Ray Rice a famous football player is in the news right now for punching his wife, rendering her unconscious and then dragging her unconscious body out of an elevator. I would not encourage you to watch the video of it…it’s out there. IF you have seen it consider that statistically it is VERY likely that this has been going on for awhile and is not the first time. Consider that his wife said essentially, “it’s not that big of a deal” and he did not go to jail. It wasn’t until the video was seen that the public has been truly responsive.
Domestic violence is happening everyday and statistically you know someone who is being abused. These women and men are beat down everyday emotionally and physically being told they are “worthless” or “nothing” and being reminded that “you can’t make it without me.” Or that “I own you!” How much strength/courage would it take to go against all that and say, “I am to worth it” and press charges against their abuser?
I was recently with a victim and I had to go to court. What I was struck by was that no one was there for her. Not one friend had showed up to support her. She struggled saying, “I think I can’t do this I am going to go.” Keep in mind all she had to do was show up and say something like, “yes that’s him he did it.” She didn’t want to face him. The man she fell in love with shouldn’t be the same person who was standing there. The victim forces themselves to see the “nice” person they originally connected to if only so they can maintain the belief that, “I would never stay with someone like that! This is different…” So she didn’t want to see him up there she didn’t want to face him or the relationship she had lived in. She needed friendly support and there was no one there…
BUT let’s be honest her friends had been telling her for awhile to get out. Her friends were exhausted with the drama she would report to them. They had tried tough love and it hadn’t worked. They had tried soft support and it hadn’t worked. I would suggest though that it actually did work. Everything finally did get to a point of being undeniable. Her friends did miss out on a great opportunity to be there and see all their previous support take root and action.
You need good boundaries and patience when you are being friends to a victim of domestic violence. You need extreme courage and bravery to be a victim who successfully exits an abusive situation. It is a difficult recipe to perfect. The police and justice system is just as exhausted with the issue as friends are. They expect the victim to not stand up or press charges and to be going back to the house again in another month.