Abused women are all around us, they are teaching our children, driving the car in front of us, serving us in the local supermarket. Some may believe the stereotypical look of an abused woman is someone covered in bruises, sporting a black eye. Nothing could be further from the truth.
What do abused women look like?
I was an abused woman for 11 years, I was one of those respected business women who dealt with clients each day. I had friends and family and I became the master of covering the truth. I was trapped in an abusive relationship.
What happened behind closed doors, stayed there!
Abused women become very good at hiding their fears. We protect our abuser.
Why? I can only speak for myself.
I loved him despite what he was doing to me, I truly believed I could change him. Sometimes I felt it was my fault if only I had not dressed that way, not said that.
I wanted my friends and family to like him, that made him feel better about himself. I wanted to make him happy.
But there were signs, I have no doubt
I suffered a nervous breakdown and was severely depressed. I guess sometimes it’s easier to turn a blind eye when we see others suffering or in need.
I know some of my close friends knew there was something not right, but I do not blame them for not getting involved. He was very clever at what he did. I was a battered wife.
I was an abused woman for 11 years but can only remember twice ever having bruising on my face. Even when physical abuse is taking place, abusers can control where marks will appear.
Every single week two women are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales.
The aim of the behaviour, whether conscious or unconscious – is to take control of the woman’s life. Domestic violence is an abuse of power – it’s all about power and control. – Refuge
I tended to rationalise his behaviour with my own emotions; he loved me so much that he didn’t want me to work, he wanted to provide for our family.
He only got jealous because he didn’t want to lose me. Wearing makeup or short skirts may make other men attracted to me and he was afraid I would leave him.
He only got angry when I wanted to go out without him because he worried about me.
He always said sorry after he hurt me and sometimes he even cried. I hated to see him upset. I always told him it was OK, that I understood why he did it and I forgave him.
Because he was so affectionate and kind initially I believed he loved her, and this justifies the abuse.
Abused women don’t always see it as abuse
Would I have spoken out had a friend have asked me? I don’t honestly know. I was loyal to him for many years.
My controlling husband controlled me. I was a robot who was programmed by him.
You cannot force anyone to leave an abusive partner, they have to do it because they want too.
I left my abuser many times, only to return. I wasn’t ready to face life without him. I didn’t know how to live in the world without his control.
I believe there is a line. Once that line is crossed then the victim will leave. For me, that line was the first time he ever hit our children.
Ironic – I took beatings, emotional, financial and sexual abuse for 11 years, yet the first time he raised his hand to our son, I left him and never returned.
Abused women are all around us.
What did you think they looked like?