Helping Abuse Victims - Start by Stepping Away from Facebook

This showed up on my Facebook feed a few days ago.

"If you are in a relationship that is abusive towards YOU and you leave or make them leave and then take them back, then you get what you deserve. If you are in a relationship that is abusive towards your CHILD and you leave and then take them back, you DESERVE to be beaten like a dog!!!! Allowing your child to be abused because you are afraid of being alone, makes you a piece of SHIT!!!!!"

...

They were serious, and worse, at least half the comments were of the "YEAH RAH RAH!" variety.

To which I would just like to say, what the hell is wrong with you?

There's just so much to address here. First of all, no one deserves to be beaten like a dog. Dogs don't deserve to be beaten like dogs.

Secondly, let's talk motivation.

Unless you are that woman in that relationship, you really have no idea why she's still there. "Afraid of being alone?" I'd say the only correct part of that reasoning (and even I'm guessing because I'm not that woman) isafraid. People don't stay in abusive relationships because they're in a good place. They don't stay because they enjoy it. They stay because they see no other option or they fear the consequences of leaving. Consequences that could range from being stalked to being killed.

It is not the victim's fault.

If the woman left, and then went back, there's a reason for that, too. A reason you don't know about. Maybe she had no money, no friends (because with friends like you, who needs enemies, right?), no transportation. Maybe no one believed her. Maybe there was no room at the shelter and she had nowhere left to go. Hell, maybe she was fooled. It's possible. It happens. Maybe he told her he loved her and things would change and she believed him. That doesn't make her a piece of shit. It puts her in a place of needing help. Help that you are not giving her by spouting her dirty laundry on a public forum.

In further comments, the original poster claims the woman is there and the child is dying because she "wanted her man more than the baby." There's a comment about women not being able to "get off the dick" long enough to save their children.

How very self-righteous and unfair of you.

Maybe she's pretending everything is fine to you because she knows you'd take your big trap to Facebook and say nasty things about the man she is living with, then he'd find it and go berserk  Women in abusive situations learn to be wary of everything. They learn to keep up appearances no matter what. They think of it as survival.

Let's go out on a very long limb and say you're right. (Which, odds are, you're not.) Let's say the mom is messed up, hates her kid or at the very least doesn't care if he lives or dies so long as she gets "the dick." That sounds so likely, doesn't it?

Well, let's just say that's the case.

You know what won't help that dying child? Screaming about his asshole mom on Facebook to a few hundred of your closest friends. It also doesn't make you look as caring and virtuous as you think it does. Running your fingers off in disgust helps no one in that situation. All it does is give the OP a sense of satisfaction that she would never end up in that situation. She's so much smarter, don't you know?

You know what would help? A call to the services. That is why they are there. If I were the type of person to say things like "so and so deserves to be beaten like a dog," I wouldn't discount the person who sees a child being abused to the point of dying, and standing idly by.

Mom can't or won't make the call herself? Maybe she's afraid she'll never see her baby again? Maybe she's being blackmailed? Maybe she thinks the call will be traced, or he'll somehow find out about it?

You make the call.

You see a child in danger?

You make the call.

And when you do that, you don't tell Facebook about it.

You have a problem with the abusive situation? I don't care how you feel about the mother. I certainly don't need to hear about it. But child services does. If there is a child in danger, you take action. Heck, tell CPS that the mom deserves to be beaten like a dog and is a shit if you must. Watch them laugh at you or shake their damn heads. But at least you did something.

And for the love of God, if you have to yell at your friends on a public Facebook group, please point your CAPS LOCK RAGE at the abuser from now on, not the victim.

Here are some resources for those needing help:

Women's Shelters

National Domestic Violence Helpline

Information for friends of abuse victims

Child Protective Services

We can make lives better instead of worse. We can use the time we would have been judging on the internet to look up help for our friends, to lend them an ear, to call those who can be of service.

Comments

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.