Imagine this story.
It’s one that will break your heart. It’s one of violence and abuse. It’s one that tears families apart and damages children. It’s one that causes pain and suffering.
There’s constant screaming and shouting, swearing and calling each other the most vile names in front of the kids. Words spewing from their mouths that children should never have to hear let alone be used to hearing, or even using those words themselves.
It’s so acceptable in their social circles that it’s not even kept behind closed doors like you see on TV. It’s not hidden, it’s plastered all over Facebook, it’s shouted in the pub, it’s out on the street for the whole world to see.
There’s domestic abuse, both ways, not just from the men, the women too. No one really bats an eyelid. Couples fight all the time apparently.
They kick off in the pub, dragging each other about, throwing drinks over each other. They go home and carry on the argument. Fists start flying, there’s tears and shouting. The neighbours can hear and think ‘here we go again’ but no one calls the police. It’s the weekend, that’s what happens at the weekend after too many drinks.
They wake up in the morning and act like nothing happened, both battered and bruised but ‘both as bad as each other’ so they just carry on.
Friends have seen what happened but they are in the same situation. They do the same things, they lash out at their partners too so it’s forgotten. They all just carry on and plan the next weekend out.
None of them think that it’s not right, that this is not a happy relationship. They ‘love each other’ so it’s ok. They just fall out when they are drunk, so it’s ok.
It was her fault that time, or it was his fault this time so they are both just as bad as each other, so the cycle continues.
But it’s not a story. It’s something that is happening in so many households across so many towns & cities.
It’s something I’ve seen first hand and am still seeing.
I know of men that have gone to prison for extreme domestic violence and then have slotted straight back into their friendship groups without so much as a bat of an eyelid. In fact the group have gone on to blame the women for ‘getting him locked up’.
There’s been friends of women who have been victims of domestic violence that have then gone on to have a relationship with the same man. Brought him into their home with their kids knowing his background. Seeing the bruises that have been inflicted on their ‘friend’ yet still welcome him in with open arms.
He’s then gone on to be nasty, abusive and violent to them in front of their kids and yet still nothing. They just carry on like normal.
I know of women who have smashed their houses to pieces in anger, who have beaten their partner, thrown things at them, even arranged for him to be attacked. Then they get back together like nothing ever happened. Even gone on to get engaged, like that’s going to fix the relationship.
Their friends just carry on being friends, drinking together even though they know about the violence, even though they have seen the violence, even though they are part of the violence.
It’s not right. It’s not right at all.
They are destroying each other. They are destroying their kids. They are destroying the next generation.
How can something so wrong been seen as ok for some people? How can it just be so normal?
If I hadn’t have seen it first hand for years and years I wouldn’t believe it myself. Yet I’ve seen it and I’m still seeing it. I’ve been through it. People saw the bruises but never said anything.
I pressed charges but I was the bitch who got him locked up and made him lose his job. I was the one that got shouted at in the street for ruining his life.
I’ve moved away from it all, that was over 15 years ago. I made a better life for my family and my kids and met an amazing man. We’ve never called each other those names in the twelve years together, we would never call each other those names. Yet it’s so normal for some people that they didn’t believe me when I said we don’t have those kind of arguments, everyone has those kind of arguments apparently.
But they don’t and it’s not normal.
It should never be normal and it breaks my heart that for some people, it is. It breaks my heart that for some people close to me it is. It breaks my heart that I’m the one in the wrong for making a fuss and for not carrying on like normal.