Many women find it hard to imagine that their partners are abusing them. Part of the struggle has to do with the negative stereotype our society has of ‘battered women’ and ‘abusive men’. If neither you nor your partner fit the stereotype, it may be difficult to imagine that you’re actually being abused.
Women who are being abused by their partners are like any other women. Some are professionals, some are homemakers, some are wealthy, some are poor. Women who experience abuse come from all racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. In the same way, abusive men don’t usually fit the stereotype. The stereotype is of men who are monstrous and volatile. It does not reflect that these men are often affectionate, charming and sociable. Some men even appear to be progressive in their attitudes about women.
The stereotype of an ‘abused woman’ may prevent women from being able to describe or identify their experiences. You may have struggled between your experience of abuse and the negative stereotype of an ‘abused woman’. We encourage you set the stereotype aside and pay attention to your experiences. Continue to read this website and see what fits for you and what doesn’t. Take what is useful and leave the rest. If you are reading this blog, it is probably because you or someone you care about is being abused. That’s a really hard thing and you need and deserve all the helpful support and information you can get.