMANITARIANISM is a moral of kindness, benevolence, and sympathy extended to all human beings.
Greater Empathy would also benefit the victims because, it can happen to us all & effects us all as a society.
I believe the word ‘Victim’ is very dis-empowering & should be replaced by the word ‘Target’ as, the abuse is targeted & often systematic against a relationship partner or a relative. Victims are more random usually & unknown to the perpetrator.
Domestic abuse is not a random act nor is it perpetrated by strangers.
It is intended to dis-empower.
The perpetrator knows it is wrong & makes a choice to commit abuse.
Whether they ‘own it’ or ‘deny it’ or ‘excuse it’ does not alter the facts that it is a flaw in their character that must be addressed & halted. Obviously it is not a trait to be proud of although, some are!
The term ‘Domestic’, is yet another Dis-empowering word.
It relates to ‘domestic’ duties etc….Perhaps it should be known only as, ‘Intimate Partner Abuse’or ‘Inter-Relationship Abuse’.
People are not possessions owned by another in the context of an ‘intimate relationship’ & no-one should be objectified.
If people are to leave a ‘Domestic Abuse’ relationship then, they must have financial & emotional support plus protection.
The financial support must be easier to establish with government agencies form the beginning.
Victims should have full access to services & protection in a less complicated & non-judgmental way. They must be treated with respect & dignity so, they can see what compassion & empathy is like on a regular basis.
The departments that deal with benefits/help/support etc…should have specific & separate facilities from other support services.
For the sake of confidentiality & for maintaining non-threatening surroundings & good inter personal understanding is necessary because, there is nothing worse than asking for help after, being on a long queue with the ‘melting pot’ of other’s & then having to speak in an open area about your problems & ask for assistance.
Legal rights information should also be available & explained fully so, that the victim/target can feel somewhat Em-powered & in control & understands their rights against the abuser.
The actions they can take against a perpetrator must always feel well supported & protected.
Fear must be removed from the equation & good support, information & financial assistance must be fully available.
Abusers should be made to commit to programs of counseling, anger management, alcohol & drug dependence, gamblers anonymous etc…on a regulated & report-able basis.
They should be fined or have monies garnered for non-attendance to the above programs & psychologically monitored on a regular basis.
The victim/target should also attend programs for self empowering classes, self protection etc….that are fully government funded.
The abusers must be not only accountable for the abuse but, make all necessary amends to the victim & society by proving themselves worthy & taking responsibility for their behavior.
Good role modelling in society should be praised & more accessible in the media & less sensationalism of ‘bad behavior’ in movies, sports & by celebrities etc….
The recent commission into Domestic Abuse here in Australia has highlighted the problems & hopefully some of the outcomes will benefit future men & women & less lives will be ruined or lost.
Actions do speak louder than words & anyone that raises a hand to hurt has an intention that needs addressing & is never ever acceptable.