Perception of abuse victims as either weak or liars
This e-booklet takes the common perception of abuse victims–as passive, not assertive enough, even passive-aggressive–and turns it on its ear. It shows how the apparent “passiveness” of victims is actually a form of resistance, especially after the abuser has shown that blatant resistance brings on more abuse.
It also tears apart the idea that if you’re a true victim, you don’t recognize the abuse, unless you’re a narcissist or the abuser yourself.
No, I know very well when someone is abusing me, and I don’t like it. I recognize it’s unfair. Whether I try to fight back or just turn it around in my own head, I am resisting the abuser’s picture of me. That does NOT make me a narcissist or an abuser or a liar about being abused.
And yes, whatever I do, the abuser turns around on me, accusing me of abusing or being selfish or whatever. In college, my exes Shawn and Phil both did this.
More recently, Richard and Tracy did this to me. I resisted, sometimes in my head, sometimes in other ways. I resisted by telling my husband all about it, so Richard and Tracy accused me yet again of doing something wrong by telling him.
When Tracy posted about me on her Facebook wall, I resisted by posting the truth on mine.
I resisted by telling the truth about the abuse to everyone I knew, and also by writing about it on my website. Yes, I wanted them to find it and see that I was resisting their abuse rather than blaming myself. Then when they found the website and threatened to sue me, I resisted by keeping the site up and telling all my friends and family about their threats.
When they went to my priest and told him lies about me, I resisted by telling my priest the truth.
According to this booklet, rather than feel ashamed of my actions, I should see them as strength, as preserving my dignity.
Some people will try to make the abuse victim either 1) feel she/he wasn’t assertive enough, or 2) feel she was too aggressive, shouldn’t have told because that’s “gossip.”
But this booklet tears that to shreds and says NO, this is how victims resist abuse, and it is a GOOD thing that helps them keep their dignity:
Honouring Resistance: How Women Resist Abuse in Intimate Relationships