Many people believe victims of domestic abuse do not do enough to free themselves from the abuse. They wrongly believe that women impacted by abuse passively accept the violence or lack assertiveness or are somehow “damaged” in such a way that they “accept” the abuse as “normal”. Nothing could be further from the truth.
When people are treated badly in their relationship, they always seek ways to resist that treatment. Women stand up to their abusive partners in various ways. Or they will go to great lengths to try to stop or prevent the abuse. The problem is not the woman’s lack of resistance to the abuse. The problem is the abusive man’s insistence on gaining power and control over his partner by any means.
Abusive men know that their partners will resist their attempts to control them and so they take action to neutralize this resistance. For example, many women have reported to us that when their partners become verbally abusive, they will try to “stand up” to the man and insist that he stop speaking to her in a degrading way. When this happens, usually the man becomes louder and scarier. Sometimes he might even move to physically hurting or threatening to hurt the woman. The woman resists and the man squashes her attempts at resistance.
It is important that we honour women’s resistance to abuse and hold abusive men 100% responsible for the abuse.