Call A Thing A Thing: It is Judgment

by Sandra on October 6, 2014

I encourage those women who have survived and arrived as conquers of domestic violence to tell their stories. You need to tell it. Other women need to hear it. Society has painted domestic violence as our nation’s dirty little secret. Many of us have been too embarrassed to tell our stories—until now.   The violence is wrong. The abuser is wrong. Women who have been abused have done nothing wrong. Let’s do something right! I want to challenge all who have made it out of abusive relationships to go back and lend your sister a hand. Share your testimony. Let her know that she is not alone. You just may save another woman’s life!

Even in the mist of sharing our stories we will still have those individuals who will insist upon asking ignorant questions of survivors. With smug condescension they will ask, “Why don’t you just leave?” Perhaps they expect a woman to say, “Because I enjoy being beaten, humiliated, raped, and degraded on a regular basis,” or “I want to see how long it will take him to finally kill me.” Again, no one has the right to question or judge a woman in this way! Make no mistake. It is judgment. It is a continuation of the abuse a woman has already suffered. It insinuates that she, the victim of abuse, is to blame for the abuse. She is not to blame!

There are many complex reasons that may cause a woman to remain trapped in an abusive situation. Friends, family members, and others may mean well. Yet and still, only trained domestic violence counselors and/or other qualified mental health practitioners really know how to counsel these women properly. For instance, women may remain in abusive relationships due to the desperate housing situation that exists in this country, the fact that women still make considerably less for every dollar men earn, and the fact that when a woman leaves an abusive partner her risk of death is significantly higher than at any other time in her life.

Those of us who would condemn and judge a woman for staying with an abusive partner could make better use of our time and energy by voting, lobbying, and working to change society. Also, if you see a woman being assaulted, do not just stand there watching. Do something! If you hear a neighbor being beaten, don’t just turn up the stereo. Do something! Call the police, at least. Too many women are battered while people just stand around watching. This is so evil. Do not judge battered women. Help them!

It takes a lot of courage for a woman to finally speak with someone about the abuse she has suffered. She may seem nervous and unsure of herself. Her greatest fear is that people will believe his pretty lies instead of the ugly truth. Individuals who abuse are good actors and manipulators. If she has decided to leave the relationship, support her. Leaving an abusive relationship is difficult and potentially very dangerous. Validate her, honor her feelings, and listen to her account of the experience. Assure her that the abuse is not her fault and that she is not responsible for her partner’s actions. Remind her of the beauty she possesses inside. Assure her that you are there for her. Tell her about God’s great love. Please remind her of the gifts of God and that her life can be healed and restored. Above all, pray for and with this hurting woman.

I am my Sister,

Sandra

 

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