A Cry For Justice

Awakening the Evangelical Church to Domestic Violence and Abuse in its Midst

How society can prevent domestic abuse (Don Hennessy series part 11)

Don Hennessy says:

We need to find a way to challenge the tolerance of male sexual entitlement which is endemic in our society. This goal is the only one not supported by the skilled offender. (208*)  

The issue that limits most of us is that the reality of intimate partner abuse is beyond our belief. (215)

After more than thirty years of energy and commitment our efforts have achieved very little. We have become tangled in a debate that is being orchestrated unwittingly on behalf of skilled offenders. I use the word unwittingly with caution because the power and the success of this distractive discussion may well be a highly efficient and well-hidden tactic of male sexual predators. (203)

The system designed and supported by the community has also been contaminated by the psychephile. (214)

We need to take the focus from the target woman and place it on the skilled offender. (215)

Don Hennessy (image from independent.ie/life/family/family-features/red-flags-of-coercive-control-36681122.html)

According to Hennessy, there are two levels of reform

  1. The first level is to change people’s behaviour. This is possible. Men can be given strong reasons for saying one cannot do this ever again. This may change their behaviour. 
  2.  However, to change their beliefs or attitudes…may take 1,000 years or so of hard work. Certainly, I will not see it in my lifetime in the sense that it is a long-term problem. (source)

Professionals who work in the domestic abuse field call that second level Primary Prevention.

Is gender equality the answer?

From what I (Barbara Roberts) have read, research indicates that societies with more gender equality tend to have lower rates of male violence against women. Professionals in the domestic abuse field are deducing from this that primary prevention must involve working towards gender equality.

However, Sweden is a country which has gender equality embedded in its social structures more than most other countries, yet despite its reputation for equal opportunity in the workplace Sweden has one of highest rates of domestic violence in Europe. See the article Gender neutrality but high domestic violence rate in Sweden says Rosie Batty. Rosie Batty is a survivor of domestic violence whose son, Luke, was murdered by his father. Rosie was made Australian of the Year in 2014 because of her outstanding advocacy for victims of domestic abuse. You can watch Rosie Batty’s report about her trip to Sweden here.

I know that some countries are intentionally working towards gender equality. But I also know there is another strong force working against the gains they might be making. I’m talking about the porn juggernaut. Pornography is empowering men who abuse their intimate female partners. One of the most popular genres of porn watched by males is the genre which shows women being raped.

Men’s Rights Associations (MRA’s) are also empowering abusive men. MRA’s are an echo chamber where skilled offenders encourage and teach young disaffected men to treat women like sexual objects and domestic slaves.

Even if a society has outwardly embedded gender equality into its laws and institutions, that may be far from sufficient to resist the lethal undertow of the porn juggernaut.

My sense is that while working towards gender equality in society may help, it will not be the whole answer.

In my observation the debate about gender equality is typically admixed with LGBQTI issues. That blending of issues tends to put off genuine Christians. They don’t want to be seen to endorse same-sex relationships and transgender moves because those things are prohibited by Scripture, so they are extremely reluctant to recognise (let alone address) assumptions of male privilege in the bedroom. And of course, there are male-privilege diehards in the visible church who obstinately do their best to control the narrative.

Don Hennessy says that the responsibility of men in the realm of sexual intimacy needs to be our specific focus

For our primary intervention to succeed we need to address the clear and dynamic tactics that young men bring to the task of getting their sexual needs met. We need to challenge the belief that underpins all of their tactics. This belief, of the dominance of their sexual entitlements, has been fostered by the history of, and the justification given to, all sexual predators. It will take courage and integrity to challenge this belief. (183)

The ultimate aim of all our efforts should be to develop a society where sexual integrity is a given for every person. … [Where] the right of a woman to say no will be overridden by the responsibility of the man to seek permission. (214)

When we can establish the need that a woman says yes, then we will make it the duty of the man to ask permission. This is the shift that all men resist. This is the change of language that is needed… (214)

The Bible confirms what Hennessy says.

In 1 Corinthians 7:4b it says that the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does (see my post Saying No to sex with one’s spouse).

And the most detailed list of prohibited sexual acts in the Bible (Leviticus 18) addresses all its prohibitions to men.

While the Bible does not condone the sexual sins of women, I think a good case could be made it gives more emphasis to the sexual sins of men.

Back to Don Hennessy:

Domestic violence work is fundamentally different from counseling. (227) 

The hopelessness in dealing with uncontrolled sexual entitlement is very concisely dealt with in the biblical exchange (Matthew 18:6) where a question is asked about those who scandalize children. The reply is amazing in its clarity and brutality. The only way to stop these people is to drown them. Perhaps we are too civilised to consider such a barbaric act but the implications of the message are that we need to be very vigorous and very vigilant if we are to stop skilled offenders. (240)  [Note from Barb: I have put four translations of Matthew 18:6 at the bottom of this post.]

From working with male intimate abusers it is clear that these offenders are more skilful and more devious than the sex offender who confines his abuse to children. The offender who can develop and sustain a long-term adult abusive relationship with his intimate partner is extremely skilful and determined. (240)

He also has the advantage of the tolerant attitude of the community. Child abuse is no longer misunderstood or accepted. In the last fifty years we as a society have come to accept the appalling effects that pedophiles have on the lives of their targets. Perhaps in the next fifty years we will begin to document and report the effects that adult intimate abusers, the psychephiles, have on the target women. When we can expose what these men do and the effect it has on the women they target, we may be able to eliminate the tolerance that inhibits our response. (241)

Hopefully we will learn from our response to paedophilia and transfer our experience to working with adult intimate abusers. We must take the issue seriously. More importantly, we can no longer allow the skilled offenders to influence what we do. (241)

We need to acknowledge the evil

Above all else we need to acknowledge that the force we are trying to manage, the evil we are trying to stop, will not yield easily. (215)

Clergy may want to mediate because they wish to avoid the reality of the evil that is at work. (213)

Even with courage and integrity we will find that society will resist the challenge. (183)

In 2014 Don Hennessy spoke to a parliamentary committee in the Republic of Ireland (full transcript here). He and other DV specialists had been invited to speak to the parliamentarians about domestic abuse. Here is some of what Hennessy said:

I thank the committee for inviting me to speak. A couple of words that I want to introduce early are “crime” and “evil”. I have heard one but not the other. Male intimate abuse is the most widespread form of crime in this country, but it is also the most evil form of behaviour that I have ever encountered. All of our efforts to deal with this crime have failed because of our ignorance, our tolerance and our desire to be fair.

Our ignorance is founded on our reliance on the victim to explain her experience while she is unaware of the covert tactics of targeting, setting up and grooming that are used by all psychephiles to establish and maintain mind control. This is why I call them “psychephiles”.

Our tolerance is founded on our ambivalence about male sexual priority, which is rife throughout the country.

Our desire to be fair causes us to misdiagnose the perpetrator and to fail to recognise his psychopathic terrorism and his sociopathic lying. It leads us to blame the victim and collude with the psychephile. It will lead us to be groomed by the psychephile and will inevitably cause us to wilt under his persistence. It will allow us to resist putting human rights legislation into our law and to claim constitutional support for putting property rights before victim safety rights. It will give the word of a sociopathic liar equal status with that of the victim. It will allow the psychephiles, who account for one in four of all men in relationships, to dictate our response. It will eventually lead to us doing nothing to solve the problem.

For a few minutes, I would like to put on record how people can do nothing energetically.  

[Hennessy then describes how a 1997 Task Force on Violence Against women made lots of recommendations, but in 2012 a review showed that very few of those recommendations had been put into effect – and those which were being implemented were only at an early stage.] 

A solution to the problem is to stop talking, to read what we promised to do in 1997 and to make a start there. 

 

Psalm 82:1-4, 8

God takes His stand in His own congregation;
He judges in the midst of the rulers.
How long will you judge unjustly
And show partiality to the wicked? 

Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
Rescue the weak and needy;
Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked. 

Arise, O God, judge the earth!
For it is You who possesses all the nations.

Matthew 18:6

Whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me – it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! (HCSB)

Whoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. (American King James Version)

Whoever misleads one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung about his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea (Modern English Version)

Everyone who commits an offense against one of these little ones who believe in me, it were profitable for him that a donkey’s millstone would be hung around his neck and he be sunk in the depths of the sea. (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

Exodus 21:16

Whoever kidnaps a person must be put to death, whether he sells him or the person is found in his possession. (Christian Standard Bible)

   ***    ***    ***    ***    ***    ***

*Unless otherwise indicated, all indented quotes in this post are from Don Hennessy’s book How He Gets Into Her Head: The Mind of the Male Intimate Abuser  [*Amazon affiliate link — ACFJ gets a small percentage if you purchase via this link.]  We have added this book to our Gift Books Offer in which we offer to give certain books to cash-strapped victims.

Emphasis in all quotes has been added by me.

Steps to Freedom: Escaping Intimate ControlDon Hennessy’s new book, can be purchased direct from the Irish publisher libertiespress.com/shop/steps-to-freedom

Hennessy says that Steps to Freedom is different from most ‘sympathy’ and ‘support’ books which rely on the target woman to protect herself. Instead it talks directly to the target woman while she is being controlled and hopes to give her the permission and the skills to protect her mind and her soul.

Amazon UK and Amazon Canada have listed it as available April 30.
As is common with newly published books, the US distributor has a separate release schedule from the British Commonwealth distributor. Amazon US have listed it as available May 14.

Further reading:

Male Privilege is the underlying driver of domestic abuse. — Ken Lay, former Police Commissioner

Learning to see red flags

Violence against women: it’s a men’s issue — a TED talk by Jackson Katz

Abuse and Pre-Marriage Counseling: We Must Change Our Approach – by Ps Jeff Crippen

Wise as Serpents Digest

33 Comments

  1. Lea

    >n my observation the debate about gender equality is typically admixed with LGBQTI issues. That blending of issues tends to put off genuine Christians

    I disagree.

    What I see most often are men of the patriarchal/complementarian flavor conflating issues for women and of gender equality with issues LGBT precisely so they can dismiss them.

    • I too have seen men of the patriarchal/complementarian flavor conflating issues for women and of gender equality with issues LGBT precisely so they can dismiss them.

      I have also observed that in the secular world and secular activism, gender equality is admixed with LGBQTI issues. In my observation, this happens quite a bit in the world of secular DV activism as well.

  2. E

    “From what I (Barbara Roberts) have read, research indicates that societies with more gender inequality tend to have lower rates of male violence against women. Professionals in the domestic abuse field are deducing from this that primary prevention must involve working towards gender equality.”

    This seems contradictory. Barbara, did you mean “more” or “less” gender equality in the first sentence quoted here from the above article?

    • Thanks E. I have fixed that typo of mine. It now reads “From what I (Barbara Roberts) have read, research indicates that societies with more gender equality tend to have lower rates of male violence against women.}

  3. Helovesme

    Thank you again for sharing this amazing series. It has been difficult and eye opening.

    I think what I appreciate the most is the raw honesty. It is clear that this evil is widespread–and even harder to deal with. It was made clear that society and Christians will resist the necessary changes. The “norms” are so embedded in society that will take a long time to root them out and change the narrative.

    Once a victim is made aware and somehow comes to safety, I worry about what her life will look like. She was a warm, generous, honest person that (through no fault of her own) was targeted by an evil man, who abused and exploited those wonderful characteristics for his own selfish gain and evil purposes.

    I recall reading an article by a woman who, in order to “prevent” her daughter from being hurt by men, claimed she would teach her how to “breathe fire.”

    I found that sad, but I understood her intent. Many times, being compassionate and loving (not to mention trusting)—can lead to being hurt. “Breathing fire” keeps people at a safe distance, and warns them that you are no one to be trifled with.

    Perhaps the next part of the series will deal with this. Abuse is only part of the story. Hopefully, once you are away and apart from his lies and intentional manipulations—you are free to start over. But then what? What kind of person have you become? Are you now skittish about being kind and loving, and start to live in a bubble? Afraid to get close to others, unwilling to be vulnerable? Is being surly and unpleasant going to prevent being targeted again? (even though, again, it was never your fault to begin with)

    • Moving Forward

      What’s really sad is that these “norms” are more likely to see at least an attempt at changing in society, though as pointed out, with porn use rampant it may be only superficial, but in the church, I don’t believe there is any chance for change. I’m thinking of Australia and Scotland and Ireland, and the headlines in the US where organizations are rising up to make a difference and doing something about the perpetrators, while the church sits on its hands (or raises them in praise of the abuser). It is in the church where the change should begin. If churches dealt with abusers as they should, then society would have less of a problem to deal with, as we have seen how so many of the abusers are hiding in the church.

      Good questions in your last paragraph. I’m grappling with that now, as my ex is still trying to tell me who I am and what I should be doing. I can’t go back to who I was, because I have grown and matured since then, but what aspects of that person can I bring back, and how can I do it? Yes, I would rather disappear to a mountain cabin for the rest of my life, but as well I want to help others who are going through this. Remarriage – forget it. But I will always have an ache in my heart for the love I will never experience on a human level, but praise God he can fill that ache and is faithful to do so.

      • Helovesme

        Thank you for your reply, and I will be praying for you. I have been through a lot in my life, and especially in the last few years. I have not been abused sexually, as this series is particularly dealing with—I want to make that clear. I have been through a lot of abuse in my childhood, and abusive situations with Christians. The latter has been particularly hard to swallow. For the most part I had no idea what was even going on.

        But I have sadly become a shell of the person i used to be. I truly don’t know who I am anymore. I do not know what the Lord is going to do with me, but I cannot express my gratitude that He is with me to hold me close, and hold me together. I feel I would disintegrate if He was not my Savior, and glad He loves me so much.

        I agree with you about the church. I don’t see the huge overhaul and undoing of terrible “norms” that the church so desperately needs to do.

        But I also see the Lord still being who He is, and making sure evildoers are punished. Abusers and their willing enablers. And I certainly see Him holding His true children close and making beauty out of their ashes.

  4. Anonymous

    I would like to thank you for your articles on “How society can prevent domestic abuse.” The description of the grooming and the abuser is spot on. I have been one that has not been able to share my story, I want to, but can’t. Someday, God willing.
    And though I knew in my gut, somerthing was severly wrong, everyone I spoke to about it dismissed me! Everyone.
    I finally found a counselor with Focus on the Family in the US that didn’t write it off. I will help other women when I can.

    • Hi Anonymous, I had to change your screen name because your comments were submitted with what may be your real name in the name field.

      I am glad you found a counselor who didn’t write off the abuse. I just want to note for the benefit of other readers that we do not by and large endorse Focus on the Family. You can read some of our readers’ views about FOF here and you can read our three posts which mention FOF here.

  5. Still Struggling

    Thank you for this series Barbara. It is incredible to see a perspective on abuse from the standpoint of an intimate partner abuser being a sexual predator. I can see how this is certainly true in my case. I believe the use of pornography and objectification of women is a likely root of the problem and in today’s world of easier access to it through the internet it is even more evil. It seems in most discussions on abuse sexual violence is rarely addressed . I’m hopeful that voices like Don Hennessey’s and yours Barbara, are heard more often.

    I read the transcript from the Irish Parliament (thanks for the link!) and found the comments by
    Tony Mulcahy to be profound. He spoke of his own family violence growing up and his contribution that police responding to a call to the home should document it as a crime scene brought me to tears. This would be a huge step in gaining justice for victims.

    Mr. Hennessey made it clear in his remarks that there needs to be action, not just talk. If all law enforcement and court systems listen to him, to you, to people like Tony Mulchany, and they actually implement changes such as those they talk about then we will begin to see real change.

  6. Gany T.

    This post is jaw-droppingly powerful, fearless, succinct. All of this series is, but today’s truly crescendos.

    Three important lines:
    “We have become tangled in a debate that is being orchestrated [by] skilled offenders.”
    “Domestic violence work is fundamentally different from counseling. (227)”
    “IT WILL GIVE THE WORD OF A SOCIOPATHIC LIAR EQUAL STATUS WITH THAT OF THE VICTIM…[AND ALLOW IT TO] DICTATE OUR RESPONSE.”

    Please listen, pastors, conference speakers, and marriage “experts” Ladies Bible study teachers, seminary professors, and all professing followers of The Way, TRUTH, and Life. (Hey, nouthetic counselors: Did you see this “secular professional” quote and accurately apply Scripture to this issue? Yep, Matt. 18:6)

    Thank you, Barbara, for adding the Scriptures and insights, too. (You and Don H. make a great team!)

    • Gany T.

      On a personal level and somewhat off topic: In Barbara’s important section on gender equality, I agree with the predicament for believers when LGBQTI issues are mixed in with gender equality issues.

      When I was taking my very 1st baby steps away from spiritually abusive teachings and unhealthy ruts which had damaged our family, I almost gave up before I started due to this very thing. And it was promoted by some articulate, compassionate champions for victims in the church, who profess faith. That made it worse. Confusing. Very disheartening to this overwhelmed Christian mother of a young adult child who left home broken, to marry someone who then became transgendered, and to eventually become transgendered herself. I needed compassion, hope, AND truth. (My thanks to ACFJ, specifically Barbara, for providing that.)

      Probably continuing further off topic here: And in my family’s experience, taking a righteous stand against abuse and gender inequality while agreeing with Scripture’s prohibition of same-sex relationships and transgender moves, has actually proven to be quite winsome and clarifying, not offensive or off putting. Don’t get me wrong- my other young adult children, who have rejected the ‘f’aith, still accept much of society’s general thinking on sexual mores (2 consenting adults, no wrong, no harm), but are being pulled like a magnet to the wisdom, humility, and compassion of believers with this view. (aka truth, the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit).

  7. Anonymous

    Oh also wondering if there were a way for people to buy the book, but it look like a different book. I could never put that book with that title in my kindle. But if it had an option for an alternate title (blinded per say), that someone could pick, I could. Does that make sense? I just mention because I feel there are probably others in my shoes as well.

    • What a good question!

      Maybe some who has more experience with Kindle than I do can answer it for you.

    • Song of Joy

      There are options to change the book title in Kindle, but I’m not savvy on how to do it. If you google “change a book title on kindle” it will bring up a number of articles.

      You bring up an important safety issue. Snooping abusers just love to keep tabs on their victims and what they are doing, reading, thinking.

  8. Suzanne

    Getting men to change of their own volition is not going to work, at least not any time soon, because the present conditions work for them. And abusers don’t give that up. They will fight tooth and nail to preserve their power and control over their victims.

    I believe that it may be more effective to educate young girls and women on how to detect abusers before they become enmeshed in a relationship. It won’t save all, but it’s a start and something we can do today. We need to also ensure that they have the self-confidence and self esteem that empowers them to do what is best for themselves and their future children. So many women and girls give way to the romance and ignore the warning signs when they’re being courted (groomed, actually), and there needs to be a concerted effort to give them the tools they need to make good choices. So much money is spent (wasted, actually) on trying to convince abusers to change. Why not spend it on programs to educate their targets before it’s too late?

    • CeeKay

      I wholeheartedly agree with this. DISCERNMENT is the most unused and untaught character trait of God’s with in Christendom, imo. Without discernment, WISDOM has no furtile soil in which to grow.

    • Anonymous Person

      I’m with you, Suzanne. When I was growing up there were those typical ‘stranger danger’ type teachings in public schools where young children were instructed to NOT get into stranger’s vehicles, NOT take candy from strangers, NOT help strangers look for supposedly lost pets, and other things like that. Same with don’t play with matches, don’t start forest fires. You know, the basics. But look at the victimization rates and it’s clear that the likelihood of being kidnapped is low, same with being poisoned by tampered candy, and whatnot else. What’s the most likely thing to happen to a woman or girl? She is abused by a boyfriend, a husband, male co-workers, male classmates, etc.

      Why there isn’t mandatory safety education that is more applicable to girls than ‘stranger danger’ highly unprobable setups is beyond me. I think the men in power aren’t concerned with victimization rates for little girls, teenage girls, women as they don’t see females as counting as much as males, don’t see the value in such, and don’t want their potential victim pool to grow smaller and smaller as little girls are brought up knowing what predators males are.

      Kind of like, ‘get ’em young and keep them dumb’. How many of us didn’t know we were being abused until it became life-threateningly bad? And even then, how many of us had any courage left in any possible convictions we made have to actually call things for what they are/were?

      How many school administrators or male teachers molest females in their vicinity? It is in the wicked men’s perverse interests to keep half the population in a subjugated, naive, ‘submissive’, ignorant, vulnerable state.

      Discernment can be taught and practiced and developed. Men aren’t going to do it, so it is on us women to teach our daughters, nieces, granddaughters, neighbor girls, pupils, etc. how things are and how men see them, MOST ESPECIALLY with porn being accessed by 10 year old boys and the next generation growing up completely awash in such evil which is so mainstream, so normalized, it’s really disheartening and downright scary. Porn users become increasingly desensitized and increasingly use more and more hard-core porn, as well as further and further along the lines of child porn. Porn is the art form and rape is the practice.

      • It is true what you say about porn. And Jimmy Hinton, who tracks this stuff closely, says that there is a sharp in increase in female teachers being charged with sexually abusing schoolboys. Jimmy thinks this relates to the increased number or women watching porn and the increased popularity of the porn genre titled ‘step-mother’.

      • 🙂 thanks for the tip about my typo, Anonymous Person. I have fixed it now.

    • I have not yet got Steps To Freedom (Hennessy’s second book) but maybe it has some things specially aimed at teens and young women who have not yet become committed to / bonded to a man.

      • Suzanne

        Any book, any resource that helps potential victims, would be wonderful. But it’s not enough. We need programs in churches and schools, run by survivors. We need parents who will spend time teaching their children the difference between what is truly good and what is evil pretending innocence (and those parents need guidance too). And we need to start early, before adolescence. CeeKay is right. The teaching of discernment is of great value to those who are most likely to be the targets of abusers.

      • I agree, Suzanne.

  9. CeeKay

    “The only way to stop these people is to drown them. Perhaps we are too civilised to consider such a barbaric act but the implications of the message are that we need to be very vigorous and very vigilant if we are to stop skilled offenders.”

    It is not barbarism to root out and destroy EVIL… it is Justice.

    Evil is allowed to flourish and multiply when is it not destroyed. This is the consequence of refusing to see evil for what it is.

    • Exodus 21:16 (CSB)
      Whoever kidnaps a person must be put to death, whether he sells him or the person is found in his possession.

      I have added this verse to the bottom of the post.

      The skilled offender who targets and grooms a woman to abuse in a longterm intimate relationship pretty much kidnaps her.

      • Anonymous Person

        I really appreciate the Bible verse and CeeKay’s comment.

        In the transcript to Rosie Batty’s trip to Sweden … they [talk to] an abuser who is going through a program or counseling or something for being a violent abuser….he lies as typical abusers do and talks about a nonexistent state of “seeing black” (and therefore not responsible for his actions, not in control. a ‘victim’ of some terrible anger outburst…..blah, blah, blah, and then Rosie [partly] sympathizes with the abuser, makes it seem very understandable that the poor woman-beater has these terrible spells of ‘black-out anger’…..

        But I was really disappointed to see that here again another lying abuser perp is given floor-space and media attention to obfuscate, play the victim of supposed ‘out-of-control, memory-blanking, blackout rages’, get Rosie’s sympathy, pity play her and any readers of the article and further spread the lie that abusers are but victims and not controlling, savvy victimizing perps who know just how effective violence is in achieving victim compliance (via induced fear)……

        Why are we listening to any of the self-serving lies that come out of the abuser’s mouth? Let alone printing [their views] in an article about DV! Children of the devil are not known for truthfulness, most especially when talking about (LYING about) their violence and crimes.

      • Hi Anonymous Person, I edited your comment a bit.

        Rosie Batty did speak to that Swedish abuser. I didn’t see the transcript but I did watch the video which the transcript was made from.

        I think it is important to bear in mind that Rosie is a survivor like ourselves and she has done terrific work in advocating for other victim-survivors. She became a public figure after her son was murdered and she spent years in the public eye raising awareness and helping lobby for change. She may not have had time to become fully au fait with what the professionals who run Abuser Programs have found out in their years of learning and working with male abusers.

        I know for a fact that NTV (No To Violence, the peak body in Victoria Australia, where both Rosie and I live) warn us that abusive men say things like “I snapped” or “I lost it” or “I lost control” as EXCUSES.

        And NTV say that we should not accept those excuses that abusive men put forward.

        I think it’s important to bear in mind that victim-survivors and journalists are at different stages along the learning curve when it comes to seeing through the DV myths and the excuses which abusers give for their behavior. Even survivors who have been absolutely fantastic victim-advocates in the public sphere may not have had the time and energy to put in to developing that level of astuteness about the tricks abusers use.

        I know it has taken me many years of reading and studying to get as far as I am now. So let’s be a bit understanding of other survivors (and journalists) who may be putting their shoulder to the wheel on a different aspect of the problem.

      • Anonymous Person

        You’re totally right, Barb. I think I was really triggered by yet another abuser talking about nonexistent ‘black-out rages’ and nobody is perfect and Rosie is awesome for her work and the strength and courage and resilience she has demonstrated. To put together a foundation and take up going all over the globe, doing work in DV, within a mere two years of her son’s murder?! That’s superwoman stuff right there.

        Who am I to dare question or put my unreasonable disappointments on someone like Rosie who is out there, in the trenches, doing such good work. I didn’t watch the video but rather just read the transcript. There were probably nuances and everything else that I missed as it was just words on paper. It’s one thing to be in the moment, out there, doing hard work everyday and another for someone with a keyboard critiquing something after the fact.

        Learning curve, indeed. It’s also easier to spot and dissect something from afar versus deal with an abuser’s tactics in the moment, as they are happening. I’m very glad you edited my comment. I apologize for submitting something that needed it.

      • Thanks 🙂
        bless you!

      • Anonymous Person

        Also, the transcribed interaction between the abuser and Rosie is illustrative of how abusers pity play the rest of us and use our kindness against us. The abuser played the woe-is-me, these [nonexistent] ‘blackout rages’ plague me card and Rosie, in her exceptional kindness, humility, and empathy (or is it sympathy?), is kind and responsive. Rosie is demonstrating the very finest qualities and excellent character that society would do well to copy and have but most are exactly the opposite.

        It’s bait, the abuser casts it out there and sees if he can get anyone to fall for it, hook, line, and sinker. If that bait doesn’t work, he tries something else. And it is very well polished. But abusers aren’t all that clever but rather society grooms us, abusers’ lies are everywhere, Hollywood, the media, cliches. all sorts of things spout these lies/baitings. ‘Seeing red’ is another one. ‘Blackout rages’ and ‘seeing red’.

        I don’t care to watch the video, which would make it even harder to see this, but in my reading the transcript alone the abuser’s lie about his supposed blackout rages was pitched and it was so slick. A person who isn’t triggered about so-called nonexistent ‘blackout rages’ wouldn’t have a cow over it.

        I was having a very bad day, or maybe week, or maybe more and I regret what I submitted.

        I don’t know how Rosie is out there doing what she is doing after such an incredibly grievous loss. I’d be fetal position, indefinitely. Yea, Rosie! 🙂

  10. Finding Answers

    Psalm 82:1-4, 8

    God takes His stand in His own congregation;
    He judges in the midst of the rulers.
    How long will you judge unjustly
    And show partiality to the wicked?

    Vindicate the weak and fatherless;
    Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.
    Rescue the weak and needy;
    Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

    Arise, O God, judge the earth!
    For it is You who possesses all the nations.

    So many ideas to include in my comments, but I must omit them for my protection.

    And in feeling the need for omission, does that not also compound the problem and silence the voices?

    I don’t know where to begin, Papa God….teach me to be an invisible voice.

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