Yesterday … it wasn’t good.
Something distressing from my past came back to haunt me and something in my future laid me low.
I cursed the unfairness of life on my train journey home, wondering yet again why I was the only person who DOESN’T get away with blue murder.
Instead I’m the sucker who’s expected to be resilient, get on with it, not make a fuss and be conscious of consequences.
In other words spend my whole life being sensible and responsible and DOING THE RIGHT THING when it feels like no one else bloody does.
I was looking forward to a pity cry on my walk home from the train station in the cold and darkness when I read an article in my Facebook feed that made me forget all about my own problems.
It was called The Part Women Play In Domestic Violence and it was written by a woman who should feel thoroughly ashamed of herself – Sallee McLaren.
According to Sallee “there is, in reality a 50:50 contribution to the final outcome of violence” in relationships.
Oh yes, she really thinks that. Here’s an excerpt of what she had to say:
It happens like this. Early on in the relationship he becomes aggravated for some reason and raises his voice at her. She tolerates it, lets it go by, thinks to herself “he’s not too angry – no need to rock the boat”. At that stage he is at 4/10 in his level of anger. By not objecting she has just trained him that 4/10 is acceptable. So he continues to regularly reach that level.
Then a few weeks or months later something more aggravating happens and he yells at her and swears “you bitch”. He is now at 6/10 in his level of anger. She tolerates it, lets it go by, thinks to herself “that’s not much worse than before – no point in just aggravating him more”. By not objecting, she has just taught him that 6/10 is doable and calling her a “bitch” is OK.
Eventually he escalates further and she fails to object, teaching him at each stage that his level of anger is tolerable and has no consequences. Before you know it, he has reached 9/10 and he is smacking her head into the wall and calling her a “fucking c—“.
While, of course, there is never any excuse for being violent towards a partner, she has nonetheless contributed 50 per cent to how this domestic violence situation came to be. Interestingly, the same man would not have escalated his level of anger had she objected with proper authority when he reached 4/10, threatening him in no uncertain terms that she would leave him if that ever happened again.
Ah, I see. So, if you tell a man not to raise his voice, he will stop and it won’t escalate to violence.
And if you don’t then it’s 50% your fault that he hit you.
I have never been in a domestic situation where a man has been violent towards me. I hope never to be. But I don’t for a moment think that anyone who does find themselves in such a terrible position contributed 50% to it happening. Or any per cent really.
It distresses me that Sallee would pedal such horrifying drivel when we are living in a country where domestic violence is the leading cause of death and injury in women under 45, with more than one woman murdered by her current or former partner every week.
Apparently, if you follow Sallee’s logic, it’s their fault they’re dead.
Domestic violence is a disturbing epidemic in every part of this country. You’d think the leafy, affluent region of Sydney in which I live would be too civilised for such ugliness. But domestic violence is an underground curse here too.
As The North Shore Times reports:
Sydney’s north shore is home to the lowest reported rates of domestic violence and apprehended domestic violence orders (ADVOs) in NSW, but the only women’s shelter in the region still has to turn people away.
While the official rate is low one women’s shelter in Hornsby has been forced to turn away 70 women since February.
Lifeline Harbour to Hawkesbury chief executive Wendy Carver said last year more than 98,000 crisis calls were answered at their Gordon office alone.
For example, a woman from the north shore, came to their Gordon office when she was released from hospital after her partner seriously injured her. She had an ADVO against him.
“She presented with three children and among other things, her arm in a sling after having a number of fingers cut off,” Ms Carver said.
So, so distressing.
Oddly enough the article points out how much harder it is to get an ADVO on the north shore because the area is so well off. Male partners can afford to call in barristers to represent them, which is quite intimidating to a stay-at-home mum with no independent assets.
These women also feel trapped because they can’t afford to move out and keep their kids in the same schools.
It sounds trivial but it feels very real and daunting to them.
And if they do find the courage to leave, there are no shelters for them.
It breaks my heart that women of any socio-economic background feel trapped and intimidated into remaining in a relationship with a violent man.
But how dare Sallee McLaren blame them for being beaten and killed?
As for anyone who paints themselves as a victim when they’re not … they belong in the Sallee camp of appalling women. Shame on them for trivialising the real suffering many women experience.
HouseGoesHome wishes you all a violence-free day filled with human kindness and understanding.