The abuser is to blame. Yet some people blame the victim too. “She knew what type of man she was getting into a relationship with!” “She must be so naive to believe that he is sorry!” And other judgements. “Probably she is as bad as him!” “She must have done something to provoke him!” “What sort of a woman would get involved with an abusive man? She can’t be very intelligent!”
I’d like to address the above unfair judgements, and to dispute them. They are not based on reality.
A woman who enters into a relationship with an abusive man does not see the full extent of his nastiness in the early, honeymoon stage. There may be signs of an abusive character, especially in hindsight, but basically a man will be wearing a mask in the beginning stages of the relationship. He wants to “catch her” and “reel her in”. He wouldn’t be able to do that if he were to show his true colors when originally courting her.
When a good person hears another person apologize for something and promise to not do that thing again, why would she not believe him? If she apologized and vowed to not do something again, she would mean it!
Is it likely that she is as bad as him? No. It is not usual for an abusive person to abuse another abusive person.
Even if she did provoke him, there is no excuse for abuse. Ever.
No woman is immune from being a victim of Domestic Violence. She might be of any race or ethnicity, of any level of intelligence, from any socio-economic background, any age. The bottom line is that it is never the fault of the victim.
-Written by Tracy-Lee Neville, VOW member.