xenologer: (Lisbeth)
This link goes out to everybody I know who remains friends with abusers and resents the implication that because you think the abuser is okay, that you think their abusive actions are okay. Well, if you stick around, that's what you are saying.

If you make excuses for abusers and refuse to defend your loved ones, at least be willing to tell them to their faces that really you would adjust your life in this minor way out of respect for their pain, but you just don't care enough. BECAUSE. YOU. DON'T.

And you aren't hiding it well.

Own your priorities or change them. Pro Tip: If you aren't willing to openly state your priorities and what you care about because you are afraid you'll look like an ass, you probably are just trying to hide that you really are an ass. You will be a lot less likely to seem like an asshole if you work on BEING less of an asshole.

You don't have to be a rapist to be complicit in rape culture.

Date: 2012-05-19 12:51 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] keori.livejournal.com
Thank you for this. Going through law school first year, sitting in criminal class, reading cases about rape and hearing a bunch of dudebros defending these scumbags is so rage-making. There were several classes I had to walk out of. It was so bad I had to talk to my professor about it. As a survivor of sexual violence at the hands of several different men, I've known firsthand the people who coddle them, make excuses for them, enable them.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, kind of, and it's highly uncomfortable sometimes.

My current partner is a convicted felon. He's been a perpetrator of domestic violence. When we first started dating, I knew he was an ex-con, but I didn't know for what. When I learned for what, it took me a few weeks to really think it through, whether I could trust him, whether I was safe with him. I've been in too many abusive relationships to want to do it again, and no assurance from an abuser is EVER going to be enough, no matter how great they seem. I wound up asking him to sign a release so I could talk to his psychiatrist and psychologist. He did.

These are people who have been working with him for the five years since he battered. He's been through major intensive therapy and batterer intervention, as well as having received a bipolar diagnosis and a medication and therapy regimen. I can say with reasonable confidence that he is a 180 from the person he was. I wouldn't believe it without his doctors' assurances to back up his consistency of good behavior, because I am now highly suspicious of anyone with his track record. J has owned his mistakes, he's done what he can to apologize, and he's done the work to change. He continues to work. And quite honestly, I've never felt so safe with anyone.

And yet.

Sometimes I feel like being with him is enabling an abuser, despite all the changes he's made. I know that I would never trust my abusive ex ever again, no matter what kind of therapy he's done (not that he ever would; his entitlement complex is way too big). I've often wondered what I would say to his ex if I ever came across her. I don't think I would say anything; I would just sit and listen to what she had to say. As a fellow survivor, as a woman, hell, as a human being, I would owe her that much. I wouldn't try to defend him, because by defending him, it would probably feel to her like I was defending his actions, and that's the last thing they deserve.

I know he's not the person he was when he battered. But it's not my place to defend him to his victim. It's my place to respect her, respect the truth of what she went through, and to support him as he continues to do the work of being a good, non-abusive partner. It's also my job to keep a close watch on our relationship and to take care of myself first.

*sigh*

Life is sucky and complicated.

Date: 2012-05-19 05:56 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] admnaismith.livejournal.com
There can be a big difference between who someone is, and who they used to be.

Seems to me, if you can cause bad people to feel true repentance and to choose to be different, you're doing something considerable to stop abuse.

Seems to me, you can do that without sending a message that their past wasn't wrong, or that their bad behavior was outweighed by some different character quality, or that a survivor is somehow required to forgive the abuse because the abuser later reformed.

In fact, if you're doing rehab work to change an abuser into someone better, seems to me you're better off leaving the survivor in her own space. She probably doesn't need the reminder that the abuser even exists in any form.

I'm glad you're helping someone to be better than they were before.

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