Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Nothing funny

About a social commentary on domestic violence so if you’re looking for a crack me up post, come back later.

I recently finished this book found on this site

In it the author tells her story of being swept off her feet by “Prince Charming” only to discover that he was physically abusive. She is so enamored by him that she ignores the early warning signs (subconsciously) and finds herself trapped with seemingly no way out.

Once an editor for Seventeen magazine, she quits her job and moves with him to an isolated Vermont town away from friends and family. Through a series of events and after four years she is able to escape but not without severe mental and financial damage.

If I were looking for a reason to be angry and indignant, the abuse is certainly enough. People shouldn’t assault or scare the people they love. The end. That’s been said and is obvious enough.

What surprised and enraged me more was the reaction of some of her “friends” and family as she was finally making efforts to put her life back together.

Her husband (as is typical according to psychiatrists) never fully acknowledged or took responsibility for the abuse or the severity of his actions. He made a point of telling anyone who asked how much he loved and cared for her and how he wanted the marriage to work- that he was willing to do anything to make it so.

Her father (a prominent judge) believing that the husband could do no wrong, paid for the abusers attorney. Her aunt gave him a home to call his own when the protection order prevented him from using their shared address. Her therapist and attorney informed her that the quickest and easiest action that she could take to be rid of this nightmare was to give the abuser (the man who had choked and punched her into unconsciousness) everything he asked for (in the divorce) to be done with him as quickly as possible. This included assuming the debt of massive student loans that he had convinced her to put in her name because his credit wasn’t as good.

Fortunately there were no children involved but I can’t imagine going through that nightmare only to have the people who were supposed to love and support you believe that you somehow had provoked, encouraged, deserved or worse yet imagined the severity of the abuse you faced.

We think we are so wise and advanced as a culture. We let women drive- we are opposed to countries that don’t. But, we also say to the women of our culture “Your husband physically assaults you? You must have done something wrong. Go back and work it out. Do it for the children. I don’t believe you.” and then when we hear of a woman being killed by her abuser we sit back and wonder why she didn't leave him.

End of commentary- crack me up will continue tomorrow assuming I find something to laugh at.


Sunshine said...

AMEN..... the husband does deny it and there are always people who never believe it. Pretty soon you believe you deserve it and it takes longer to get out of the relationship. Thank you for that post... it reminds everyone that this is a major issue in our world.

stephanie said...

I've always thought the same thing about our reactions to abused women.

When I was going to catechism class, the woman teaching it was discussing divorce. She said there were only some major reasons to get one, abuse being one of them. I asked about what the woman was supposed to do if no one granted her the divorce because they didn't believe her. Even at the age of 12 I understood how the world worked in this regard! Long story short, she said she had to discuss it with the pastor (she was a lay person teaching this class) and when I brought it up again I got some vague statements about loving each other and doing your best to make it work.

kmkat said...

Amen. A co-worker of mine discovered how abusive her husband was when she was pregnant with twins. It took her four years to leave because she had the two babies to care for and a career to maintain. But she did it.

Sharon said...

Saddening that the human race still has such a long way to go. Thank you for the thoughtful post.