Posted by: anniewilson | March 30, 2009

Rihanna won’t cooperate with the cops…Surprise!

How odd that people are pulling back their support of Rihanna because she “isn’t helping the district attorney prepare his case against (Chris) Brown for allegedly beating her to a pulp”. Roger Friedman of Fox411 submits that, “while victim earns the public’s sympathy, enabler doesn’t.” I’m not sure where Rihanna lost the label of victim, but those who commit domestic violence wouldn’t do it twice if their victims didn’t “enable” them to some degree. Enabling is an integral part of the domestic violence pattern. It simply cannot exist without an enabler.

Has Friedman not heard that, “Domestic violence victims may minimize the seriousness of incidents in order to cope”? To admit the truth would be devastating to the victim.

On top of that, “Perpetrators of domestic violence may constantly criticize, belittle and humiliate their partners. Causing the victim to feel worthless, ugly, stupid and crazy does not allow for a survivor’s healthy self-perception. Low self-esteem may contribute to victims feeling they deserve the abuse, affecting their ability to see themselves as worthy of better treatment.”

That is so true. As bright as I like to think that I am, I’ve fallen for the manipulation of abusive men in the past. I even married a couple of them.

When I would call the police for help, my ex’s entire family was behind him and wondering why I had called the police on him. My own family wasn’t very supportive one way or another, they had their own share of violence over there. So, all I heard was how I was wrong for calling for help. No one mentioned that my husband might have been wrong for throwing me down the stairs.

And then, every single person who found out about the abuse asked the same question…”What did you do to make him so mad?”

I would want to scream when I heard that. What COULD I have done that would have justified the violence? I certainly didn’t hit him first. That would never occur to me. He always knew that he was stronger and he was never, ever intimidated by me until after our divorce.

But, I would answer that question anyway…with a lie. I would say, “I bought regular Captain Crunch instead of peanut butter Captain Crunch.” They rarely knew how to respond to that one.

Men don’t usually hurt women on the first date. They don’t know them well enough. There’s a chance that a chick could know karate and she might take his ass out. Abusers choose their victims carefully and one of the signs of a good victim is that they don’t think enough of themselves to fully realize exactly what’s going on.

If the “public sympathy” is sincere, it will occur at all phases of the domestic violence, not just the bruised phase. If it’s not sincere, it’s shouldn’t be an issue at all.

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Responses

  1. “Causing the victim to feel worthless, ugly, stupid and crazy does not allow for a survivor’s healthy self-perception. Low self-esteem …”

    Aaah- the endless blaming of another person’s actions for our own shortcomings. Self-esteem is maintained by the SELF- that’s why it is called SELF-ESTEEM. No-one else is responsible for our own self-esteem, only ourselves!

    My wife does exactly the same, however, I understand she needs to let off some of that insidious odour that SHE builds up inside of her and as a woman, I can’t expect her to get rid of it another way. I don’t let it get to me- simple as! BUT I know when enough is enough and if she doesn’t stop, I usually ignore her(what else can one do?) or walk away for a while until she’s ready to let go of her ego, stop acting like a child, humble herself and let us talk it out as adults.

    Unfortunately- as with lots of married people- esp. women- she has recently gotten the idea- from her new GFs- that somehow that is emotional abuse. Go figure- no responsibility/accountability whatsoever. I need to start thinking about my own future…

  2. I absolutely know what you mean. Of course we’re responsible for our own self-esteem. You and I know that because we have a healthy dose of it. People who don’t, either because of abuse as a child or simply immaturity as an adult, can’t fathom what we’re talking about. They haven’t given it thought, prefering instead to be caught up in drama. I understand that. But, I was specifically discussing physical abuse, hell, it’s emotional abuse to make you feel as you do!

    But the idiocy of some doesn’t erase the validity of my thoughts.

    : )

  3. True we are responsible for our own happiness. My theory is some of us through our parents we have very low expectations for a relationship, marriage, partner, etc.

    Sadly I feel we set our expectations based on what we saw in our parent’s behavior.

    Sounds like you have broken the cycle though, keep your head up!

  4. I always do! You’re exactly right. I remember once when I was in 5th grade, my teacher, Mrs. Nichols, was playing the piano as we all sat around her singing. I was right behind her and when she stopped, she turned around and said, “My, you have a lovely voice!”

    That meant so much to me for years. Then it occurred to me why…it was the only nice thing anyone had ever said about me. I had to do a LOT of thinking but I think I finally figured it out.

    : )


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