hernewshoes talked about how domestic abuse is like unto torture.
A lot of the discussion talked about how easy it is for those outside of a situation to not see abuse, and/or to not believe accusations of abuse, as well as how easy it is for victims to feel like it's "not really" abuse. I thought of the book my mom told me about the other night -- about how we learn about the cut-and-dried stuff but less about how to deal with all the complicated stuff. (For example, some commenters on the_red_shoes' post point out that the abuser is often very charming, isn't always torturing, and that makes it so much more difficult and scary.)
In her first post, copperwise told the story of the day she finally left her abusive husband. "I moved in with friends who had firearms, large cranky dogs, and the willingness to use either to protect house and family."
In her second post, copperwise responded to a commenter who had said: "I don't understand why women who say they're abused don't just move out."
cija left a comment on matociquala's post:
I had a minor insight, which is perhaps much too obvious to be called an insight, when reading one of the several comments by someone who is sure they would leave the first time something bad happened. I think that too, though it's never been tested. But I think that when women say that, they mean, "if I had dated your abuser, I would have left the first time he hit me."
The real question is, if their own husband, that real person whom they know and love, if he hit them, what would they do? Because it means nothing at all when it's a thought experiment about a hypothetical abuser. You have to imagine your own real, named lover, your own best friend, whom you know up and down and who would never, ever do that to you, because your judgment is so good that you got one of the good ones, one of the best ones, who would never because he could never. If he hits you, that particular guy, not if he were to, hypothetically, but if he does, in the real future, tomorrow, next week what will you (I) do?
I mean, my first reaction to my own suggestion is to say, well, that won't ever happen, because he just wouldn't, I have to make it a hypothetical abuser because that's the only way to realistically imagine it. And of course it's like that for everybody, for everybody's boyfriend, until the first time. I know it's blindingly obvious, but thinking about it that way helped me to not just sympathize but understand, a little.