Friends and loved ones will tell a victim to leave or get help. Yet rarely in my observations does anyone speak up and say "Hey, talking to him/her like that is not ok".
I would like to understand this.
I think It's the same reason laws were changed enabling law enforcement to press charges regardless if the victim is on board or not.
[This message edited by Rainbows at 9:00 AM, December 6th (Friday)]
Abuse tends to thrive on secrecy. The victim may know that they will pay a huge price if someone stands up for them in front of the abuser and beg friends and family to stay out of it.
Of course, in the case of a child, I would never hesitate to speak up and to take it to authorities. The key is to be able to do something concrete in the situation to help the victim.
Also, people are cowards. They are afraid the abuser will then turn their abuse towards them.
We need to, as an entire society, speak up about abuse. Silence is what allows abuse to continue. I now speak out about my abuse. I'm doing what I can in my own little sphere of influence. More people need to speak up. Even people like Patrick Stewart are now speaking out about the abuse they've witnessed. The time is NOW for our entire culture to end abuse.
I can't blame someone for not saying something. You risk losing a friendship and the person is probably going to stay anyway. There's really not much of an upside, and I'd want to maintain the friendship so that I could be there for her if she ever decided on her own to leave.
I haven't been in that situation in many, many years, and I'm honestly not sure how I'd react.
Married: 11 years, no kids
The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. -Michelangelo
This experience gave me a lot of insight into family abuse. No one wants to admit there is abuse in their own families, that their own spouse or parent or sibling is abusive. It's like the brain shuts off. It's a survival mechanism. I am more understanding of the acceptance family members had of abuse issues. It used to infuriate me. After I've seen grown women who probably would never think they would sit by and let this happen in front of their eyes, did just that, I see how it happened in my own family so easily.
Then what really stinks is, after the abuse, they take the side of the abuser and close out the victim. It's part of the denial. It's a common social reaction that adds more pain for the victim. It feels really horrible and alienating to be on the receiving end of this.
[This message edited by InnerLight at 7:45 PM, December 6th (Friday)]
It takes, on average, 12 instances of horrible abuse before a victim can actually *see* what is going on....because, well, the abuser has them brainwashed.
Most of the time, if you speak up in a forceful manner, the victim will withdraw from you. It takes a very skillful act of tightrope walking to get through to an abuse victim, because they are sooo damned brainwashed. The Stockholm Syndrome kind of illustrates this pretty well if you goggle it.
Many victims never get out and live with it their entire lives, or are killed by their abusers. Sad but true.
Some abusers make me want to organize a vigilante justice group. Seriously. I've lived it, and I've seen too many others trapped in the same hell.
I always say....."I have no fear of hell, I've already lived there, and I survived".
On that note, I do try to gently nudge someone I see being abused out of the situation, and try to point them towards resources that will help them turn their lives around. Sometimes it works. Most of the time it doesn't.
[This message edited by exhausted lady at 7:11 PM, December 8th (Sunday)]
God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to
change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me.
"I have no fear of hell, I've already lived there, and I survived
The best thing you can do if you know someone that is a victim of abuse is to just gently let them know that you are there for them in any way if they ever need you. You can be kind of subtle about it...when they are ready, they may let you know. But you can't force them to leave, and they won't leave until they are ready.