Sefton and Liverpool Women in Business

Confessions of a Domestic Abuse Goddess – Women Who Facilitate Your Abuser

So this week has been utterly manic!  I presented my first solo radio show on the wonderful Liverpool Community Radio, I helped a wonderful group of year 10 girls host their first ever event at their academy, the final part in their education from yours truly about self employment, I taught another group about DV, I was a guest speaker on DV and mental health and I co hosted with two fabulous women who I have become very fond of, an evening all about the International Festival for Business and how women could and should become more involved!

After the guest speaking part, I got to thinking about all the people who have been involved in some way with my abusers behaviour and his desperate efforts to avoid responsibility.  You see, I talked about the great lengths he and his barrister went to, to deflect attention from the abuse I suffered, despite the fact that he was charged with assault,  and the countless other occasions he was getting charged, but I eventually was coerced into dropping charges.   They made every effort to blame me for his abuse.  And his barrister was a woman.  Now I understand they have a job to do, and often times they have mortgages and families of their own to provide for.  But with all the experience and knowledge I have gained since I left that prison sentence called a marriage, I know that most people can actually see straight through these men.  Certainly, so called professionals with vast experience of dealing with these matters can.  So it kind of begs the question, how could she?  What sort of a woman would stand up to defend a man so devoid of morals and compassion, and then say good afternoon and hour or two later in the lift?

The answer in my opinion, is actually quite startling.  And it isn’t just me.  Countless women have recalled to me stories of people they were close to, even relatives, taking the side of their abuser.  It is a heartbreaking trend, women who are in the depths of abuse, who finally try and reach out for help, have those they love or trust seemingly turn their back on them.  And it is a harrowing experience to go through, take it from me.  But for those of you who are going through it, those of you who want to support someone who are going through it, know this.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, so many more people than you could imagine understand, so many more see though the perpetrators lies, and for those of you supporting perpetrators, people know you are lying.  And they would actually have some respect for you if you just faced up to things and told the truth.

Now in my experience there are roughly three categories of women who will facilitate your abuser, and several ways in which they will do it!  I break down the facilitators into my family, his family and friends.  Although of the three, and because you can’t change DNA, the latter really needs consideration, as women who do this cannot be friends surely?

The ways you ask?  Well they can lie on behalf of your abuser, you know help spread the nasty unjustified rumours, or they can go one step further and fuel your abusers attempts to break you by going to the authorities and backing up their story.  Or they can stand by after you have disclosed to them what is happening, and pretend like you never said a word.  They can be outright hostile, or they can just remove themselves almost completely, because that is easier for them.  Whatever way they do it, these women exist, and they can make your life a living hell, sometimes even more so than your abuser, just because they are the women in your life and you expected better!

I have mentioned before the two “cousins” of mine who took the side of my abuser.  I use the word cousins loosely,  because real family loves you unconditionally.  Even if I had been wrong, they were supposed to support me.  Now I promise, I will come back to that sorry situation one day.

The sister of my abuser, now she is a sorry excuse!  The hardest part of this is for me to present the facts without sounding like a bitch, but the unfortunate situation is that it is almost impossible to.  She lacks femininity in every respect, she is masculine in both her appearance and behaviour.  Sadly, she is also quite morbidly obese.  But I don’t think that is what makes her so nasty.  I actually feel very sorry for her if I am honest.  Her mother, as I have mentioned earlier is devoid of emotion, much like my abuser, and her father was always heavily critical of her appearance.  It’s not a pleasant combination for her to have grown with, and the compassionate side of me tells me she probably beats herself up about this all the time.  So anyway, she always knew I struggled with living with her brother.  Early on, after one of the first few incidents of violence, actually one when I had tried to fight back and phoned the police, she told me that violence was normal in a marriage.  She recalled a few occassions when they had “given each other a good slap” and another time when she had phoned the police to tell them she was being raped by her husband.   Now call me weird here, but that is not my definition of normal.  Now I have no way of knowing whether that was the truth or not or just a ploy to get me to conform.  The sad thing is, in situations like this, you have no way of knowing what people have seen in their own childhoods and thus perceive as normal.  Needless to say, there was never ever any help for me or my children from these people.  Just attempts to muddy my name, get me to take the blame and preserve their “good name”.  Churchgoers, good name in the community – you know the type!

I was 8 years into my sentence, when I started associating with a group of older women.  Comfort and a feeling of safety I guess.  Now I would love to say they were achievers, or even has beens, but the truth is they never were.  They are the most ordinary of the ordinary, so they were somewhere to hide.  There were one or two who were competing with each other constantly to be the “leader of the pack”.  Constantly bitching about each other, but nice to each others faces.  I should have seen it as a warning but it kept my mind off other things.  Anyway, they decided, after I had told them numerous occasions about what I was living with, and when I had decided to leave for good, that they were going to create some fun for themselves by telling my abuser that I had been having an affair behind his back for some months.   Now let me get one thing straight, I had met the guy who is now my partner, and I realised I had feelings for him.  That is part of what spurred me on to the home stretch of getting out.  And yes I had confided in them that I was having these feelings.  But at no point did anything happen til I was well out of there.  And why?  Because my abuser wouldn’t hesitate to kill me if push came to shove.  But anyway, these delightful older women decided to tell my abuser, who they knew full well was knocking hell out of me that I had been cheating for months.  And there was their lie exposed immediately thank God which bought my children and I safety.  They went too far with their fabrication, and went too far back, so even my abuser knew it wasn’t possible.  Still, I couldn’t believe that these faux friends would go so far for their own entertainment!  They could have gotten me killed, and my children!  What fuels such bitchiness!

And so we come back to the question. “How could she”?  With time, it wasn’t that difficult to answer.  All the women who allegedly wronged me had a myriad of their own issues.  The ring leader of the two friends has had a very sad life suffering abuse at the hands of her father.  She has never achieved anything, could never rely on looks and felt largely cheated by life,  Her youth has passed her by, her marriage was by her own admission failing, so she lashed out.  She wanted someone else to feel as bad as she does.  The overweight one of the two was I think just bored and had run out of pringles, and is just plain nasty!!  The sister in law is just angry I think and possible quite scared of her brothers anger being directed at her or their mother.  Better he be someone else’s problem.

But one last thing troubles me, I wonder if these women truly understand domestic violence, in all its guises.  Have they ever seen the full definition, could they truly recognise it?  You see, as so many people do, too often these women think you have to be battered day and night to be a victim of abuse.  I wonder if in fact it isn’t spite, just plain old ignorance?

My message to you all today is this, people will let you down.  Families will lie to cover the tracks of your abuser.  Friends will leave you flabbergasted.  Don’t pay them any mind.  They are weak people and despite how you might feel you don’t need them.  You are this amazing woman who copes with things they can’t dream of, you keep going, you make your children happy and you keep surviving.  Sometimes, we have to deal with nasty bitches, but just deal with them, don’t let them define you.  Rise above it.  You are worth so much more!!

 

Stay strong and keep safe,

 

Steph xxx

 

 

 

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