Yeh, yeh, I know, its a taboo subject, but one which will increase dramatically as more and more lose jobs and struggle to keep afloat financially and mentally. Its not so easy to sing 'I got you babe', when you haven't got a fiver for the electric and your other half is still down the pub.
Bizarrely, otherwise sane, intelligent women, and increasingly more men too, stay in relationships that are abusive, miserable, and sucking the lives out of them. We were all indoctrinated as children to find a partner, build a home and produce and nurture offspring, its our destiny. Men made the rules back in the days of Fred Flintstone, when men selected the hunter gatherer option and women were relegated to the domestic sphere of the cave. It was carved in stone by a group of neanderthals who had stumbled on some rotting grapes to have with their dinasaur sandwiches. Whilst admittedly, there was a fair bit of skill and strength required in tracking, hunting and conquering the savage beast, once caught it could provide several roast dinners, a few stews and a hundredweight of bridge rolls. This of course left said hunter gatherers (HGs) with lots of free time to gather quite a few more rotting grapes and doss around hammering rules into rocks to ensure the status quo. They tried kicking a rock around but it was too painful for their bare feet - A few million years would pass before the discovery of football boots and the Premier League. Unfortunately, some of the HGs would overly partake in the rotting grapes and return to the wrong cave. Which is where we came in.
Back to reality. Many moons ago, I read one of those 'life changing' books Women Who Love Too Much. It didn't change my life per se at that time, I was still attracted to mad, bad and dangerous men, but at least l knew why. It took a long, long time for the wise words of Robin Norwood to make that change, but the words stayed with me forever. You need to like yourself, then find someone who likes you too - Ok, that might not be the exact quote, but the simple message was there. I believe that those caught up within violent relationships have to change themselves.
I once worked voluntarily for Women's Refuge. I think its something most of us who come out the other side, feel a need to do. We want to speak to those silly little lasses, and drum some self esteem into their stubborn little heads. We know that they will return to the abuser again and again, and if not that one, they will find another one who is equally as bad, or they may even up the ante. Their need of course stems back to childhood, and as Robin Norwood said, they need to recreate the trauma from their own childhood again and again, so they can make it right this time. It is a hard cycle to break, and of course, some never do. I just hope that their families and friends keep a door open for them.