I am a woman, and I am an atheist.....and have escaped from the abusive relationships of my past and I now want to give back. This is a topic that is "skidded over" through the horrific consequences of religion, but I haven't seen the topic come up recently on TA as it's own separate entity of discussion. My goal around this conversation is for women to come together who either: 

1. Have been in an abusive relationship and escaped,

2. Are currently IN an abusive relationship and don't know what to do and are looking for support, 

3. For any men who are allies who want to add their comments/insights to be able to do so. 

There are lots of resources in many placed in the US, I don't know about the rest of the world, but I think that even still there is a lot of discrepancy and confusion about what domestic violence IS and there's a lot of people who are in abusive relationships that don't think that they are abusive, they just see them as normal. Also there's a lot of misconceptions and myths portrayed by media. I hope together we can blow a hole through all of that and get down to some real truth on the matter, as well as support anyone who may be going through it, to give them a safe place to fall....

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It seems that too often, the message of religion is wide open to being twisted or misused to support an abusive point of view.  Something that gets inside your soul like both religion and an abusive person, may do a lot of damage. 

Circumstantial situation causes many women to stay with their abused partners from what I have seen. Especially if there is a child involved. Some women can't runaway and live independently, some fear they might lose their child forever, some feel that they need to stay to keep the illusion of a "family" for the sake of the child growing up in a "normal loving household"

In other cases it is because of religion. I know in Islam it says if your wife is disrespectful, you can lightly hit her, but can't cause any physical damage or pain that would hurt her. But of course that doesn't stop the losers from abusing that and hurting their wives. Now of course the dogmatic ideology of even being allowed to hit your wife in itself is completely ridiculous.

The biggest things with these things is, the woman needs to feel safe and understand that they can survive on their own without their abusive partner. Once they understand that, they will have the courage to leave away from abusive relationships. We need to educate women on these things. Obviously easier said than done, but it's a start.

Just to add another thing, I personally have never had any experience with men who are abused by their wife, but I'm sure its exists and Im sure the same thing applies to them

glad to hear you are doing well now Bella and that removed yourself from such environment. How is your son doing and is with you now?

"He's 3"  Hey Belle, I think it will have affected him.  It sounds like you're doing the right things to un-affect him.  I always think that these boys need to be taught to love and respect women first and foremost, and to have a strong figure in their lives so they don't end up running rampant (and blaming women/their mother). 

He needs a strong figure in his life, and that strong figure needs to be you, otherwise there's a good chance that he'll walk all over you, end up as an idiot, have a shit life, and blame you for it. 

I don't want to scare you, but you definitely need to think about this.  [conduct disorder.  There's a link to a BBC documentary here.]  I've seen the results, and they aren't pretty.  From the reading I've done, it can be counteracted by providing the right environment - a healthy bond with the mother. 

So how do you convince someone their relationship looks abusive? Particularly if they live far away? As you said, religion often works to keep people from questioning or trying to escape on their own, and most abusers are very adept at making the abused think all problems are her fault.

Thanks for the recommendation of the book. 

"Is a great way to help a woman without thinking you have to "fix her."

I've done that once, I don't know what happened in the end, but she said she loved me, I looked beautiful, I had some balls and "thanks mate".  All in an innocent way - she's innocent as the day is long.  Next time I saw her she was growing dreadlocks.  I'm pretty sure they're still together, but it will have shown both of them an example.  "Show" rather than "tell". 

I went through a lot of crap to ensure that she internalized the right model and was empowered to realize that she's the brains of the outfit.  [he's the one with conduct disorder, so I took that into account.]  

A woman once told me that it was the emotional abuse that was the worst. There would be a build-up over a few weeks of “small incidents” from demeaning comments about her looks or how she did things. Her self-esteem was so low that she nearly came to believe “that she would be nothing without him”. She was almost relieved when the punch finally landed because it meant he would leave her alone for a few weeks. She eventually escaped and is happily remarried to a real man. She has not accidently walked into a door or hit herself in the eye with a brush since.

One thing I have noticed over the years is that all abusers are weak people. They only get a semblance of power by being bullies. They confuse this stolen power as being strength. They are never strong men though. They spend all their time cultivating a perception of saintliness with their partners’ family and friends. They usually crumble quickly enough once challenged because they are weak.

So if you think you are in an abusive relationship you most likely are in one. Get out. Seek help. Life will get better.

Another Book

Do you think it's a problem with society, or in the home?  I don't know the statistics for the different societies around the world, except I've read that in traumatized societies - caused by war, famine, disaster etc. - the rates of all kinds of abuse are much higher. 

What makes somebody abusive in the first place?  I would suggest it's a nasty snarl-up of circumstances.  Perhaps a combination of - checklist -

  1. the child has a disrupted, dysfunctional relationship with the mother or father
  2. the child is spoiled and lionized
  3. the child is taught to express their weakness through bullying others, he or she is never taught the right way to approach having to look small

Conversely, many people may go through one or two of those things, but don't go on to become seriously abusive.  I find it's because somewhere, they've learned compassion and humility and don't want to repeat the mistakes they've witnessed. 

It sounds like he's realising the error of his ways, and what he's lost through his behaviour. 

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