Posts Tagged ‘abuse survivors’
#3 Abuser Quote
” If you leave me, I will take everything away from you and leave you with nothing”
Unstoppable Mothers © 2017
“The mother has to comply with a court order and send her child to be alone with an abusive, violent man.
This is torture for her, and for the child, when they find themselves in a frightening situation, taken from their protector and forced into contact with a man, whom they may have witnessed seeing him beat their mother or who has been abusive to them.
This is abuse by Family Court.”
“Domestic Abuse by Proxy, Family Court Abuse: Failing to Protect Children and Mothers” is a powerful and informative video released on Youtube by Family Court Abuse (UK).
This video describes how abusive ex partners will use the family court system, and manipulate the legal process, to gain control, and inflict further harm of their victims. Abusers also seek custody to cause the most damage to a former partner; by attacking her love, and maternal bond, with her child. An abuser attacks by taking a child away from their mother, and destroying their relationship. Children are also used as pawns by an abuser in other ways designed to terrorize, hurt and harass their victim.
The legal system is a minefield for an abused woman.The process of how the family court system can perpetrate and enable domestic violence to continue is also described in this video. Family court judges and professionals often lack training in domestic violence, and do not recognize the abuse. Or, the judge and professionals have been so indoctrinated in parental alienation theories, and other prejudices, that they mistake signs of abuse for parental alienation syndrome and discredit legitimate concerns. Or see the mother’s attempts to get help as a sign that something is “wrong” with her. Domestic abuse advocates and experts are rarely consulted by the court system, and a judge has the discretion to disallow or ignore evidence presented by a mother (evidence of abuse, and expert testimony is commonly discredited by judges after a mother has been falsely labelled). Obtaining legal representation is also difficult, most women go to court without an attorney because they can not afford one. An abuser with an attorney has a powerful advantage over her, and gains an ally in the legal system.
The lives of children are also endangered when Courts work to give an identified abuse custody and/or unsupervised visits. The video mentions that the Courts order “more contact than would be usual, to enable the child and father to ‘quickly establish a relationship’“. This means there is less scrutiny, and less care given to how these decisions are being made, and the effect on the child involved.
This video will be familiar to those who have experienced family court, and offers validation to what you have endured. It is also a powerful teaching tool to educate, and raise awareness, of how the family court process fails to protect victims of domestic violence and their children.
Note: The end of the video offers suggestions on how to raise awareness of family court injustices by using social media as a platform. PMA International does not offer legal advice or professional services. Reposting this video does not constitute advice or suggestion of any kind. Please use discretion, and take reasonable care, when making decisions. If you need help or legal assistance, please contact a qualified professional and/or organization.
It happens a lot more often than you might think: The woman’s own family, and sometimes some of her closest friends, end up rejecting her and buddying up to the abusive man. The horror of this experience leaves her feeling like she’s been hit by a train. How can her own people side with someone who has been so mean and destructive to her??
I’ve noticed a few reasons why these twisted alliances form. First, abusive men tend to be slick operators, and they know how to be super convincing. They also know how to read people and play to what they want to hear. I had a case, for example, where the man never went to church, but when he found out that his partner’s family was upset that she wasn’t going to church herself, he suddenly started to go to church every Sunday, and started telling her family how worried he was about her distancing herself from her faith. He didn’t actually care at all; he just knew that by presenting himself as religious, he would deepen the wedge between her and her family and get them on his side.
There other factors. Society in general tends to see it as the woman’s responsibility to make relationships work, so friends and family can be quick to blame her when things are crumbling. Another issue is that her family may include some abusive people, and those people are very quick to side with an abusive man over his victim even if they’re related to her. And finally, abuse is such a widespread problem in our society that people are afraid to look at it; so it’s easier to just blame the victim.
We all need to be aware that the woman whose own loved ones have sided with the source of cruelty needs extra love, support, and understanding from the rest of us. And if you are one of the women that this has happened to, here are some things to keep in mind:
1) You are not as alone as you feel like you are, and you can find other women who have had the same thing happen to them.
2) Just because everyone around you is acting crazy, that doesn’t mean that you are crazy — you’re not.
3) It’s extra important to work on breaking your isolation, by such efforts as attending a support group for abused women, making new friends, or starting new activities.
4) The pain of having your loved ones side against you — which hurts like hell — will get less over time, even though right now that may be hard to imagine..
5) You will eventually work your way into a healthy and renewed life, with people around you who share your values and treat you well.
Lundy’s new book is “Daily Wisdom for Why Does He Do That: Encouragement for Women Involved With Angry and Controlling Men.” It takes you, one day at a time, through a year-long process for getting strong and safe, despite your partner’s efforts to tear you down. It was released on April 7th.
Recently at a dinner party, talk turned to the current news story about Bill Cosby. As the only psychologist at the table, everyone looked at me as one person asked with intense curiosity, “How could anyone victimize women all those years, and still live with himself? How could you sleep at night?”
Since I don’t know Bill Cosby, I can’t speak for him; nor do I know if he is guilty of the accusations against him or not. But generally, in an actual situation like this, there is an answer to the question. The answer is one word: narcissism.
In many ways, it seems like it would be fun to be narcissistic. Wouldn’t it be great to go through life feeling superior to other people, and with unwavering self-confidence? Yes!
But as we all know, there is a dark side to narcissism. That unwavering self-confidence is as brittle as an eggshell. Narcissists don’t move back and forth on a continuum of self-esteem as the rest of us do. Instead, they run on full-tilt until something taps that protective shell of self-importance hard enough. Then, they fall into a million pieces. Under that fragile, brittle cover lies a hidden pool of insecurity and pain. Deep down, the narcissist’s deepest and most powerful fear is that he is a nothing.
With his brash, self-centered ways, the narcissist can hurt the people around him emotionally, and often. His deepest fear is of being exposed as “a nothing.” So he will protect his own fragile shell above all else, even if it sometimes emotionally harms the people he loves the most.
Why is the narcissist in such fear of being a nothing? Because she was raised by parents who responded to her on a superficial level, lauding or even worshiping certain aspects of her which they valued, while completely ignoring or actively invalidating her true self, including her emotions. So most narcissists grew up essentially over-valued on one level, and ignored and invalidated on another (Childhood Emotional Neglect – CEN). CEN on its own does not cause narcissism, but combined with other essential ingredients, it plays a part.
Some narcissists need to do more than just protect their shell. Their need to be special is so great that they also need to feed it with accolades, acknowledgment, or their own personal version of specialness.
This is when narcissism becomes dangerous.
There are four characteristics of the narcissist which can work together to make him a danger. They are:
The need to protect his inflated sense of self can make him desperate.
The need to feed his sense of specialness can drive him to violate others’ boundaries.
Lack of empathy for others can make him incapable of seeing when he hurts others.
His belief that he is special can make it easy for him to rationalize his actions.
Most narcissists do not pose any real danger to the people around them (except perhaps emotionally). The risk comes from #2. What’s his Special Ingredient? What does the narcissist need to feed his specialness?
Does he need to have a “special relationship” with young boys, like Jerry Sandusky (severe boundary violations)? Does he need to be seen as a mentor to Olympic wrestlers like John DuPont, as portrayed in The Foxcatcher (exploitation)?
What does the narcissist need to feed his specialness, to what lengths will he go to get it, and is his specialness extreme enough to enable him to rationalize his behavior? Those are the factors which determine a narcissistic person’s potential dangerousness.
Jerry Sandusky said that he felt his special relationship with boys was helpful to the boys. John DuPont appeared to rationalize that his money and privilege would make his minions better wrestlers.
If you have a narcissist in your life: a parent, sibling, friend, spouse, or ex, it is possible to manage the relationship in a healthy way. Your best approach is to walk a figurative tightrope. Have empathy for the pool of pain that lies beneath the surface of your narcissist’s blustery shell. Understand that he or she is protecting herself from the hurt that she experienced in childhood. But at the same time, it is vital to protect yourself as well. Keep your boundaries intact.
Do not let your compassion make you vulnerable.
To learn more about the effects of emotional invalidation in childhood, see EmotionalNeglect.com;or the book Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect.
Survivors can face an increased risk during the holiday season
This year, as you hang the twinkling lights and decorate your mantel with sprigs of holly, remember that not everyone has gotten the message that it’s a season of peace. Unfortunately, the holidays can be an even more dangerous time than normal for those at risk for domestic violence.
From the financial stress of gift buying to an overall increase in alcohol consumption, to a flurry of emotions—and sometimes stress—that accompany a plethora of family togetherness time, there are many reasons why the chance of intimate partner violence can increase during the holidays. While there is no national study to measure the exact stats on holidays and domestic violence, says The National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, they do point out that law enforcement agencies in many cities have noted more domestic violence reports on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day than on other days.
However, The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports a decrease in calls—nearly 53 percent fewer—on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Whether survivors don’t want to disturb family cohesiveness on these days, or can’t find a private time to make a call for support, advocates say the decline isn’t necessarily an indication that violence ceases on these days, reporting that calls will often increase above normal levels the days and weeks following a holiday. Many times, say advocates, survivors of abuse don’t want to disturb family rituals or separate children from their family during a holiday, regardless of abuse that may be occurring.
What can you do? If you’re currently in a violent relationship, reach out to domestic violence nonprofit, The National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233); it is available 24/7. And, remember, you don’t need to figure out an escape plan right away—you can simply call to talk. Or if you like reading first, there are many short articles covering domestic violence topics on this site. If you can’t call safely from home, call from a trusted friend’s house, your doctor’s office or a public library.
If you suspect someone in your life is the victim of an abusive relationship, watch for red flags, such as possessiveness, rigid gender roles, and overt control of deliberately humiliating one’s partner in front of others. To support a victim, The Hotline advises friends and family members be non-judgmental and supportive. “Don’t tell them what they need to do. Don’t badmouth the abuser. It’s also important to remember that friends and family should take precautions to make sure they remain safe. Sometimes when word gets back to the abuser that a friend or family member is offering advice or asking questions about the abuse, they could be putting themselves in danger.”