I was the much awaited daughter of my parents and on Friday 18th April 1980 everyone on that ward knew my Momma Bear had me. The house we lived in together was filled with so much love and happiness; I was so rich in love! Random conversations, giggles of laughter and huge on tap, pretty much summed up my childhood.
One thing I have learned since becoming a survivor of domestic abuse is it is so much easier for society to victim blame rather than understanding that domestic abuse happens because perpetrators choose to abuse.
My parents married and started their family young, something the didn’t want for me. I was too career minded for that! They were the strongest couple I know and I’m not saying there weren’t any cracks in their marriage but they held them together so well, I didn’t see any of them.
Even now, I get offended when I am asked about my childhood, as though it’s acceptable that I was a victim of domestic abuse if I witnessed it at home. This question make it sound as though the abusive relationship I was once in was my parents fault. No, it wasn’t. When I am asked why didn’t you just leave, it’s someone blaming me for staying and not blaming my abuser for their behaviour.
Blaming behaviour helps no one other than allowing the abuser to carry on abusing. Such behaviour is as equally as damaging as the abuse itself. In the fact that seeds of doubt are planted into the minds of victims, blaming themselves prevents them from speaking out and stops them from leaving the abusive relationship, therefore, endangering them further.
Words are so very powerful and as equally dangerous too – especially to anyone living with an abuser, this is why society as a whole needs to be educated about the complex cycle.
There is never an excuse to abuse – ever, however, an abuser will always blame their behaviour onto someone or something else rather than taking responsibility for their own actions.
Living inside a tangled web of lies and abuse is never an easy situation to be in yet everyone else feels if they blame everyone that surrounds domestic abuse it justified such behaviour somehow. It doesn’t. Declaring that a victim is responsible for another person’s actions and to hold them accountable for such action is deadly because it gives the abuser the green light to carry on.