5 things I wish people knew about domestic abuse
Watching the Depp vs. Heard trial play out was truly horrifying. Yes, we know misogyny is an issue in society and yes, we know that there are many misunderstandings about domestic abuse. But, no one could have guessed it would have gone so badly for Amber Heard. These are five things I wish people understood about domestic abuse before siding with Johnny Depp.
1. Perpetrators of domestic abuse are people we know and like
1 in 4 women are abused by a partner or family member, usually a man. Abusers are amongst us; they are people we know. They are not big, built, angry guys with shaved heads, scars, and tattoos: they’re just as likely to be good-looking, sweet-talking men in suits.
Most abusers are charmers – that’s how they get victims into a relationship with them in the first place. They use these very same manipulation tactics to fool everyone around them: friends, family, social workers, juries, and in the case of celebrities cases, apparently also millions of the public. Charm, good looks and a ‘nice guy’ persona are certainly advantages for an abuser – who would ever believe they are abusive behind closed doors?
2. Victims of domestic abuse fight back
Most victims of domestic abuse are not passive. Surviving in an abusive relationship takes strength and resilience; living in constant fear takes its toll. Victims often act out of fear or resentment; they may physically fight back, yell, or carry out small acts of revenge. This is known as resistive violence.
We would applaud a woman who hit an unknown man who attempted to rape her, but when it’s her partner, apparently fighting back makes you ‘just as bad’ as the abuser.
3. Claiming victimhood is a common perpetrator tactic
Abusers often use the courts to continue their power and control after separation. This is often when we see the abuser claiming to be the victim – the very common DARVO tactic. They Deny the abuse, Attack the person accusing them (often discrediting them by talking about their mental health), and then Reverse Victim and Offender, making themselves the victim.
Often, abusers will wind up their partner, pushing all the right buttons, to provoke them to react so that they can then use this as evidence to claim the victim is the abuser.
4. Domestic abuse is about power and control
In domestic abuse, one person has power and control over the other. Often, the abuser has societal advantages over the other partner. This typically takes the form of a male partner having male privilege over a woman, but factors such as age and wealth can also be important, as with Johnny and Amber.
The domestic abuse perpetrator controls every part of a victim’s life using fear and intimidation. They will isolate their victim as much as possible, by cutting them off from friends and family, for example. They will also use emotional abuse and gaslighting to destroy their self-esteem and ability to see things clearly. Abusers are full of entitlement, and expect their partner to prioritise them and their needs over the victim’s own or anyone else’s. When we understand this, we can more easily see when someone’s actions are intended to control, or if they are just reactions to being abused.
5. Perpetrators are misogynists
Research into the beliefs and behaviours of male abusers has shown that more often than not, they have a strong belief in traditional gender norms. They believe that women should cook, clean, look after kids, be caring, and look after their man. They believe that men should be strong and in control, and that they should be providers. Often, it is when this expectation is challenged or goes unmet that they use abuse to get things back to how they want them.
Usually, abusers are sexist and see women as weaker and less important than men; they are misogynists. Any man that uses terms like “idiot cow”, “withering cunt”, “worthless hooker”, “slippery whore” or “waste of a cum guzzler” (Depp’s words) to describe women is clearly a misogynist.
The impact on survivors
It may seem that the Depp vs. Heard case is not worth worrying about; after all, they are high-profile celebrities many miles away. However, the level of attention the case has received, with social media rife with the bashing and ridiculing of Amber, there is no question that it will impact survivors here who have seen friends, family and colleagues back Johnny and claim that Amber is a liar.
Women have already been pulling out of cases due to the fear of going through what Amber did. Not only that, this case has also emboldened abusive men. We have already seen that alleged abuser Marilyn Manson has started his own defamation case against Evan Rachel Wood (Manson is also the godfather of Depp’s daughter, funnily enough).
It won’t just be famous men who have a renewed confidence in the fact that the system always sides with men, we’ll see this play out in courts across the country.
Featured image via screenshot/YouTube – Law&Crime Network
- contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline or call 0808 2000 247
- get in touch with Women’s Aid
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I too agree with the above commenters for the simple reason that the author of this peice has single-handedly condemned every type of man there is, with not even the slightest mention of the VILE and abusive things that women also do to male victims, ruining and destroying literal lives for the ‘power’ that gives them over men (which if men then try to then defend themselves from, are instantly accused of, or equated with misoginism). Often the men most abused by women are usually not well built, not wearing tatoos, and perceived by these women (in a MIsandrist attitude) as being weak, not-a-man, boys, or ‘charmers’.
Bullies pick on perceived weaker people – it has nothing to do with gender – and all genders are guilty of this type of behaviour towards others.
The author’s words were particularly hurtful to me, as she practically described the hell I have been put through (8 years of it) as deserved – that somehow I – a male carer – who literally has saved the life of a cruelly abandonded woman, who would have died at the hands of a genuine misoginist, deserves the very real pain and theft of life that I have been subjected to – all without Judge or Jury or respite.
Because of my gender, I ‘must’ deserve the vile and criminal things done to me, just because I was raised by my MOTHER to be polite, respectful of women, and not at all misoginistic (obviously I didn’t have a father around, so that must be my fault too) – actually, the very things the author claims are traits of abusers (who are not covered in muscles and tatoos), are the things my mother taught me to be.
Clearly then, my mother must have been a man in duisguise, or she would never have taught me to be the thing that women apparently want – but in reality seem to abhorr.
It really gets me that female cruelty and lies are suposed to be beleived and accepted, with anyone daring to question a woman’s account as being a Misoginist. It is the same cognitive dissconnect we see, as with Israel accusing anyone who cares about Palestinians as being Anti-semitic.
The author points out that MEN can be charmers, opportunists, seeking whatever methods they can to have power over women, but fails utterly to recognise that in reality, women have their own illegal and immoral ways of hurting men too, and that much of that isn’t in response to something vile a man has done, but in response to not getting what they expected or demanded from men – It’s called Misandry.
All genders do vile things to each other, and it is a complete delusion to think that women are never to blame for the abuse that results from their own abuses towards others, and going further, it is also delusional to think that women historically haven’t themselves helped to promote Misogeny with their own Misandry. One begets the other, and rather like trying to sort out who’s really responsible for the first wars in human history, that kind of thinking only guarantees more of the same futility.
From personal bad experience – some women SAY they want a modern man, free of misoginistic practices and thoughts, and they want equality – then immediately go and choose men based on thier earning power, thier fighting prowess (soldiers), their ability to dominate others (with violence too), their shoes and dress, their muscle and ‘packet’ size, and on top of that, Men are supposed to “be a man!”, THE Man, whenever it suits these women.
A man is not a ‘provider’, a ‘defender’, the ‘bread-winner’. His life isn’t expendable in the pursuit of a woman’s honour, or to be used as cannon-fodder in some fool’s personal war of greed and power. His muscles, dick and arse, are not objects to be used by women to build things for them, to kill for them, he is a living, breathing, feeling, human being, with desires, wants, needs, and bleeds when pricked, just like women – so why then do so many women use men, use their sex, to manipulate men into doing the very Misoginistic things they apparently hate? – Power – always power.
Abuse can be caused by unrealistic expectations of others, and that is something we have all been societally programmed with.
Equality is not about punishing today’s people for the sins of their ancestors, it is about treating each other with empathy, understanding, and love, but it seems there are a great number of people who seem to think that men should suffer all abuse without reaction if it comes from a woman – indeed even MEN generally seem to agree, looking for any opportunity to beat-up another male (regardless of guilt or innocence) on the hear-say of women looking to excersice their power.
I talk as a man who has been abused by women all my life, by women who said they don’t want to be with Misoginists, but then go and have families with the exact stereotype they claimed to hate. These people, it seems to me, desire the abuse because it makes their case look so much stronger, and I am certain that most people have experienced being put in a position whereby they had to defend themselves, only to find out that they were led into it just so their reaction could be used against them.
The above article is deeply flawed. Yes of course there are criminals who pretend to be something they are not, but to imply that all men who seem to be chancers, opportunists, charmers, gregarious, outgoing, knowledgeable, and honest must be abusers because you have decided that this type of behaviour is as easy as identifying a duck – wrong.
Maybe you didn’t mean it the way I have read it, but I have to ask, where was the editor? If this is the continuing example of what you think good, unbiased journalism is, then I am sorry to say that The Canary has had it’s day, and is now progressing into violent wokism, rather than the real issues which face us (and yes I do consider this article to be ill-considered, violent wokism).
By all means warn others that crooks of all sorts pretend to be nice, outgoing, confident people, but don’t tar everyone with the same brush, and bear this in mind – When confidence tricksters and crooks of all sorts do these things, they make it impossibly hard for genuine people to be the genuine people they are, they get punished because crooks imitated their behaviour, and in your painful wisdom, you’ve decided that the crooks are worth dating, and the ‘nice’ guys are prospective abusers.
Clearly the author – in spite of 20 years ‘helping’ victims of abuse, knows better than ALL the people involved in these cases, particularly the judiciary, and so we are essentially invited to ignore the legal results because, well … Johnny Depp is a Male, and is just supposed to take literally whatever abuse is thrown his way (according to chauvanist women that is).
The reason that there are so many men charged with these things compared to women is due to the misoginistic traits in Society itself. Men are forced by misandrist females, and societal peer pressure to adopt it, and importantly, this behaviour is a self-enforcing thing, but also enforced by women at the grass-roots level – in the home.
However, the point I am making is that we are ALL of us guilty of perpetuating these things without neccecarily being criminals or having prior-criminal intent, and the solution is not writing generalised articles targetting men in an inflamatorily ignorant peice of journalism.
Sorry – but this should never have gone to print in the form it did.
If you are not a bona-fide man-hater, then you did yourself, and The Canary a true disservice with this article. I get that you have seen a lot of abuse, I even get that you’ve probably seen mainly, if not wholly, abused women, being that the reality is that there are more men convicted of these crimes than women (unfairly in my opinion – as I know a great many women get away with thier criminality towards men, and manipulate men towards these very issues for their own gratification).
Misogny and Misandry are vile traits, but are also a side-effect of our ancestry and rapid societal growth. As a species we literally have not had enough time to adapt to the changes we have ourselves made to society.
I really wish that all people commenting on these things would remeber one VERY important point – Men didn’t create Women, Women didn’t create Men – and so criticising each other in the way we have done, and still do, is like blaming each other for a perceived broken product (which we are not either). None of us are born wanting to harm others – that shit is programmed after.
We need reminding that we didn’t make up the rules of living with each other – nature (or depending on viewpoint) God did. We are the poor sods that have to work out what is going on, who’s lying to whom, and we are the ones mostly wrestling with things we would NEVER have intentionally or willingly programmed into ourselves if we had options in our own creation.
I didn’t write this response to champion anything other than better relationships. I don’t want to get drawn into pointless debates about who’s better than whom, or end up hating the very people nature clearly programmed me to love.
The author talks about power, and how some men abuse it (though ‘some men’ is not at all stressed in the article) – in doing so she’s literally encouraging others to hold the same viewpoint, which is to say – don’t trust any men.
That seems to be the main drive of this article – that all men are abusers, and as such is just adding to the deepening divide that has been deliberately introduced into our lives, for the purpose of driving us away from each other.
At best, this article tells people not to trust men, particularly those who come across as nice. That is also the WORST part of this article, because you’re just helping to ensure that less and less people will pursue decency, kindness, thoughtfullness, empathy, honesty, real love (not lust), in fact ANY decent human trait, out of fear. You are also basically advising women to never trust a man, and implying we are all abusers.
I’m certain though, that the ‘winners’ in all this, will be the very violent and corrupt people you intended to advise women against, but that’s because nature decides who you have partnerships with, we only think we have choice – at least that is how people’s behaviour in relation to this have proven to me over 55 years. None of us have quite the control we think we do when it comes to relationships, which is why all of us experience head-scratching, heart-breaking fuck-ups in our lives – damned pheromones! damned instinct, and damned false sense of control we think we have.
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