It is, therefore, our exclusive responsibility to protect ourselves from the inevitability of men’s violence toward us. It is like the rain, and we are to be vigilant to forecast when it is coming and take cover. If we fail, it will be our fault for being there, for having not known to take cover, to have stayed when we should have run. And we will pay for having gotten him into trouble, for having brought shame on him by exposing his violence.
FemmePowered turns four today.
Today makes it 5 years since my ex-husband left me bloody and battered on our bedroom floor, got in my car, and drove away. I can’t believe all this time has passed, yet I remember the details of that day as if it were yesterday. If I close my eyes, I can still see the blood-spattered everywhere, and I can still feel blood trickling down my throat. I can still remember the fear of having to do surgery on my face, and I can still remember the sense of fear and anxiety as I wrapped my head around the enormity of my situation and the life I needed to rebuild.
What breaks you open physically can make you stronger spiritually, emotionally, mentally, if you let it.
I’ve come a long way from that woman I used to be. And I am still growing, evolving, becoming. To the day I die, I will always be an advocate for women and I will always speak out against violence against women. I’m comfortable making others uncomfortable about my story, my truth, the truth about so many women who endure abuse in silence. I also keen to dispel some of the myths surrounding domestic abuse and challenge the notion that women are inherently to blame.
Two weeks ago I shared my experience with domestic violence on a radio program. A male caller called in and told me that if I had married someone else or not marry at all I would not have been abused. I didn’t even bother to respond because over the years I have found that people will find all reasons NOT to put the blame squarely where it belongs – on the abuser. Yesterday I had a discussion about violence against women with a friend I’ve known most of my life. I was really taken aback when this friend who should know better, said that it is generally the woman’s fault when her man hits her because women know how to provoke men and push their buttons. His nonchalant way of saying it really made me believe that he felt this be to be an absolute truth. I was appalled. I couldn’t believe that this person who should know better come spew this foolishness so comfortably.
So yeah, It’s women’s fault.
It’s all women’s fault. We are sorry. We forgot men are unable to control themselves around us. We are the poison apples, the temptations to evil, the singular provocations spurring men to violence — either to show us who’s boss or to protect our virtue or to slake their thirst for power when they feel powerless.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m being sarcastic.
If you are also of the opinion that violence against women is the fault of the woman being abused, I invite you to read this article and consider another perspective. If not for my sake, read it for your sisters, wives, cousins, or daughters. Read it for women who can’t speak up for themselves, read it to broaden your mind.