Everything about this person is about control, actually.
There are a lot of strategies that an abusive partner uses in order to control their partners aside from physical violence — verbal abuse, isolation, controlling the finances, reproductive coercion, sabotaging birth control so a partner gets pregnant and he's saying she has to stay home with the baby. In the 18 years I've been doing this, I've never worked with a victim who said it was only one time.
You can question why she's staying, but let's talk about the difficulty of leaving.
If you can't afford child care, who's going to take care of your children? Let's talk about universal, affordable, safe child care. In New York, it's so expensive to live — where are you telling people to go if they're in a relationship and they live together?
But that's not always how it goes."Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior in which one exerts power and control over another individual," Ray-Jones says.
It's impossible to love someone who abuses you."I've worked with so many women who have been victims, and women feel so much shame and embarrassment over the fact that they love someone who is abusive to them," Ray-Jones says.
And reproductive coercion — tampering with your birth control or pressuring you to get pregnant — is another common abuse tactic, with 1 in 3 women in abusive relationships also experiencing reproductive abuse, and 1 in 8 women who aren't in otherwise abusive relationships reporting such coercion. If someone abuses you, it's an obvious decision to leave the relationship."Conversations about domestic violence always come back to, 'Why does the woman stay?
'" says Michelle Kaminsky, the lawyer that Brooklyn district attorney Kenneth Thompson appointed as the chief of the DA's office's Domestic Violence Bureau.
"We talk about it as if it's a very simple solution: If someone is very abusive to you, you just walk away. If you are economically dependent on someone and you depend on them to pay the bills, if they're paying the mortgage or the rent or putting food on the table, or if you're the one working and you can't afford child care, that makes it harder to leave."Kaminsky says we shouldn't be so quick to judge from outside a relationship.
And all of us can have blinders on when it comes to love.