The perpetrator of Domestic Violence, the abuser, is to blame. Yet some people blame the victim of Domestic Violence too! “She knew what type of man she was getting into a relationship with!” “She could leave!” “How could she put her children through that?” “She must be so naive to believe that he is sorry!” And other judgements. “Probably she is as bad as him!” “She must have done something to provoke him!” “What sort of a woman would get involved with an abusive man?” I guess she must be lacking in intelligence.”
I’d like to address the above unfair judgements, and to dispute them. They are not based on reality.
A woman who enters into a relationship with an abusive man does not see the full extent of his nastiness in the early, ‘honeymoon’ stage. There may be signs of an abusive character, especially in hindsight, but basically a man will be wearing a ‘mask’ in the beginning stages of the relationship. He wants to ‘catch her’ and ‘reel her in’. He wouldn’t be able to do that if he were to show his true colors when originally courting her.
When she knows how bad things are, she could leave, yes. But it is not as easy as some may think. She may hope that he is going to change, for the better, especially after he has apologized and promised to “not do it ever again”. If they have children, she may stay, wanting to keep the family together. She may have no personal monetary income, let alone savings. She may be sexually addicted to her partner. She may be so used to ‘crumbs’ of affection, that the idea of having a whole loaf of affection or even slices of affection, is unimaginable to her. She doesn’t expect any better treatment than the kind she is experiencing.
She cares deeply about her children and does not want them to see her being abused, physically or verbally, and she definitely doesn’t want to put them in harm’s way. But she is not ready to leave.
When a good person hears another person apologize for something and promise to not do that thing again, why would she not believe him?! If she apologized and vowed to not do something again, she would mean it!
Is it likely that she is as bad as him? No. It is not usual for an abusive person to abuse another abusive person.
Even if she did provoke him, there is no excuse for abuse. Ever.
No woman is immune from being a victim of Domestic Violence. She might be of any race or ethnicity, of any level of intelligence, from any socio-economic background, any age. The bottom line is that it is never the fault of the victim.
For the National Domestic Violence Hotline: Call 1−800−799−7233