31 comments on “Language Matters When Engaging Survivors of Domestic Violence in Discussion

  1. I teared up at the last bit there Amy…no words…really powerful post, thank you for continuing to be such a bright light…you do encourage and save everyday I am certain.

    • Thank you for your comment… As always with these kinds of posts, I saw one too many things that grated the wrong nerve on the wrong day, so I decided to give everyone a little advice on something they might not even see as being an issue.

  2. “They are often forced into a position by the family courts to allow visitation with the abuser, and must maintain open lines of communication regarding to care of their child(ren), and it comes with a guarantee that the abusive party will use this line and their children as a way to continue to manipulate and emotionally abuse the survivor.”
    Thank you for this post.

  3. Reblogged this on Teela Hart and commented:
    I have children and I am forced to deal with this issue on a regular basis and I can say that this hits the nail on the head in every way.
    Thank you for making this post Sweet Marie.

    • I think with everything related to DV that needs to be addressed, this is definitely something that falls by the wayside. There are many urgent things that need to be handled when transitioning from an abusive home, but when it comes to healing, this is also urgent. Why take shots at someone’s vulnerability and cause them to doubt themselves?

  4. To me, the MOST important thing NOT to say to a victim is any variation of the following:

    “It takes two to tango…what was your part in this? Like Dr. Phil says, ‘There are no victims! There are always two sides to the story and I don’t want to take sides until I hear his side because neither you nor he are right or wrong, just different.'”

    AHHHHH! People misquote that tango saying completely. It only takes one person to be an abuser and that leaves the other person to be, you guessed it, the “VICTIM”…so, yes, Dr. Phil, there CERTAINLY are victims. Dr. Phil’s own website has an article about verbal abuse on it and he calls the recipients of the verbal abuse ‘victims’. And if they seriously think the abuser will tell the truth on their side then they are oblivious to how abusers operate. And lastly, there most certainly are right and wrong and moral absolutes. These people think they are so enlightened when they spout crap like this but all they do is hurt the already beaten-down victim and encourage them to go back to trying harder and receiving even more abuse. Yes, the world needs be educated on this BIG TIME and the Dr. Phil’s of the world need a good piece of duck-tape over their mouths.

    Just sayin’. 😉

    • I am quite sure that if they were to endure abuse themselves, then they would be compelled to urge the change in language and how discussions with survivors AND current victims of abuse are approached. They seem to fail to keep in mind that they bear accountability when handling these things.

  5. Thank you so much for this. The paragraph about emotional abuse, in particular, really spoke to me.

    • You’re welcome… it’s URGENT to keep in mind that verbal and emotional abuse is where it all starts… it’s how they get us to the point they can add others methods of abuse, because once we’re completely emptied of all self-worth and love for ourselves, how can we have the motivation or the energy to fight the rest? Verbal and emotional abuse leaves damage behind that takes years to reverse, and I truly doubt that it will ever all go away.

  6. well-put. I have to confess here that I was one of those people who used to say that I would NEVER allow someone to abuse me. when my sister ended up in an abusive relationship, I asked her why she wouldn’t just leave – why she would accept that type of treatment. I didn’t mean to offend anyone when I said things like that, but I was ignorant of the problem – totally unaware of the severe emotional abuse and manipulation and just ignorant to think that there was something I could do to prevent it from happening to me.

    this is exactly why your blog is so important. thanks for always speaking out, lady! love you! ❤

    • I am sure that many people can say they were once in your position. At the heart of it, I truly believe that attitude is perpetuated by the fact that we AREN’T TAUGHT or WARNED it CAN happen to us… we’re always taught that it happens to others and that it isn’t our business. We’re taught that relationships work out to be fairy tales, and that societal attitude must change. Look at the millions of people who are being harmed by it? It’s now so out of control that they really should start implementing Healthy Relationships classes in school starting in elementary school. How can they know it’s wrong if no one tells them is and gives them examples of the way healthy relationships work?

  7. Well said. Being asked, “why didn’t you just leave?” gets old. I try to use it as a springboard to dive into why victims actually don’t leave and the fact I hammer on in blog posts that the risk of homicide goes up 75 percent when you leave an abusive relationship. If it was as easy as just leaving, we would have done that years before we actually did.

    • Prime example of why people who do not have first hand knowledge should not speak on things they don’t know. It’s easy when you’re on the outside of the situation to make assumptions and give a million and one examples why they would or wouldn’t do or allow this. It’s easy to surmise when the weight isn’t bearing down on you like a mountain and you are sealed in the pressure cooker with the roaring lion.

  8. “Sealed in the pressure cooker with the roaring lion.” WOW. SO well said!! That’s exactly what it feels like. I’ve been out for years and finally feel healed but just reading that line brought that dark and HEAVY and hopeless feeling all back to me for a moment. THANK GOD I am out now. Blessings to all!

    • It wasn’t my intention to make anyone relive that feeling. I apologize to you, but for those who have never been through abuse, it pretty much sums up my experience. I hope the moment has passed.

      • No worries! It’s good for me to feel that horrible feeling now and again to remind myself that I NEVER want to go back to that!! The reminder is always immediately followed with such a feeling of gratitude for having survived and the knowledge I now have. It is also mixed with a great feeling of happiness at being FREE!!! 🙂


  10. Pingback: Why Didn’t You Just Leave? | Truth, Justice, and All-American Allergen-Free Apple Pie


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