Dispelling the Myth of Neutrality: The Danger of Refusing to “Take Sides” in Cases of Abuse

“It is not possible to be truly balanced in one’s views of an abuser and an abused woman. As Dr. Judith Herman explains eloquently in her masterwork Trauma and Recovery, “neutrality” actually serves the interests of the perpetrator much more than those of the victim and so is not neutral. Although an abuser prefers to have you wholeheartedly on his side, he will settle contentedly for your decision to take a middle stance. To him, that means you see the couple’s problems as partly her fault and partly his fault, which means it isn’t abuse.” ― Lundy Bancroftz

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. – Desmond Tutu





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Two highly publicized murders inspired public debate about the treatment of women in society. In May a man stabbed his Guyanese girlfriend to death as she sought refuge at a friend’s house. Three days earlier, the victim reported to the police that she had survived an attack by the same man at a bus terminal, and observers criticized police inability to prevent the subsequent attack. On August 19, a man allegedly killed his girlfriend at a fish market, where the woman worked as a vendor. The broad daylight killing spurred public demonstrations, a rarity in the country. Commentators called on the government not only to improve law enforcement response to domestic violence complaints but also to address broader societal attitudes toward women. –refworld 2013

ABUSE OCCURS BECAUSE OF THE VALUE SYSTEM PEOPLE ADOPT. Remaining neutral doesn’t help anyone in the long run. Act now. Break the silence. Hold one another accountable. Protect the children.

-Tru Focus-

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