When a woman shows up with a black eye, do you look for a reason to excuse his violence?
When a woman is embarrassed about the verbal assaults she endured last night, do you look for a reason to excuse his violence?
When a woman tells you her husband expects her to give up her job and her independence, do you look for a reason to excuse his need for control?
When a woman shares her fears about her partner’s cyberstalking and tech intrusions, do you look for a reason to excuse his obsession?
When a woman confides she had to go to the ER to treat her injuries, do you look for a reason to excuse his violence?
When a woman tells you she cannot seek distance and protection because he controls the money, do you look for a reason to excuse his power and control?
When a woman ends up dead due to his violence, do you look for a reason to excuse his murderous actions?
“But he had a terrible childhood.”
“But he never healed from his own trauma.”
“But he is controlled by his addiction.”
“But he’s only violent when he’s drunk.”
“But he just hasn’t learned how to manage his anger.”
“But she provoked him.”
“But he is under a lot of stress.”
We claim we do not understand why women don’t just leave. Yet, we give her all the ammunition she needs to betray herself, over and over.
Yes, abusers have their undeniable wounds. They get to seek their own healing too.
Their wounds will NEVER be a good excuse for their violence.
Somewhere along the way, we have developed the belief we must endure violence and mistreatment, if we can find proof the offender is disturbed, wounded, traumatized, or sick. And in every situation I am aware of, that proof is readily available.
But sickness is not a good justification for enduring abuse. In fact, I would argue enduring the abuse only creates a greater level of sickness.
It’s time we take responsibility for our damaging beliefs, perpetuating cycles of abuse and sabotaging our own ability to leave situations that are unhealthy for us.
What honors you, honors everyone.