When the Victim Becomes The Enabler

This is a PSA from A Lady of Reason: If you’re in an abusive relationship, get out! It’s not worth it. He will find a way to hurt, even kill you in many cases. Words can become actions, and punches only get harder the more he knows you’ll take them. Leaving will only get harder with time. I get that it’s very scary and not all women can have the safety or means to leave right away, but do it as soon as you can! No one deserves abuse. However, when children are involved, it’s a whole different ballgame.

I will not make excuses or add caveats here. I may sound harsh, but I stand by what I’m about to tell you. If you have kids, you need to leave!!! It’s not just about you anymore now, but innocent lives who weren’t foolish enough to enter such an abusive relationship and ignore the warning signs. Just because you were put under his spell, doesn’t absolve you of being the adult and protecting your children. Parents have a sacred duty to protect their children at any cost. I get that many women feel unsafe leaving, but when you have kids, you just have to take that risk. It’s your duty to protect your kids, even at the peril of your own life. The effects of even witnessing such abuse will scar children for life, and are scarring them now. What does it say to your daughters, who watch mommy get beat up every night by a man? That men are entitled to hurt women? That women have no voice in their own marriages? What does it say to your sons? Daddy is okay to do that? Women should just take the threats and hits? Women are weak and spineless and will put up with it? In many cases too, he will branch out and abuse and hit the kids as well. If that does occur, speaking frankly, you’re the ultimate coward. If you allow him to lay hands on your kids, you absconded your duty as a parent to protect your children. Many battered women will tolerate him beating them within an inch of their lives, but leave as soon as he lays hands on the kids. Even if the abuse isn’t physical, who’s to say he isn’t with them when you’re laying in bed all alone that night? You know what I’m implying here…

There are NO excuses to stay in an abusive relationship with children stuck in the middle. He’s not just abusing you, he’s abusing them. If you let him, you’re abusing them as well, for not standing up for them. I get if you don’t have kids, you can decide when you leave for yourself, but with kids, it’s not about you. If you have kids and are enabling your abuser, you’re not a victim in my eyes. The kids are the real victims. You’re just a pathetic enabler. You are the adult here, there are resources and people who will help you. It’s up to you, not your 5 year old to reach out for help! Don’t wait for them to gain the courage to tell people at school. YOU gain the courage to make those plans to leave right now! If you left but returned, shame on you! You fell for his trickery and he will abuse you and your kids all over again. It’s the classic textbook cycle of abuse. You just sent the message to your kids that such things are forgivable, which they’re not! Look, you might be saying, “Who are you to judge???” “You’ve never been in this scenario!”… Well guess what? I don’t have to be! Everyone around you can witness the devastation to your children. Your friends who have tried to help you ad nauseum, but now have given up since you won’t help yourself. Your family who has also let you stay with them, but have had the pain of seeing their child go back time and time again to an abuser, and their grandchildren endangered. The teachers at school, who know your kids are struggling at home, who are afraid to go home, a place where they should feel the safest. The doctor, who sees the tell tale signs on you and your kids, but can’t do anything to help until you take advantages of the resources he gives you. This society in general seems to shy away from admitting personal responsibility, and embracing “victimhood”. When will people say it outright? If you stay in an abusive relationship with children involved, you’re not a victim, you’re an enabler! Please get out! Here are some resources I found to help you get started:

Getting Help with Domestic Violence Family and Youth Services Bureau

Path to Safety – The National Domestic Violence Hotline

Safety Plan for Victims of Domestic Violence

Effects of Domestic Violence on Children

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2 thoughts on “When the Victim Becomes The Enabler

  1. Wow, you beautifully described how horrible, cowardly, monstrous, and disgusting abusers can be and yet…you made the mother out to be the bad guy in the story. Dare I say to the point where you think she deserves it. Now THAT, ladies and gents, is a true conservative.

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    • ANY mother who stands by cowering while a man lays hands on their child is no longer a victim, but an enabler. Plenty of battered women draw the line when the kids get abused. A grown woman is still the adult, a child is only a child. An adult’s job is to protect a child, even at the expense of their own safety. Just like no man should ever lay hands on a woman because she’s more vulnerable and weaker physically and can’t put up a fair fight. It’s about who’s more vulnerable. There’s a picture from WWII of a mother shielding her child from Nazis with a rifle pointed to kill them. Most likely they both died, but the mother STILL put her child before herself in the face of immediate death. Now THAT’S what a mother is when driven to it! Someone who would literally take a bullet for you. Now most battered women have an at least slightly greater chance to get out before it escalates to a hostage crisis… At least in the mean time, intervene if he goes after your kids! No woman deserves an abuser, but no one else deserves to be collateral damage either due to choices out of their control. A child literally CANNOT leave and as a minor, does not have the freedom to rebuild a life like an adult.

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