Mental Health Monday–Domestic Violence

Imagine this scenario…

Okay, so you meet the cutest guy at the mall while shopping with friends. After a flirtatious exchange of batting eyelashes and shy smiles, Cutie asks you out. You accept. He has dimples, how can you say no?

The next week, during a romantic dinner at a nice restaurant, Co-worker greets you. He asks if you’re going to the company picnic next week. You agree to bring your famous cupcakes (cuz it’s a potluck picnic).

On the way to the car, Cutie flips out on you and backhands you for “flirting” with another guy.

Do you go out with Cutie again?

Probably not.

Now, what if this didn’t happen on the first date, but it happened on the 100th. After you’d gotten to know him. After you were aware of the job stress that’s been making him tense. After you KNOW how “protective” of you he is. Besides, you DID smile a lot at Co-worker and Cutie had a couple drinks. Maybe he misread the whole situation. You shouldn’t have primed the whole situation by being overly friendly.

If you think it’s your fault, can you really end your relationship (something you’ve invested months or even years in) with Cutie?

By now, you must be wondering why someone would accept such treatment. Any rational person wouldn’t, right?

Problem is, Domestic Violence strips someone of their confidence, their ability to think independently, and, in extreme cases, even their humanity.

When boiled down to its essence, Domestic Violence is about dominance and power. Not every case involves physical abuse. Verbal and emotional abuse can be enough to degrade the victim and rob them of their ability to fight back. Perpetrators rely on belittling and humiliating their partner. They make the victim feel guilty, they use the children as leverage, and they isolate their partner from other people so that their partner has no one for a soundingboard or support.

There’s so much more to say about the subject, but I think this covers the gist of things. I hope this post provides some insight into what victims of Domestic Violence go through and why “getting out” is a lot harder than one would think.

Be sure to check out Sensational Sarah’s post on psychology.

As always, Lovely Lydia posts medical writing tips on Medical Monday.

If you have a psych related writing question, post a comment, find me on Twitter or Facebook, and ask away!!!

These posts are for writing purposes only and not to be construed for medical treatment or advice.

18 comments on “Mental Health Monday–Domestic Violence

  1. Ciara Knight says:

    This subject always breaks my heart. I’ve known woman in this situation, and it’s so hard to watch. My thoughts and prayers go out to the woman stuck in these situations.

  2. Another great post. Peopl often see these cases and say, “Just leave him” but sometimes the victim is just as unstable as the one doing the damage. Thanks for another great post!

  3. I couldn’t imagine being in that position but I’m sure it’s hard to make the right decision emotionally. Esp. if kids have entered the picture. My heart goes out to women who deal with this.

  4. Lydia K says:

    I get really scared at the idea of Teen violence, which is usually directed at girls. Teen girls already have fragile egos and self esteems, it’s a perfect set up for bad DV.
    Great post Laura!

  5. Lynn Rush says:

    Thanks for the insight here. This is such a difficult topic. Heart-wrenching.

  6. Danyelle says:

    This is so true! I just finished reading EXTRAORDINARY, and that was something the bad guy did. He never struck her physically, but his whole purpose was to undermine her sense of confidence and self worth. *sets such miscreants on fire*

  7. Great post, Laura, and yes domestic violence is insidious. That’s what makes it so prevalent and dangerous Thanks for a wonderful example!

  8. KarenG says:

    When you put it this way, it’s easier I guess to see how women can get sucked into these kinds of destructive relationships. It’s really really sad.

  9. Laura, you’re so awesome for sharing this with us. *HUGS* Domestic Violence is a dark cancer that is difficult to get rid of. It takes a LOT of courage and strength to break away from it. Lots of self love and respect.

    I remember we, as children, would beg our mom to divorce our dad. She didn’t. She was afraid. I don’t resent her and my dad and I have come to terms.

    I’ve made it a point to break the chains and treat my children with respect and love and to not let anyone manipulate or abuse me ever again.


    Laura, you are a hero. Thank you for majoring in this field.

    ~Elizabeth 🙂

    • lbdiamond says:

      Thank you for sharing your story! *hugs*

      I appreciate your support. I think the heroes are people like you who commit not to repeat what their parents or other role models taught them by example. 😉

  10. lbdiamond says:

    Ciara–it is a tough situation and hard to watch; I agree.

    Rachel–good point. It’s not as simple as saying, “Just leave.”

    Laura–kids definitely add another layer to the situation.

    Lydia–great point!

    Lynn–I agree–heart-wrenching!

    Danyelle–I’ll have to check that book out!

    Teresa–insidious is an accurate term.

    KarenG–That’s what happens. People get sucked in, then come to accept it as their reality.

  11. I used to wonder how people could be trapped in such a situation. I wondered why they didn’t leave. Then I knew one personally who was in it and I learned what I didn’t know. Sometimes it can be so horrifying that the victims are terrified. They really feel trapped, and to a degree, they are trapped. But they must get out because to remain is more dangerous than to attempt an escape. And, yes, their self esteem is also so bruised, that they feel guilty and blame themselves, another factor that delays their determination to get out.

    Domestic violence probably manifests from different degrees of controlling behavior. Perhaps the experience I refer to is extreme. This I don’t know. Blessings to you…

    • lbdiamond says:

      While it can be true staying in a DV relationship can be dangerous, it is often MORE dangerous to leave (more specifically, the period right after leaving because the perpetrator is “panicking” about the loss of control and can become spiteful). Counterintuitive, I know, but this is why it is SO important for a victim to have help to get out. It takes planning and support to leave an abusive partner.

      Thank you, Carol Ann, for bringing up this very important point.

      • The person I told about did have help in her escape, both an immediate relative and police protection for a period of time. Thank you for bringing out this necessary aspect of the escape.

  12. Domestic violence is a horrible thing and a difficult cycle to break out of. Men are usually the perpetrators, but they can be victims as well. Even a big, physically strong man can be broken down by a verbally abusive female. It’s not always size that matters.

    Did I just come up with a story idea? Hmmm?

  13. Great post, Laura. I have a YA book planned that deals with the same topic. These guys often don’t show their true colors until it’s too late in the relationship. What I found sad was that the girls often fall for the same type again. It’s like they become a magnet for all things creepy.

  14. Donna Hole says:

    Exactly the sentimental questions my novel (trilogy) asks of the readers. The beta reading/critique response to the first novel has been so varied I’m unsure if I should query it or not. I’m going through the conventions – writing the query, revising it, editing it, getting feed back, taking a hard look at the content – but getting the same variety of emotional response on the query as I did on the novel.

    I don’t know if I should be flattered or concerned. The choice of status quo is a response, right? Passive, not altogether healthy, but a choice . .


  15. You could definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write.

    The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.

    All the time follow your heart.

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