I recently wrote an article titled “Why Judging and Blaming A Woman Can Worsen Domestic Violence”. The crux of the article was to argue that society, i.e. family, friends, social workers etc, should hold off on judging the abusive situation and blaming the woman because she is not making haste to leave and I stated why. Of course, I am not advocating that any woman should stay in an abusive relationship nor am I justifying her choice to remain.
After I published the article, I got some pretty good feedback. One particular woman from a prominent state in the United Stated wrote to me relating her own experiences. Married to her husband with whom she has a child, she tells me of the constant physical and emotional abuse. Besides the battery, she questions why the police arrested and threw her in jail instead of him on the same night she alleges her husband broke her arm.
She admitted slapping him during an argument which escalated. He called the cops after she was injured and they arrested her. I assumed she had since scrapped the marriage. Yesterday I found out she is still married and living at the same home. She penned a letter that was to me horrific. I could feel her pain as I read. She sounded incoherent at times and I knew she was crying out for help. So I told her to pray about it and also that it’s best to leave because i’m afraid it would get worse. She replied, “I don’t believe in God and I cannot leave”.
Amidst these allegations is one sure fact—a woman crying out for help. I really feel sorry for her and I don’t know how to respond or what exactly to say to her now. I’m not a professional counselor or social worker, just someone with an interest in these kinds of issues, hoping to make sense amidst the madness some women face.
Please share your thoughts so she can read your views. Maybe coming from different people, she might gain the courage and strength to remove herself and child from the situation that is obviously causing her daily pain. At the same time, we can all help women in the same situation by whatever little advice we can give. Not every woman is fortunate to have someone to tell her like it is without making her feel that she is responsible for what is happening and for not walking out immediately. To leave is always a first option. To find the courage may be a different issue altogether. Let’s have some real talk. Leave your replies. (See top right for REPLY BUTTON)
Woman to Woman, May 26, 2010