Caffiend: I respect the fact that you were a cop. I was a volunteer with Victim Services, working alongside police officers on many calls. I admired their courage and compassion, their knowledge and resourcefulness, practical natures and problem-solving capabilities and many other fine qualities. We too attended many domestic abuse situations. I was always afraid, though the abuser was never on scene in our presence but his spectre always loomed large to me. On one call, the woman's husband had threatened her with a machete. Among my worst nightmares. Once the scene was secured the officers left. We were helping the lady to pack and leave her abusive husband. I tried to settle down my extreme anxiety but couldn't manage it, worrying that her husband would burst through the door any minute swinging his frightening weapon. Finally, I told myself that as civilian volunteers we didn't need to be alone on a call that provoked such fear and I called the police to come back, which they did. I admired them for facing such situations potentially on every shift. Truly, they are the ones who run towards danger when every human instinct is to flee.
I spoke to many well-educated, bright, capable women who had good careers, who were also being abused by their partners. One told me that she knew for a fact that even if she moved across Canada she still would not be safe (and her circumstances were such that that could well have been true; can't go into details).
There are many reasons that women find themselves in such a situation as well as myriad reasons that they have trouble getting out, among them lack of resources, not knowing how to handle it, thinking or hoping things will improve, as well as the crippling shame they feel at having to admit what's happening and tell family, friends, co-workers, employers. Their feelings towards their abusive spouse are complex and may involve not wanting to involve the police, among other reasons to stay in the situation, and stay silent.
> As a cop who worked nights, mostly, I encountered
> quite a few domestic abuse calls. Some where
> repeat customers: the victim had returned to the
> abuser. It defied common sense: "You know he's
> probably going to beat you up again, why are you
The reasons are complex, as said. It's not as simple as "why are you [still] here?"
> My theory: These victims were conditioned to be
> victims from an early age. It's what they saw and
> experienced when they grew up, and this is the
Perhaps in some instances. Not always, by any means.
> "As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool
> returneth to his folly" (Prov. 26.11).
Even as a Christian, I am repelled by this scripture in this context. People who are being abused are not "fools" or guilty of "folly". It may seem so to those on the outside who have little or no understanding of such situations. Unfortunately, such a simplistic idea is of no help to them.
Below is just one account, among countless others, of a woman's experience with domestic abuse.
"Why it’s hard for women to get out":https://www.huffpost.com/entry/domestic-abuse-getting-out-of-the-relationship_n_5c880619e4b0450ddae50077
Excerpts from above article:
“There are so many reasons women return to their abusers — financial insecurity, a lack of emotional support from friends and family and even fear of what will happen next. Sadly, nearly half the women slain in the U.S. from 2003 to 2014 were killed by their partners, and 75 percent of those homicides took place after they left.
“It’s hard to understand abuse from the outside. It’s not black and white. It’s more than just a raised fist. Abuse happens on a spectrum, and it happens slowly. Much like a lobster in a pot, you don’t know you’re in danger until the water is already bubbling around you. You’ve already been cooking for a while the first time you get hit; you just didn’t know it.
“So you convince yourself that was the first and only time, but then it happens again. By that time, you’re too scared and too embarrassed to ask for help because you’ve convinced yourself that you crawled into the pot and lit the stove all by yourself.
“When you’re in it, it’s lonely and scary, and it feels as if you’ll never get out. It is possible, but sometimes it takes a few tries. Maybe you go back because the world seems so much colder on the outside. Maybe you go back because it feels safer to be where you can see the pot. I went back in because I believed him when he said, “Come on in. The water is fine.”
“When I look back on things, it’s easy to see the cycle of abuse, but when I was in it, it wasn’t quite as clear. It’s embarrassing to admit to that, to all of it, because really, what kind of a person does let someone treat her that way? What kind of person does end up in a relationship like that?
“Apparently, a person like me.
“And maybe even a person like you or like someone you know. It’s 1 in 4 of us, and that means it’s your friends, your sisters, your accountant, even the woman in the big house on the corner. It’s so frightfully common, yet we don’t talk about it, and we should. Shrouding abuse in shame and silence protects abusers, and it keeps people from asking for help.
“My story was embarrassing, and a lifetime later, it’s still embarrassing, but if it helps even one person get out, then I’ll happily scream it from the rooftops.”
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/17/2020 02:12PM by Nightingale.