There is a stigma with domestic violence that has been around since before any of us were put on Earth. It is an enormous problem made difficult to see because those of us who are victims hide it, and also because it is hard to understand why those claiming to be close to us, end up being our abusers.
The myths that hang over victims such as “she brought it on herself” or “co-dependent” or “she provoked him” all obscure the truth.
Domestic violence is control of one human being by another. It begins with verbal abuse and is similar to mind control. The abuser attack’s his/her victim’s spirit and sense of self in an attempt to create self doubt. The phrases often used include
- “You don’t have a sense of humor”
- “You can’t take a joke”
- “You’re too sensitive”
- “You’re crazy”
- “What’s wrong with you” (the one I heard too often for many different scenarios
Women (more so than men) who have left a verbally abusive relationship find themselves wondering “Maybe there’s something I could have done” or “Maybe if I’d tried to explain better” because of the mind games verbal abuse causes. Often women who find themselves the target of controlling behaviors can’t comprehend that anyone would want to control them, so they try to be nice. However…
IT DOESN’T WORK!