It seems easy, or obvious a victim of domestic violence should tell someone, because someone can help, right? Many dv survivors don’t talk about it until after they leave. They’re judged harshly for it.
From the outside:
People in a dv situation are isolated. Even when the outside world experiences them as outgoing, confident, and successful, they’re isolated. Contradictions like that lend to the fucked up way our #culture dismisses, shames, and outright doesn’t believe #dv victims. Dave Pelzer wrote about his abuse as a child and has persistently been dismissed like Dr. Ford is now. More headlines about Nigella Lawson focused on her behavior instead of her suffering at the hands of a violent husband. Rihanna’s anger at snapchat for an outrageously offensive ad shows how casually it’s taken by too many.
From the inside:
The person in a dv situation asks themselves questions every moment of every day.
If my abuser changes, how can i take back talking about this?
How will my family react to this?
What if my abuser finds out i talked to someone?
I’m embarrassed/ashamed, why would i talk?
Will I lose my job?
Who will believe this shit?
The #isolation impact can be paralyzing to dv victims, abusers rely on it and use it to their advantage. Dv survivors often blame themselves, they don’t need questions that feel like judgement.
No one knows how they’d react to being abused until it happens. You can’t assume you’d do things differently. So don’t. Listen. Be there. Give them a thousand chances to talk to you.