It looks as though domestic violence will be held in perpetuity as a simple act of physical violence perpetrated by a man who does not respect women. This simplistic view is widely held by authorities and those who try to address the culture of domestic violence.
Males who engage in acts of violence are not just misogynists but are often psychopathic. The will to subjugate a woman and inflict pain is insidious but also partially represses a desire to engage in homicide or to send a woman insane and so incapable of operating at any level of mental health: to render her totally incapacitated.
These men require internment for extended periods of time whilst their issues are addressed by psychologists or even better, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts.
At the moment unless they commit homicide such men do not receive any level of responsibility, incisive counseling. Psychologists simply do not have the tools to adequately address the issues.
For the women who are victims of domestic violence, there is little empathy or understanding of what they go through and the degree of their damage.
Often cultures minimize domestic violence and so leave women in dangerous and vulnerable situations. It is not just Sudanese women who suffer for example but members of our own western culture.
Do we have to ask the question why does our culture minimize this violence? The answer lies in the mentality of many men and indeed some women. Caught up int he culture of materialism they will not consider anything that challenges the status quo. There is a terrible sadness in the realization that our culture is so debased.
Having to experience domestic violence myself, my friends either ignored my statements of truth or at the extreme said that my ‘so-called’ partner loved me and that I should respect him more! This callousness extended to some male psychiatrists who advised me to remain in this abusive relationship rather than escaping. They simply ignored my situation and minimized the damage.
This attitude is prehistoric and nihilistic. Psychiatrists advancing this point of view should be deregistered. Their attitude toward women is appalling.
Women victims ringing domestic violence hotlines are often shoved into refuges for the homeless. So-called authorities on the subject of domestic violence dispense with such women quickly in order to preserve funds. Economically, a woman in such a refuge does not eat so much into funds.
One wonders about the level of expertise in such refuges. Are these women then empowered via psychological assessment and effective treatment? Probably not.
Having experienced gaslighting, I overdosed and was transported by ambulance to Melbourne Alfred Hospital where the social worker’s solution was to shunt me into such a refuge. As I was not on social security, the cost was estimated to be $700 a week for full board. I objected and said that was not possible. Her reply was that they would probably do it for $600! She was involving me in a bargaining process whilst I was incapacitated by the sleeping pill ‘Imovane’! It was deplorable and ethically irresponsible. Where was the empathy?
I chose to return to the situation of violence, as many women do.
I had an income. God help the woman on social security!
The problem is deeply entrenched. As I have previously stated ‘domestic violence’ is perceived as a typical sort of physical abuse or verbal abuse. The really pernicious forms of violence such as gaslighting and smothering (strangulation) are largely ignored.
Because knowledge of domestic violence is so superficial, any advertising campaign to address the issue will be ineffectual. Advertising companies are inadequately briefed because the so-called ‘experts’ are limited in their intellectual scope.
A current campaign in Victoria has billboards proclaiming ‘respect women’. This is a pathetic example of the inadequate knowledge of the psychology of perpetrators of domestic violence.
Such men are hardly going to change their behavior based on some simplistic slogan.
Months ago, there was a television campaign which depicted a victim of domestic violence being advised to tell her friends of her predicament. What in the hell would they do? Probably nothing or worse, minimize the situation or tell her to respect her partner more (as was my case).
The milk of human kindness is sadly lacking in cases of domestic violence.
Be outraged in your response to the current view of panaceas for domestic violence. The culture surrounding such violence must change dramatically.
By Dianne Edwards