Abuse & Battery

Battered Woman’s Dilemma: In a Struggle for Survival

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Olivia J. Scott Battered Woman's Dilemma

A book on Intimate Partner Violence against women. See what’s inside. Buy Now Online on AMAZON. Click HERE

Many women find themselves in abusive relationships and don’t even know they are being abused. Once trapped, they must find a way to escape! Battered Woman’s Dilemma: In a Struggle for Survival underscores some of the main challenges battered women still face in their day-to-day struggle for survival and ultimate escape from domestic violence. The struggle is illustrated by real battered women whose stories are woven into the chapters.

Society holding victims at fault, law enforcement agencies’ misunderstanding of the complexities of intimate partner violence, and the justice system and its lax attitude in adjudicating these cases help perpetuate violence against women.

Women will be able to recognize abusive relationships, understand the cycle of violence, and learn about strategies for leaving safely. The values of self-esteem and self-love, tips on breaking the cycle of abuse, and the necessity of emotional and psychological healing in the aftermath help to bring a holistic approach to understanding and ending the cycle of violence.

Now available on AMAZON.COM
Expanded Distribution channels: 6-8 Weeks

Also coming soon to Kindle (Digital download)

Thank you for your support. You are welcome to request an autographed author’s copy. I’d be happy to sign and ship it to you.

 Copyright@2015 Olivia J.Scott

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International Women’s Day: Striving Towards a World of NO Violence Against Women

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international womens dayToday we celebrate yet another International Women’s Day. This year it is being celebrated under the theme, “Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!”

According to the United Nations, “International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.” In keeping with this year’s theme, the United Nations “envisions a world where each woman and girl can exercise her choices, such as participating in politics, getting an education, having an income, and living in societies free from violence and discrimination.”

Striving for a world in which women can live free from violence and discrimination

In spite of worldwide efforts over the many years, to end violence against women, our world society is still battling with the issue of protecting women from domestic violence and abuse and abuse and violence from intimate partners.

Women’s Health.Gov reported that each year over 5 million women are victims of domestic violence! How can we end this epidemic?

CEO/Founder of this website, Olivia J. Scott, takes yet another look at this deep-seated social problem that has plagued our society for so long. To celebrate International Women’s Day and Month, her book, BATTERED WOMAN”S DILEMMA: In a Struggle for Survival, will be released in March, 2015. It will be available on Amazon.com in print and on Kindle. This much-anticipated book brings to the world the stories of real women who survived domestic violence, and highlights some of the many challenges victims face in leaving their abusive relationships.

Special attention is also given to breaking the cycle of violence and the pursuit of physical, emotional, and psychological healing and empowerment in the aftermath of the violence.

See Video below about the book

Copyright@2015 Olivia J.Scott

Comments are welcomed. Comment below

Judging and Blaming the Woman can Worsen Domestic Violence

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By Olivia J. Scott, Senior Writer, Woman to Woman Blog Talk

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If you or someone you know is in an abusive marriage or relationship, hard as it is, the only option is to leave! Unfortunately, for many women it is not that simple. In the meantime, these women are often made to feel responsible for the abuse and violence.

What is more disturbing is the ease at which some blame the woman for domestic violence committed against her, often without understanding the myriad of factors and issues at play. Ironically, women are more often the ones who are quick to cast blame. Without accepting that women are to be blamed, relevant questions are: What about the man? Should his actions be overlooked, justified, condoned?

When persons find out that a woman suffered lengthy periods of domestic abuse and violence, often the first question that comes is, “Why did you stay with him?” There is no one or clear answer to the question, and, as Psychologist Lenore E. Walker, Battered Woman pointed out way back in the 1970’s, there are “complex psychological and sociological reasons,” which help explain why women stay. As relevant as the question “Why does she stay?  may be, we have to be careful about what we ask or say in such sensitive situations. It can do more harm than good. Asking such questions can suggest that the woman either enjoyed or thrived on the abuse and is to be blamed for what happened to her. Obviously, if she didn’t like it she would leave, right? Or, is her self-esteem that low? Those are often not the reasons why a woman chooses to stay. In fact, I won’t even regard it as a choice, since often times she is staying against her will. Looking on from the outside, for example as a relative or friend, we must understand the effects of our words and actions towards the abused woman. We can make the situation worse by our approach without realizing it!

Until you are in that woman’s shoes, you will not know, as she may put it, “how hard it is to leave and how difficult it is to stay.” It’s like being “caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.”

Don’t get me wrong, this article is not meant to encourage women to stay in abusive relationships nor is it meant to justify why they do not leave. The purpose is to highlight key reasons why some women stay and, perhaps more importantly, to caution victim-blamers. As a person on the outside, the key role is to support, not to judge and blame. Blaming the woman even after she quitted the violent relationship can also have adverse effects. 

Some things victim-blamers and people generally should understand 

  • Victim-blaming can breed dangerous consequences for the victim, e.g., cause her to lose self-esteem, and ultimately stay in her situation in fear of being further judged, humiliated, embarrassed, and isolated by those to whom she tells her story. Make no mistake, victims need help and a safer place to stay. But, your duty is not to add salt to her wounds. If she stays on, she can eventually wind up badly injured or dead!

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, you must also understand that abusive relationships don’t start with violence. One expert pointed out that abusers slowly gain control over their victims by first isolating them in manipulative ways, such as asking them to stay home and spend time with them instead of going out with friends. Over time, the victim’s friends stop reaching out to her. The same kind of manipulation works to push away the victim’s family. Eventually the psychological manipulation turns to physical violence. By then, the victim has usually been in a relationship with her abuser for a long time. It’s hard to judge the decisions a victim makes to survive. But people nonetheless jump to victim-blaming with ease.      

Also, victim-blamers often don’t understand that abusers work to break the victim’s self-esteem. Even though victim–blamers know the abuser is the villain, they will still jump to the conclusion that a woman who stays with such a man is clearly a fool—one who chooses to condone the situation.

Blaming women for causing men to batter them has resulted in their shame, embarrassment, denial, and further loss of self esteem. The batterer feels justified in his violent behavior because society says it is really the woman’s fault, not his. It perpetuates his notion that he should beat her up because she did something to make him angry. What gets lost in this victim’s precipitation  ideology is the fact that such violence is not acceptable behaviour.” (Walker)

Be non-judgmental. Instead, try to understand the issues and why the woman stays without directly seeking answers from the victim herself. Think about it and ask yourself what obstacles might prevent her from leaving her partner. Does she love him? Is he the father of her child/children? Does he control the finances?            

Why some women stay            

There are a number of reasons that can explain why many women feel forced to stay in their abusive relationships. Some common reasons are:

  • Lack of resources
  • Responses by services and authorities
  • Tradition

Lack of resources 

He is the breadwinner and I don’t have money to take care of myself and children” is a common answer to the question, “Why stay?” When she does not have the financial resources to leave she doesn’t, as she often fears a lower standard of living for herself and children. Statistics show that many abused women are those who are:

  • Unemployed and/or don’t have their own property;
  • Have had their cash or bank accounts cut off by the abuser;
  • Have at least one minor child;
  • Fear losing joint assets and custody of their children, etc.

Responses by authorities and services 

The police, clergy, and social workers have duties to deal with domestic violence. The question is how effective are they in dealing with them? Unfortunately, in some countries or states, police may sometime treat incidents of domestic violence as mere “domestic disputes” or a “private matter,” rather than as serious crimes in which one person is physically assaulting another. Fortunately, many if not all U.S states strive towards a zero-tolerance approach to domestic abuse and violence. As an option, a restraining/protection order can be obtained to prevent further physical contact/abuse by the abuser, but such orders are not a guaranteed shield against a repeat of violence.

Tradition     

Tradition can be good but sometimes it can be our worst enemy. Suggest divorce as an option or the way out of her violent relationship and the victim will almost always look at you as if you’re crazy. Paranoid about saving her marriage—sadly at all cost, she may accuse you of wanting to break up her marriage. Blame it on tradition. Society is so skewed in its thinking that it sees and measures a woman’s worth by her ability to ‘keep a man’; that women are responsible for making their marriage or relationship work; and therefore if it fails, they have failed.

At the end of the day, breaking off the relationship is usually not an option for many of these women—well, at least, not a simple option, especially when children are involved or if the victims are financially weak. As a last resort and by the time she could muster the courage to cut her losses, she would have already lost a lot of herself.

Remember, support NOT judge and blame. By perpetuating the belief that it is rational to blame the victim for her abuse, we ultimately excuse men for their crime…The violence will only cease when every person, man or woman, stops defensively rationalizing and begins to understand just how such acts come about in our culture and why they continue.” (Walker)

Women, you have an even greater responsibility to stand up for your fellow women.

Why do you think she stays? We welcome your comments below. Let us know what you think.

Coypright, Woman to Woman, All rights reserved. Repost, July 26, 2010, first posted May 18, 2010

Jealous Men: A Disaster Waiting to Happen

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jealous men jealous over girlfrend talking to another manby Sasha Smartt, for Woman to Woman

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So your boyfriend or husband is jealous over you, and you feel nice about it, right? You think he loves you so much to the point of jealousy. Get this. Jealousy is not a sign of love and genuine attention. It is a sign of insecurity and possessiveness. And hey, that’s not cute. Rather, it can be a disaster waiting to happen!

The jealousy can be overt, clearly displayed, or covert, subtly held by your partner. I don’t know which one is “better” or “worse”, in fact, none is. The difference though is that where jealousy is clearly displayed by your partner, you are in a position to control it by removing yourself from the relationship. On the contrary, if he is jealous but hides it, that’s even more dangerous because he may just lash out at you at any time without warning, because of something you said or did that he perceives as interfering with your relationship or his sense of security.

What kind of men are jealous?

Any type of man can be jealous, be it an educated, intelligent, high-status man or a guy with a regular nine to five who may have dropped out of high school or never attended college. So jealousy is not really stereotypical. However, men with low self-esteem and sense of self-worth are usually candidates of jealous nature.

Gimme a little bit o’ jealousy

It has been said, “A little jealousy, ironically can go a long way. Women (and men) like being loved and wanted and a secure arm around the waist drawing you in can be great fun. Small amounts of jealousy (very small in a playful way) can be attractive and sexy. But it’s knowing when things have gone too far that matters. Many women have admitted to me that a man who has not a single jealous bone in his body cannot really love her. A man needs to show he cares by drawing her in occasionally. Both parties feel good from this. But it has to be kept under control.”  (TopDatingips.com)

Jealousy as an early sign of abuse

Jealousy is an early sign of possible abusive tendencies in your partner. I must, however, make it clear that not all abusive people are jealous in nature nor are all jealous people necessarily abusive. More than that though, jealousy can be an early indicator of the potential for abusive by your partner.

“At the beginning of a relationship, an abuser will always say the jealousy is a sign of love. He/she may question you about whom you have spoken to or seen during the day, may accuse you of flirting, or be jealous of time you spend with family, friends, children or hobbies which do not include him/her. As the jealousy progresses, he/she may call you frequently during the day or drop by unexpectedly. He may be unhappy about or refuse to let you work for fear you’ll meet someone else, check the car mileage or ask friends to keep an eye on you.” (hiddenhurt.co.uk)

In addition, he may question why you’re always on the phone, or the computer, ask who you’re talking to or pass by to sneak a peek at what you’re doing, of course by making it look like he’s coming to peck you on the cheek or rub your shoulders. If you take your engagement or wedding ring off, he will notice that and ask about it, especially if you accidentally left home without wearing them.  

Jealousy may lead to or include controlling behavior by your partner, which is another sign of the potential for abuse. With the jealousy, controlling and possessive behavior, your man will gradually isolate you from all your friends and family, because he always wants no one else but him to be around you.

“It might be cute at first, but trust me, this could end up with a crisis situation where you end up trapped in a relationship because you have no-one to turn to – having been isolated from your friends because your man didn’t want you out socializing without him.  He’ll have convinced you that going out with them, girls who are only out looking for men, means that you don’t care about him.  Because you care about him, you’ll stop going out with them. He’ll separate you from your circle of friends, even family, and your contact with people other than him will become increasingly restricted.” (relationshiproadblocks.com)

Not only do you stand to lose your support groups but you can end up losing your self-confidence and self-esteem in the process.

It is a fact that many abused and battered women have reported that, at the outset of their relationships, their men were jealous and overly attentive to what they did. Because many women confuse jealousy with love, they may end up trapped in abusive relationships long before they know it.

“At any sign that your man is trying to restrict your social activity, or time you spend with friends and family, question his motives. And if it appears that he is displaying possessive and/or jealous behavior, take steps to stop this situation evolving. You need to seriously consider whether or not your relationship with him is worth it. Losing your right to socialize with whom you choose, your freedom and ultimately, your self-respect, is a price you should not be willing to pay in any relationship.” (relationshiproadblock.com)

So hey woman, watch out for those jealous kind of guys and save yourself from potential abuse!

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How to Spot and Abuser https://woman2womansite.wordpress.com/2010/09/26/how-to-spot-an-abuser/

TAKE THE JEALOUSY TEST:  For MEN only, click on link (external) below 

http://discoveryhealth.queendom.com/questions/jealousy_men_abridged_1.html