As a friend, family member or co worker of someone we know or suspect is going through some form of abuse, we want so badly for them to ‘wake up’. We want them to leave. We want them to be the vibrant, successful, beautiful, talented people that has somehow gotten lost. For some victims of abuse, they’ve never known they had it. How they live is a product of what they’ve grown up with and come to accept. It’s what their self esteem has been reduced to. Why can’t a victim of abuse see what everyone else sees? I once had someone tell me that every time she saw her female relative, she would ‘get on her’ about why she keeps staying with that no good husband of hers. She’d tell her how crazy she was for staying, how that could never be her, etc… Now, the female relative doesn’t come around at all. The woman sharing this information said that it’s the husband keeping her away from everyone. And, while that may be true to a certain extent, I challenge those reading this post to consider a different point of view.
Consider this. How many of us have you’ve gone to a fine restaurant in another area which serves the very foods we enjoy, but you’ve experienced lousy service? You may decide to go back a second, maybe even a third time, just to give the place a chance. Again, presentation of the food looks good, but you notice the service is consistently the same if not worse. However, there is a restaurant in your area that serves the same food with basically the same horrible service. At some point, most of us will stop patronizing the restaurant that is farther in distance and just continue eating at the one closer to home. At least there, you know what you’re going to get, and you don’t have to travel as far to get it. Actually, what SHOULD happen is that you stop giving both places your time and money, as it appears neither are appreciated.
The same is true in domestic abuse relationships. Why would a victim of abuse continue to go visit friends and family knowing that they’re going to hear a lot of negativity regarding a fact that, believe it or not, they already know. They can stay home for that! Again, its not what is the most desired, but you know what you’re getting and you don’t have to travel far to receive it. And, again, what SHOULD happen is that the victim of abuse leave both situations and seek help. If you really want to help someone, practice ways to encourage and empower the individual. Be supportive and expose them to situations that will actually aid them in making the right decision, which is of course, to leave. Victims of abuse are more likely to do so when they know there’s a support system in place.