We would all like to think we would recognize domestic abuse, but domestic violence lies and secret are difficult to recognize. Would you know if a friend or loved one was trapped in an abusive relationship?
We become the masters of lying to cover the dark stark reality of life behind closed doors with our abuser.
Shame plays a big part. I didn’t want anyone to know what was happening to me, I felt ashamed, I blamed myself.
Because my husband was abusing me, I felt this showed what a useless wife and mother I was. It must have been my fault.
I was a battered wife but I didn’t want my loved ones to feel sorry for me or to worry about me, I had made my bed and I had to lie in it.
Domestic violence lies and secrets are believed
Over 11 years I was seen by an endless amount of health professionals, from my GP, midwives, health visitor and the police and nobody was able to spot the errors in my own domestic violence lies and secrets. They believed what I told them.
Health professionals need to be trained in this taboo topic, as it is no taboo.
One in four women has been or will be being abused by a partner.
It can take many weeks before an abused woman begins to feel she can trust a health professional.
It’s so important that professionals don’t miss any clues that the woman may be dropping, hoping that the professional will understand this kind of code speech and actually help her, without her actually having to speak the words out loud.
One of the hardest things for someone to say to somebody is “Help me”.
The way health professionals responds are vital.
They may well only get one chance, there is no room for judgement or negativity.
It takes a considerable amount of strength to confide in someone about your deepest darkest secret.
We need to listen too, we need to be told it is not our fault but most importantly we need to be believed.
Although domestic violence lies can appear convincing, it’s emotionally draining as your always thinking on your toes.
I sometimes forgot what I had said to someone.
How did you get that bruise,?
Why were you not able to go for coffee with a friend?
Why can’t your friend call for a bottle of wine one evening?
It is no exaggeration to say if you listen to abused women, you could well be able to save her life.
Can domestic violence figures ever be accurate?
Domestic violence is a secretive affair, victims are ashamed of what is happening and the abuser is a master at convincing them that they are to blame, they feel they have no way out and are too scared to leave.
One of the characteristics of abusers is they keep the abuse secret and force their victim to lie and keep their secret too.
Domestic lies and secrets are told out of fear, terrified more extreme violence will happen to them of they speak out.
My own husband threatened to not only kill me but our children if I ever told anyone and I believed him. The
The emotional abuse made me fear him more than any beating.
Others did notice bruising or marks but I was quick to make an excuse, I fell down the stairs, I walked into an open cupboard door, I had drunk too much and fell.
I don’t know if they truly believed me but nobody ever questioned my lies.
Domestic violence lies and secrets play a huge part in dehumanizing the victims who are forced to live in a tangled web of lies and secrecy.
They are certain of nothing, but fear.
Have you ever covered for your partners behaviour?
Have you ever found yourself making up domestic violence lies?