It’s funny in a very unfunny way how little consideration is given to life after an abusive relationship for the survivor. Lots of discourse on treatment for the abuser, and lots of debate about what survivors should have done, could have done, or whatever. But no one really talks about what it means to move on, or how survivors have to navigate abuse culture which includes societal pressure to forgive & forget all while dealing with being blamed for not leaving sooner, or for fighting back, or for provoking their abuser, or whatever else people think up to say makes them complicit in their abuse. Everyone has a list of ways survivors should react, but no one seems to give a damn about how they want to live or what they might need to survive. Why is that I wonder?
It gets especially fucked up when you toss in race & consider how much of an impact racism has on reporting rates in black communities. Those same communities where black women are 35% more likely to be victims of domestic violence are places where the police literally can’t be trusted. And so you have to balance that alongside trying to save your own damned life. And really, even if you call the cops chances are low that the law will do much. So there’s all of that & then there’s the conversations about black men, privilege, & misogyny that are almost impossible to hold without rancor, but which must be held anyway. Survivors are navigating a whole lot of mess without a guidebook, but everyone thinks they should be an example.
All of these complicated social & personal dynamics that no one knows how to make work, but the second someone hurts you’re then you’re supposed to be an expert. Like how the fuck does that work? You’re just trying to get yourself together & everyone’s got a list of things that would make them feel better about your situation. Meanwhile there’s actual day to day life to worry about navigating. You know all those mundane details that require you to get up & face the day even when what you really want to do is go back to bed & stay there. And you can’t avoid those tasks because well, life goes on right? Right. So, you have to recover, rebuild, & be a role model or some such shit all with no guidebook, & very little in the way of practical support. Abuse culture at its finest.