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Thread: Supporting others in abusive situations

  1. #21
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    May 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Mayna:

    Your point on imagine you got raped did seem a bit full on when I first read it but once I actually started to think if that did happen to me how I would react it was helpful. I though your right I won't go around telling people I would be ashamed and embarrassed. It was actually a real good way of putting yourself in some one else's shoes and thinking how that might feel and why they reacted the way they did. Unfortunately an extreme situation but a useful one.

    Every one:

    You have all given me a lot to think about, I've started to understand a lot more about domestic abuse and see things from the side of the victim a lot clearer. You have got me asking questions and thinking about things in ways which never would have occurred to me before I asked this question on this forum. I have definitely gained a new and better perspective on this whole issue. I have learnt a lot from all of you. I don't thing I have any more questions or issues that I am struggling to understand.

    You have all been amazingly helpful and I am so thankful for each of you to of taken the time to comment and help me, it has made me a new man on how I see domestic abuse and how I will reacted and responded to it in the future and the present.

    Lastly I'll ask if any of you have any more advice you could give me and think I could use, any thing that you think might help me, anything you think I might be misunderstanding still, anything at all that you wish the general public would understand better.

    Also if I wanted to help support the issue of domestic violence for women (men as well since they do make up a small percentage) what do you believe is the best way to do something like that? Google for a local foundation that helps support victims and survivors and make donations? ( I won't have a problem volunteering my time to help out but I have a feeling that it probably isn't the best idea to have a male around woman who have been abused by mean) ?

    Once again thank you all so much you have been more help then you will ever know, when I started this I can see that I was under educated on the subject and insensitive but now I will be leaving it a "new man" with a much improved and more understanding point of view all that's to your help and sharing your experiences and advice
    I have no advice but I do thank you for trying to understand and empathize. It means a lot to me that you are so non-judge mental and open to trying to understand. It is hard for many of us to explain it, not an easy subject to talk about, however (speaking for myself of course) I am more than happy to share my experiences with someone who seems to genuinely want to understand. I really hope what ppl here have shared has helped somehow. Thank you for being supportive and trying to understand god your girlfriend it's very commendable. And appreciated

  2. The following 2 users say thank you to AnyWoman for this useful post:

    Manya (05-03-2015),weepingwillow (05-03-2015)

  3. #22
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    im grateful to you too - first of all just for willing to walk an extra mile to understand and support your fiancee, and also - its a good thread, a dialogue between two different perspectives, supporter/survivor, 387 people saw it in just 3 days - i bet its interesting/helpful for many. was interesting to me personally too cuz im planning a page about dv for supporters, and this convo helped clarify some of the things i was stuck on.

    i think there are many ways to support the cause:

    can just link to dv sites from your site/blog/facebook/etc - we have a bunch of links here. just helps people to know theres help available, shelters, counselors, hotlines, etc. one of the sites we link to, hotpeachpages.net is an world-wide directory of all sorts of dv-related resources, so victims all over the world can find organization(s) in their area. linking costs nothing, but does help: abuse is common, a significant amount of people who see your site/blog/facebook/etc could use that link.

    can totally volunteer time. you saw in this thread that isolation and bad responses from people greatly contribute to dv, so being there does help a lot. seeing a guy who cares and doesnt assault anyone - might just restore someones faith in humanity lol. you might experience some degree of sexism, like i see women once in a while saying stuff like "men need to learn that no means no" - while most men dont have a problem with it, and plenty of women do, perps come in both genders - but yeah, the notion does come up sometimes. if you can live with it - your sheer presence would help to straighten it out.

    can just step by your local dv shelter/organization and see what they need. they are usually understaffed, so anything you could offer would be welcome. dinner party, group discussion, art group, etc. donations are cool too of course, but it could be non-cash. idk, clothing, toys for kids, personal care products, paper, pens, etc. even just postcards - just so that they know someone cares

    aside from that - can also just speak about things. i mean, all we (including you) did in this thread was just honestly share what we think and what we feel, and seems like it was constructive and helpful. just share your perspective on things, it might be the best thing anyone can do really. can post to our library, can write in your blog, anywhere you like. seems to help people the most when one just talks about their own experience, rather than general theories. and im sure its helpful for many people to read this thread and see your perspective. clarifies many things, helps with navigating relationships with our significant others.

    for this thread, and good luck to you and your fiancee
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  4. The following 3 users say thank you to Manya for this useful post:

    Jane (05-03-2015),Tasha1701D (05-03-2015),weepingwillow (05-03-2015)

  5. #23
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    with everyone else and appreciate your honest questions. Our local dv shelter keeps a list of things that they need. It's often kids clothing, especially winter apparel since it gets so cold here, but you shelter may have a similar list. Toiletries and clothing are big ones usually.

    I also like what Manya said about just passing on info on facebook etc makes a big difference. You may never have someone approach you and say, "Hey, because you posted that number I was able to find a counselor." or "It was comforting to know that you are understanding about abuse issues, makes it feel like I didn't have to be so ashamed.", but I can tell you that people I know have posted things advocating for abuse survivors and mental health issues, and it has made it a little easier even if I never tell these people I've experienced it.
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  6. The following 2 users say thank you to weepingwillow for this useful post:

    Jane (05-03-2015),Tasha1701D (05-03-2015)

  7. #24
    Unregistered Guest
    Thanks for all your support and kind words,

    it would have been nice if I could have understood these views and what it was like for my fiancée from the beginning, not upset her or put her through any pain due to me being insensitive (or a d#ck as she might say to me when she is angry). But I guess the main point is that I have gained that new out look and perspective from now and in to the future. That I can be a lot more understanding, supportive and helpful from now on.

    I did wonder about all the views compared to the number of comments, I just thought those people weren't comfortable sharing their experiences which is more than understandable. But if this thread has also helped any one else apart from me then it was definitely worth doing.

    I will take your advice on how I can help with the issue of domestic violence, I'll google local places contact them and see what I could do to help whether it is volunteering my time or providing some of the items that could be useful. I'll also try to raise more awareness over domestic violence and what people can do to get help, it is far more prevalent that I ever realised.

  8. #25
    Unregistered Guest
    I know that this is a fairly old thread, but I first just wanted to say that I think it's wonderful that you're making so much effort and taking it so seriously to try and understand what your fiancee went through.

    I just wondered if I might be able to give you some different input from my experience. First of all, to be honest, the reason I didn't leave the abusive relationship I was in (physically abusive, as well as of course verbally, and very manipulative), was simply because (somehow!) I didn't realise this was wrong. I didn't understand the magnitude of what happened. This may be very hard to comprehend and to be honest I still can't wrap my head around it. Basically, it took about three or four years after the 'relationship' to realise that it was seriously, seriously, wrong, and longer to realise that it wasn't my fault. I'm not sure I've accepted that even now.

    In my experience, you're completely right that negative responses can set you back from wanting to discuss it again- I finally left the relationship but to my shame it wasn't because I thought he was wrong to be abusive and violent, it was that he broke up with me, and I felt no security so I didn't want to stay with him when we got back together. Maybe six months after ending it, I tried to speak to a mutual friend about what happened (I mean that the relationship was violent). The 'friend' didn't believe me. He told me that he had already heard (from my ex) what I had been like, how difficult I was, and that he knew the 'truth' about me. He looked at me with hatred. I didn't speak about it again for years. I think after that I blocked it out of my head, and I felt quite numb. The violence in the relationship was described by my next boyfriend as a 'crime' and I thought he was being over - dramatic about it. I simply didn't realise the magnitude, I think because after being accused of lying by the first person I confided in, I shut it all down and pushed it away.

    So, while you're right that negative responses can hold you back, I think that only something like denying that it happened , or something similarly hurtful and destructive, would really hold your fiancee back- I hope, at least. I mean, I am sure that you're trying your best, and the fact you're trying to get lots of information and you're trying to deal with this together shows that you're really trying to understand, and I hope it helps your fiancee to get over what happened to her. I really wish you both all the very best of luck.

  9. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Hello. I am a male and I was sexually abused by a peer when I was 14 and 15. The sad thing about abuse is that more times than not it comes from somebody you trust and care about. The guy that abused me was my best friend at the time. He set it up like a game. We played "truth or dare" and he guilted me into doing stuff I didn't really want to do. He also refilled my sodas constantly, so I was on a sugar/caffein high from drinking a six pack (or more) of Sunkist in a matter of three hours. To make a long story short, sometimes people who are abused suffer from Stockholm Syndrome (which is sympathizing with your captor/abuser) or they just assume the behavior is normal because they don't know any better. Since abusers are usually people the victim trusts and/or loves, they are reluctant to end the situation. The abuser might genuinely be a loving person other than their abusive behavior. Nobody is 100% good or 100% bad. Other times the abuser can be a superficially charming sociopath that had the victim under their spell.

    I hope my post is beneficial for you. I'm also dating a woman who was victimized by domestic violence. It can be very challenging at times. She will be very supportive and talk to me every day and then out of nowhere become withdrawn and disappear for days (or weeks). I understand your frustration and you're not alone, dude. Good luck.

  10. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Hi

    My ex threatened all types of things. It was subtle and not over night. I wanted us to go into therapy. It never happened. I said he was going to anger management classes, but that never happened either.

    It was the constant threats. They were constant.

  11. The following user says thank you to katelin for this useful post:

    Jane (09-02-2017)

  12. #28
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    Dec 2015
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    Yes,

    "So the best way to undo this sort of damage is whenever she chooses to speak to me about it again is just to listen to what she has to say, offer no judgement or any opinion just to listen to her?"

    I think this is really true. This is definitely what I have hoped for, when I opened up about my past to someone close to me. When I finally did, it was a scary thing. I was already on edge, because I was afraid of how they would react. Compassion and caring and listening is all that is really required. There's no particular thing you can say that will help. The fact that you are trying so hard to understand shows you already have the basic compassion necessary to give the support she needs.

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    weepingwillow (12-18-2015)

  14. #29
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    Dec 2015
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    Being newly out of my situation (3months), I can honestly say that I have struggled w/telling ANYONE about what happened to me! I commend your GF 4 telling you! I didnt want to tell any1 4 EXACTLY the reason u r going through! I knew that, unless u r in that situation, you have no real idea what happens & the feelings associated w/those events! I wont judge you for not knowing how to handle it! It is a HUGE thing to have dumped on you! I can totally understand the anger you feel for the idea of not being able to protect your GF but, PLEASE, understand this! Even if you were there, there would have been little or nothing you could do! Abusers have such a tight grip on their victims that often, even if there is some1 there 4 them, they can not see that person as a help! So beating yourself up about it wont do either of you any good! My idea? Have you tried to get some counseling to deal w/these new issues? Sometimes a DV counselor can help you understand things! They might b able to better explain the dynamic to you & give you ideas on how to deal w/certain situations that arise! But most of all, if you REALLY love her, don't give up! Keep trying to understand & don't b afraid to look for help to do that!!

  15. #30
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    Jun 2016
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    2

    some thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Thank you for your comment Tasha,

    Like I said earlier I've far from handled the information my fiancée has told me about this perfectly, I've brought back lots of painful memories for her and hurt her in the process. But for the life of me I cant ever understand if some one told me they were being abused responding back with "don't say such lies about that person". If some one is saying some thing so serious would you not take it seriously until it had been proved otherwise.

    It seems part of the problem comes when victims of abuse finally get the courage to speak to some one about it, if the response they get back is negative and not supportive. Then it sets that person back months maybe even years before they can speak out to some one again. I think I may be guilty of doing such a thing with my fiancée, while see was out of the relationship by the time she told me, any unsupportive or negative responses I gave back hampered her decision to speak about it in the future and set her even further back. So the best way to undo this sort of damage is whenever she chooses to speak to me about it again is just to listen to what she has to say, offer no judgement or any opinion just to listen to her?
    I don't think the damage can be undone-it can only be softened so it's not so harsh of a feeling. I know that if my significant other would ever want to listen and not speak, just be close and sympathetic, I would be so appreciative. Being kind and respectful goes a long way in any relationship, and not all of us have such a supportive partner. To let her know you are really there for her whenever she feels she needs to talk-that would help the healing process more than you know. I hope the both of you find the peace you are looking for.

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