Idon’t know about you but when the first pictures of Saatchi gripping Nigella Lawson’s throat hit the papers and TV screens, I felt at first as if it was an invasion of privacy… But as the news emerged I then began to think, maybe it was the straw that broke the camels back.. so to speak.
One it was made public, the truth was out… perhaps it was the jolt that Nigella needed to bring her to her senses and leave a bully.
When Saatchi accepted his caution, he admitted to assaulting his wife. You have to admit you committed a criminal act in order to receive a caution.
However, there is nothing worse than living with a partner who is abusive to you. When this story broke, I did tweet the following:
If Saatchi is capable of treating his wife in such a demeaning manner in public, it does beg to question how he treats her out of the public eye and behind closed doors.
Any partner, whether you are married to them or not, does not have the right to treat you in such a despicable manner.
Domestic violence is not acceptable in today’s society.. it never was and never will be.. An abuser will take every inch of confidence you have in yourself, away from you, they will make you feel worthless and they etch away at your self-esteem until you have none.
When they have destroyed you and made you feel like a worthless piece of shite, and maybe even torn you from your friends and even your family, they will implant in your mind that the abuse they dish out to you, is because of your faults.. they will tell you that it is you that makes them do what they do.. you are the one to blame for their actions.
We think of domestic violence as abuse being at the end of a fist.. One of the worst forms of abuse a person can live through is mental abuse.. Words and putting you down and making you feel useless is a form of mental abuse. Raising a fist to threaten you without even striking you and making you fear what could be, is a form of mental abuse. Calling you names, dismissing your opinions, shouting at you for nothing and verbally abusing you, for dare mentioning something or threatening you with violence if you don’t shut up, is mental abuse. With mental abuse there are no outward signs unlike physical abuse, where you have the cuts, bruises and broken bones, everything is inward and mentally draining and soul destroying.
Whether the abuse be mental or physical, the abuser will make you feel as if you should be lucky that they stick with you… They want you to feel as if no-one would love you and everything that has happened to you is your own doing and fault. They will inflict on you that another man wouldn’t put up with you like they do. They have to make you feel as if everything is your own fault and you are the guilty person.
Some abusers are crafty, unlike Saatchi who does it in public. They will never abuse you physically or mentally in front of someone.. in fact they go out of their way to be nice to you.. to make people in your family and social friends, think they are such the goodie goodie and care for you. They act as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths. They make other people think that they are totally incapable of abusing a person. And should you confide in someone, if you dare, they think of the way your abuser has acted in front of them and basically don’t believe it and even think you are moaning about nothing, especially if there are no physical scars to show.. These abusers will abuse behind closed doors and away from family and friends. They fool the world.
Those more bold, will abuse you in front of anybody, friends and family and make you live in fear. They will tell you that if you decide to leave, they will find you and if you end up with a good hiding or even worse, then it is your own fault.
When the abuse starts you start the excuses to cover bruises, to cover black eyes etc.. You know the excuses, ‘I have fallen, I banged into the door, I fell down the stairs,’ etc etc.. At first they apologise and promise to mend their ways… they promise you that it will never happen again.. but it does. Some abusers don’t even bother apologising for their behaviour.. they just think it is their right to knock the living daylights out of you.
When you are at your lowest point, and feeling as if no-one would love you and you can’t face life on your own, you just stick around and take the beatings.. You have no confidence, you have no self-esteem and it has been beaten into you that all this abuse is your own doing.. because you nag, or because you don’t understand them, or because you have done something they don’t approve of.
No person has the god forgiven right to abuse another person, either physically or mentally.
Nigella Lawson, thankfully, has seen the light and has decided to move on and leave her abuser… However one thing I did find sickening in this whole sorry saga, was the press pack waiting and photographing her moving her stuff out of the family home… Seriously, that was not needed, in fact it was an invasion of privacy, pure and simple. And in my opinion they abused her all over again, just to get a scoop. Her life has just been turned upside down.. she doesn’t need to have to contend with the press following her every move. She needs time and her privacy to cope and learn to deal with what lies ahead of her.
Whether you are an abused partner or not, when a marriage fails you have to come to terms with what has happened. If you manage to get away from an abusive partner, you still have the scars to carry for a long time, long after the bruises have faded and the broken bones have healed.
Starting life over again, and having to go through a divorce is hard on any person, yet alone if you live with it also being played out in the tabloids.
As for Nigella Lawson I hope the press back off.. she has a tough road to climb… and she now needs her family and her privacy to work things through.
Nigella Lawson by leaving Saatchi will never have to endure his wrath again.. but for many women out there today, they still have to contend with an abusive partner… all because they don’t have the courage to walk away.
It is so easy for anybody to say, I would leave them, but if you have children to worry about and your abusive partner has made you severe all ties with your friends and family… it is hard to find somewhere to go, especially if you have no money. If your abuser controls the purse strings as well as you… you feel as if you have your back against the wall with nowhere to go.
If this Government wants to stamp out Domestic Violence then they are going to have to put the money into schemes where victims can be offered assistance, whether it be day, night or at weekends. Courts will have to make available resources where the Police can apply for a restraining order, at any time of the day or night, and be granted the powers to remove the abuser from the home. Shelters, refuge centres and counsellors should be on hand 24/7 to support the victim and children, if there are any children. You see it is not just the partner that suffers at the hands of the abuser, a child may also be a victim. A child may have witnessed their parent being beaten by the hands of another. Domestic Violence just doesn’t affect the victims, it affects children as well.
But into today’s economic climate and austerity measures, schemes like those designed to help victims of domestic violence will be curtailed.. due to the cutbacks that are being announced on a daily basis. And it is a tough call, when there is only so much money to go around.. do you fund a new cancer screening centre or a refuge for victims of domestic abuse? Does a council fund a refuge or social care for the ailing elderly population within their jurisdiction?
Tackling domestic violence will only work, if the funding is there and there is a safety net to protect the victim and support them on their long road to recovery. Even if the abuser is banged up for years on end.. that is not the end of it for the victim.. they still have a long road of recovery to travel.. Victims have to regain, their confidence, they have to start to feel worthy again and they have to get back their self-esteem and regain their confidence and above all they have to learn to move on and not let this abuse mar the rest of their lives.
And one thing we must never forget, even though the majority of victims are women.. men can also be victims of domestic violence. And for a man to have to admit that he is being bullied and beaten or verbally abused by his wife or partner, is another tough road to climb.. For a man to admit that he is being abused.. in his minds means that he is not macho… and he has a fear that people, especially his friends, will laugh at him for allowing himself to be a victim.
So is domestic violence your fault? YOU BET IT ISN’T. The blame lies firmly with the abuser and NOT the victim.