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Speak out about abuse! Or not

15 May 2014, 21:00

Speak out about abuse!

Don't keep quiet about abuse!

And so forth and so forth.

You hear it all the time.

So, in August last year, my ex broke my nose and dragged me by my hair down the street. I decided enough was enough and laid a charge of assault against him.

But here's what they don't tell you. The law doesn't protect you.  The abuser almost always (and I was told this by the court official) goes and opens cases against you.

My particular ex has me arrested 3 times for everything from child abuse to assault on him! He even had a medical report.

I went to my employer and I was honest with them from the start. I couldn't go to work with a blue eye and broken nose.

Thereafter when I was arrested, I was honest with them and the social worker that was appointed to the case even told them that this is "standard retaliation" that happens when a woman finally stands up to her abuser.

To make a long story short, eventually it became too much to bear. He phoned the CEO of my company and the embarrassment just got too much and I resigned and left with what little dignity I had left.

My team manager told me she understood completely and wished me luck for the future.

Now almost a year later I sent my CV out. I went for 3 interviews and even got an email from the HR department saying everything went well and that they people liked me.

All that was left to do was get a reference from my previous employers.

Guess what? I got a very bad reference. Not because of my work performance but because "she gets arrested all the time"

Speak out about women abuse.

Why, I am the only breadwinner as my ex refuses to pay maintenance. There are several court orders which he blatantly ignores and nothing happens to him.

If you're an abused woman there's a stigma attached to you. Even though people would not like to admit it. People don't want to deal with the realities of abuse and victim almost always gets blamed or punished in some way.

It would have been better to lie to them, wouldn't it? I should have just put leave in and kept quiet. They wouldn't have had to deal with the drama. I should have handled it on my own and they would never have known. I would be earning more money to provide for my family, if I only I hadn't spoken out about abuse.

Speak out about abuse…. yeah right. 

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