Intimate partner violence has a lot of invisibility to it.
This is where not being believed can get challenging and dangerous. This is where significant changes need to be made to laws and the judicial system.
It is very hard to prove that domestic violence and abuse has happened.
- When you are in it, you are surviving, not recording or photographing or even sometimes, calling the police.
- How do you prove non-physical violence? How do you prove in-person death threats, brainwashing and gaslighting, financial control, insults, monitoring, intimidation, or isolation?
- How do you prove sexual abuse if the person is your partner?
See what I mean? People think that abuse looks like black eyes, bruises, and broken bones. And those things are real. But there is also the insidious type of abuse that perpetrators use that is as much or even more effective to control their partners. And they know that it’s hard to prove, that’s why they use it.
My X harmed his animals. When I told a lawyer about it, he asked if the animals had died from his abuse. When I told him no, the lawyer brushed it off as being irrelevant. He harmed animals . . .
When I filed reports about his threatening phone calls, the police weren’t very concerned because he lived far from me. But only a flight away, and he could have come to do what he had told me many times he intended on doing to me and my child.
I had judges tell me to my face that there was no evidence of abuse. The gruesome details I described did not count. Did not actually mean a thing to them at all. To them I had no proof of the abuse inflicted on me.
But what I experienced is real.
I can conjure up memories as if they had happened yesterday.
And statistics on intimate partner violence are real. One in three women experience physical and/or sexual violence worldwide. And that’s only what’s reported.
We can’t all be lying.
I believe you. I will always believe women first.