What many people always want to know when a woman and/or her children experience violence by their intimate partner is “WHY DIDN’T YOU JUST LEAVE?”. Women are already traumatized, confused, battered, bruised and often times suffering memory loss, post traumatic stress, fear, embarrassment, etc. but on top of that they are pressured into becoming “CRISIS EXPERTS” and thus forced to JUSTIFY why the perpetrator made the choices that he did.
Many just don’t get how two people can be on the same paths and yet it takes only one to change the tides while the other continues working toward the preexisting goals and routines and maybe even all the while premeditating the safest time to leave. There are many reasons a human in any condition of abuse may find it difficult to escape. If those inquiring really want to gain an overstanding, it is the responsibility of the EXPERTS to provide information. Experiencing abuse doesn’t automatically qualify survivors as the resource for understanding the “criminal mind” or the mind of a survivor of crime.
During my guest appearance on the Naked Departure Blog Talk Radio Show, a very compassionate and empathetic host, Charlie Spice, asked questions of me that he knew the audience would want to know. He is commended for his sensitivity and honesty during this particular show. I appreciate the “ONE MIC” I was given to share and offer my story as a model of how we can help others in whatever ways they are touched.
According to Crisis Connection Inc.:
We collectively are not comfortable referring to men who choose to be violent toward their intimate partner and children, but, we seem quite comfortable referring to battered women and abused children as if they find themselves in this condition by happenstance. We routinely ignore the active agent (him) without batting an eye. We more often than not accept his hackneyed excuses of:
alcohol and/or drug use
this is the first time anything like this has ever happened, and
the most popular and well-received of all:
she should have,
if she had
if she hadn’t,
she takes “things” too seriously,
you don’t know what it’s like to be married to her, etc.
It’s as if his total refusal to accept any responsibility for his choices and actions were not his to make at all. He magically goes from violent perpetrator to victim without so much as a raised eyebrow.
In the country of Barbados where I as a tourist suffered all forms of abuse by the hands of my intimate partner, Antonio Boo Rudder, it gets even more questionable as to why he was able to abuse so many times without worry and would even taunt me when I would say: “I’M GONNA CALL THE POLICE” and his response would be: “GO AHEAD I DON’T GIVE A FUCK”. What did he know about the consequences he would face that I wasn’t aware of? Why wasn’t he “afraid” of “getting in trouble?” Why wasn’t he concerned about my health and safety? Why didn’t he CARE? It was HIS CHOICE is the answer to every question anyone can conjure. Being abused however, impairs the decision making abilities of the persons who are being beaten upside the head, kicked upside the head, verbally indoctrinated, emotionally blackmailed, and psychologically traumatized. The abuser simply fixes a cup of tea or abandons the situation and moves on to his next opportunity to use and abuse. And no one ever questions him. I want to be that change. And so I ask: “WHY DID HE STAY?”
More insight from Crisis Connection Inc.:
He does “it” because the rewards are greater than the punishment.
Rules of Consequences
1. Consequences which give rewards increase a behavior.
2. Consequences which give punishments decrease a behavior.
3. Consequences which give neither rewards nor punishments extinguish a behavior.
Barbados is a country in this WORLD we ALL inhabit and yet the responses the officials give as they too sort through making sense of human behavior and the nature of the Bajan bred person living on that unique island mass is worth noting. The Minister in fact includes in his list some of the EXCUSES experts are advising not to be considered as an accurate RATIONALE for what contributes to domestic violence. But it’s true, the people of Barbados are not fully aware of how these politicians and policies are not fully developed and thus not fully effective at responding to the HUMAN RIGHTS requirements of public health and safety:
The Barbadian Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development said that domestic violence in Barbados “‘is often fed by poverty, dependency, lack of education or capacity and the absence of empowerment'” (qtd. in Nation 30 Mar. 2011). However, sources note that the problem of domestic violence affects women of all stratums of society in Barbados (CADRES , 14; Nation 19 May 2010).
Bottom line is: WE MUST LEARN TO CARE.
Myth: Victims of domestic violence never leave their abusers, or if they do, they just get involved in other abusive relationships.
Fact: Most victims of domestic violence leave their abusers, often several times. It may take a number of attempts to permanently separate because abusers use violence, financial control, or threats about the children, to compel victims to return. Additionally, a lack of support from friends, family members, or professionals, such as court personnel, law enforcement officers, counselors, or clergy members, may cause victims to return. Since the risk of further violence often increases after victims separate from their abusers, it can be even harder for victims to leave if they cannot obtain effective legal relief. Victims who receive appropriate legal assistance at an early stage increase their chances of obtaining the protection and financial security they need to leave their abusers permanently. While some victims may become involved with other partners who later begin to abuse them, there is no evidence that the majority of victims have this experience.