Saturday, 3 March 2012
In loving memory of M.C.
Note for your calender: International Woman’s Day – March 8th, 2012
This week I participated in a training programme held by DVASS (www.dvass.org.uk) on Domestic Abuse; I was surprised that while the overall cost of Domestic Abuse is a staggering £22 billon, the majority of the help available is reactive versus proactive. So, in all probability, one in four women will continue to experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and two women a week will continue to be killed by their partners or former partners.
Invisible and deadly
One form of Domestic Abuse is Emotional Abuse - which leaves no visible scars or bruising, and it goes on and on, day in , day out. For a long time it masquerades as love and concern for your wellbeing while it systematically breaks down your self-esteem and erodes your self-confidence and self-worth and messes with your head. Until finally you find yourself isolated and cut off from family and friends and you become completely physically, financially and emotionally dependant on your abuser.
MC, a bright, intelligent woman, who was a doctor of environmental science, an author and a university lecturer, was such a victim. She will never be considered or counted as a statistic because no one would believe that her husband, also a doctor, who portrayed himself to the world as a loving devoted husband and was admired by all for his dedication in ‘taking care of her’ until she passed away (or rather wasted away), was an abuser.
This lady’s story is not an isolated incident, there are hundreds of thousands of women just like MC, yet no one deserves or should be subjected to being emotionally abused. Perhaps defining what is acceptable and what is not acceptable is one way of putting an end to it.
It is emotional abuse when your partner/ husband constantly puts you down, makes you feel bad about yourself, calls you names, humiliates you, makes you think you are crazy, plays mind games and makes you feel guilty.
In many ways, emotional abuse is more psychologically damaging than physical abuse and sadly victims tend to blame themselves.
It is so difficult to come to terms with this type of abusive behaviour; you love and trust this person who is inflicting all this pain on you and for a long time you believe they are acting in your best interest. When you eventually realise that what they are doing is destroying you from the 'inside out', you are left with deep scars and feeling insignificant, unworthy, emotionally needy, and undeserving.
Those invisible scars take a very,very long time to heal.
In the corporate world.....
this behaviour also goes on; quite alot, in fact. Yet they don't call it 'emotional abuse'. Is there even have an offical word or phrase to descibe the behaviour of a male executive (or manager or colleague)who dismisses a woman when she has an opinion, who excludes women from the boardroom and leadership positions just because she is a woman? This type of behaviour also leaves women feeling insiginificant , unworthy and with low self esteem and confidence. So what's the difference? In the end, it's men behaving badly and getting away with it.....