flying through clouds of uncertainty on wings of existential dread
We’ve all been talking about spousal abuse a lot lately, for reasons I’m sure you’re aware of. I just want to add my voice to the many people asking you not to victim-blame the abused. Don’t ask why they stay if it’s so bad. Don’t make them feel more like it’s their fault than they already do.
It’s so, so hard to turn your life upside down when someone has been training you to be obedient to them, and to be terrified of them. It’s dangerous to stay with an abuser, but it’s also dangerous to leave — that’s the time a lot of women (and some men, but primarily women) are murdered, because they tried to escape. What do you do if you have children, and no car, and no money of your own, and no friends or family because your abuser forced you to cut ties with them years ago? What if you’re constantly monitored? What if you fear for your life and your children’s lives more by leaving than staying?
And of course, if I could, I’d tell every woman to run for her life rather than stay another day. There is help out there; there are people who can help get you away and hide you and your children. Don’t tell him you’re going; don’t give him a chance to keep you there or kill you, just run.
Still, it’s not so easy to do, and no one has the right to judge another person for the dangers they’re forced to face. No one can blame an abused person, after years of grooming and mental and emotional and physical battery, for surrendering to their abuser. Sometimes surrender is all they can find to do.