Friday, April 8, 2011

Abusive Men and Their Allies

“One in three women may suffer from abuse and violence in her lifetime. This is an appalling human rights violation, yet it remains one of the invisible and under-recognized pandemics of our time. Violence against women is an appalling human rights violation. But it is not inevitable. We can put a stop to this.”
– Nicole Kidman

Abusive Men and Their Allies helped me understand why so many men get away with being abusive.  Bancroft first outlines the tactics an abusive man uses to get allies.  An abusive man needs allies in order to protect himself.  He doesn't want to have to explain his behavior and is looking for validation because he feels guilty.  The abuser looks for allies from a variety of different places, generally from individuals who are close to both himself as well as his partner.  They can be relatives, police, psychologists, friends etc.  For some of the abuser's allies, the side with him because they do not want to believe that he is abusive.  For others, generally those closer to the victim, the abuser takes his time to get close to them in order to manipulate them into believing that he is a good guy.

"Stay away from people who aren't good for you, who don't understand, who say things that push you down into self-blame."
-Lundy Bancroft 

Besides the individuals within the abusers web of allies, society plays a key roll in the abusers ability to get away with his wrong doings.  There is a stigma in society that says women are supposed to make their marriage work.  If something is wrong in the relationship, it is the woman's fault.  Women also have the stereotype of being irrational, emotional, and over dramatic which plays into the abuser's ability to get people to side with him.  The silence surrounding domestic violence is only just recently beginning to be broken, making it more difficult for abusers to get allies.      

This area of study needs more research.  It is difficult to find any hard facts about abusive men and their allies.  Most of the information i was able to find was intertwined in other pieces of work relating to domestic violence.  I think it is an important area of study and hopefully as issues surrounding domestic violence become less taboo, more information will be available.

This website presents the opinions and questions of people who witness as well as an explanation of why those opinions and questions are not rooted in reality.  Many of the questions have the tone that accusatory tone that society has determined such as "I know him-he would never do that" and "well she must be doing something to provoke it."

I included this website because it talks in depth about emotional abuse and the rights of people involved in an abusive relationship.  I feel like emotional abuse is an important topic to emphasize because it is to easily overlooked and ignored.

This article addresses the negative side effects that abused women encounter when trying to seek help.  I found it relevant because many of the negative effects are caused from the women having self doubt and guilty feelings that are instilled in them from their abusive husband's allies.

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