Language Matters When Engaging Survivors of Domestic Violence in Discussion

Powerful Post and oh so true!!

Picking Up the Pieces

Words have the power to be dangerous, and when you are speaking in terms of domestic abuse, semantics do matter.  So often, statements and quotes offered up in attempt to encourage a survivor of domestic violence actually end up having the opposite effect.  How many of us will internalize what you said without seeking clarification, maybe being influenced to change the meaning attached to the simplest of words that could result in us reassigning blame to ourselves?  How many of us would momentarily protest but give up once we have been talked over enough?  How many of us would speak up in our defense and make our voice heard?

Opening up and holding a dialogue open about how abuse happens is imperative.  With the number of reported cases climbing, and taking into consideration the vast number of victims not coming forward, it is urgent that we talk openly about it…

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4 thoughts on “Language Matters When Engaging Survivors of Domestic Violence in Discussion

  1. This post is so true. While I appreciate any genuine kindness from those around me I sadly find that there are some still assuming that my experience was likened to being the same as any bad relationship breakdown and break up when in fact we each know it was something much more. While I am “getting over it” and genuinely making steps forward I know it shall take me that much longer. Amd while with my N I noticed some friends and family just couldn’t gage with why I simply just didn’t leave. I wish it had been that easy long before. The fact that I have since made my mistake doesn’t mean either that it all just stops.. But I am lifted by articles such as this as I truly think there needs to be more awareness on communicating to those who are victims of abuse. Thank you Carrie for this article link. X x

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    1. Tifa, thank you for your comments! I have found it all but impossible to find anyone who can or is wiling to even try to understand what it is like to be in a relationship with one of these demons. My mom is trying very hard I have to give her credit but it has taken years and it almost cost me my life. I can’t count how many times someone has said to me that I must have liked it or I would have left, or I should be happy he is out of my life and get on with it. It was SO lacking in compassion and understanding that I could have slapped them in the face. I would just shut down then and not say anything. I started to isolate myself, I couldn’t not talk about it yet no one wanted to hear it or couldn’t understand, so I just worked and stayed home. I should have gotten counseling or found a support group but I didn’t have the strength to help myself. This blog was my saving grace, the support I received here got me through.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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  2. I think this topic perfectly reflects the current state of understanding that generally surrounds most interaction between “domestic violence” victims and the rest of society, including law enforcement, the courts, advocates and supportive services. I have come to understand this disconnect between the victim’s reality and how it is generally perceived can be explained by our human nature which naturally tends to base our understanding on our own experiences. I have noticed that alot of people will tell you their thought pattern preceeding whatever conclusion it was that inspired their comment or advice. Most noteably people seem to corrilate domestic violence with the turmoil and intense emotions common of a messy divorce. I think think this happens for at least two reasons: 1) Because the phrase “domestic violence” seems to imply that the violence is domesticated, like if regular violence was a ferrel cat that will shread you to bits then domestic violence would be a house cat that doesn’t pose any real threat; and 2) Because domestic violence is not a normal experience when people learn that murderous psychopaths under the fraudulent guise of love and family are allowed free reign to prey on unsuspecting citizens and then enslave, rape, torture and exploit them for their own benefit without any significant consequences unless they actually kill someone is disillusionary to the current state of our country. To put it simply: The truth is so horrific, they can’t handle the truth.

    EVERYONE KNOWS WHY THE SLAVES DIDN’T “JUST LEAVE” THEIR MASTERS AND THE SAME IS TRUE FOR THOSE ENSLAVED THROUGH “DOMESTIC VIOLENCE”.

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    1. Truthoverlooked, You make a very good point and I agree. If the victim who is going through it can’t handle the truth and accept they are being abused it is not surprising that society can’t either especially when the N is such a good actor and presents a totally different image to the general public.
      But like you said, everyone has their own experiences that they base their opinion on and if they haven’t been there it is impossible to even find words that adequately describe the torture the victim suffers and the control the abuser has. I had never considered the “domestic” violence aspect before but you make a very good point! and you are right again when you say that they run free allowed to destroy peoples lives without consequences until they murder someone. I gave up trying to tell people what happened, my mom has tried to understand and I think she is kinda getting it after 3 years but I would try to tell people and they would get this glazed look in their eyes and I would stop mid sentence and they wouldn’t even notice. People don’t want to hear it, I don’t know if it is too horrible they can’t handle it or if it is too unbelievable and they think you are exaggerating. My saving grace was having his sister come to live with us, then I had a witness and she was the one to actually encourage me to leave him. i doubt I would have if not for her because I stayed too long.
      Thank you for your wise words.
      Hugs
      Carrie

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