When passing judgment on cases/victims we need to be aware of what we want to put out there. The language we use matters, the bigger picture of how victims are treated matters.
I use my case to raise awareness and because I refuse to be silent. I do not do it for pity.
The recent cases of AH/JD has been triggering for many and this is why.
Like JD my ex would repeatedly smash the house up leaving holes in doors, smashed glass. He would also make threats of violence ie I’ll iron you out, smash your face in etc.
He once said to me if I ever met someone else he would stab me and gut me like a fish find the person and do the same to them. He threatened to throw me out of our home. He told me I was lazy, a spoiled brat, would mock me call me a rat c**t. This was when i was pregnant, had a new born and young baby.
Eventually he physically attacked me by kicking me in the back, holding me against a wall hitting a phone in my face while saying he wished I was dead.
He would goad me to hit him back (I never did) but would say if I did the last person who did this was he’s ex who he strangled.
This has a huge effect on anyone as a victim.
When I left it continued through child contact/post separation abuse. Following further threats and another physical attack while I was holding my daughter.
I was then dragged through 2 1/2 years of litigation for child contact.
He never paid child support (family court don’t care about that) in the beginning he said I was a good mum with no safe guarding issues the minute he realised I was going to fight back he called me crazy, said I was a bad mum and had mental Health issues and suffered with post natal depression (none of which was true) he said he was a victim that I was just as bad (again not true) This tactic is called DARVO (deny, attack, reverse victim offender) nearly all perpetrators use it against their victims.
I had witnesses, photographic, recorded evidence (yes I recorded him, why shouldn’t I) and police records he had nothing and luckily the judge didn’t take he’s word for it and dismissed it however they also dismissed all my evidence including eye witnesses. That gave him power. For years I was an LIP while he would sit in court laughing with he’s barrister. I remember feeling so alone and just crying. I couldn’t cross examine because I’m not a solicitor. I was called a liar that I should stop crying and speak up but when I did was told how could I be a victim when I was in court alone speaking for myself. I was told I should have gone to the police more but when I did the police didn’t help me. I spoke out and protected my child and had an enforcement put on me and was threatened to be held in contempt of court. He broke the non molestation order and nothing was done. Most that have gone through the courts will know of the bias and trauma victims have to go through.
I was lucky in some ways I have had no mental health problems in my life, never been a big drinker drug user, had a good education, good family, I was considered a “perfect victim” in that way but was still called a liar etc. (This is not how it should be in court there no such thing as a perfect victim). Just imagine if you aren’t considered what society deems the “perfect victim”. Does that mean that the abuse you suffer should be seen as less?
5 years on and I still get litigation used against me with constant threats of court by my ex, why? Because he is jealous, bitter, controlling, humiliation, wants to silence me and because he can. Court cases are often used as a weapon against victims.
A lot of JDs behaviour in the relationship and through the court case reminds me of my ex. Many others will feel the same. Because most perpetrators tend to follow the same script. That’s why this cases is triggering for so many and that why what we say about it matters. How we learn about DA matters. We must educate ourselves and our children.
This case has turned domestic abuse in to a spectators sport making a mockery of violence, and domestic abuse, where so many have been so misinformed and imposed archaic and misogynistic views out there for the world to see while victims are left scared to speak out, while perpetrators are now empowered to drag there victims through vicious court cases because the world mocked someone declaring they were abused and made excuses for JDs horrific behaviour and he was triumphant.
It is victims who will lose ultimately in this case, a case that should never have been public it became a circus and victims are watching and listening to all that is said.
This case wasn’t even about about who was or wasn’t guilty of domestic abuse it was a defamation case but it brought out the worst in so many. It brought to light the hardship of court cases for anyone going through them.
I urge everyone to take a domestic abuse course or listen to webinars by professionals. (I will list a few below) education is key to understand the dynamics of these cases and victims and perpetrators.
Dr Emma Katz
Jane Monckton Smith
Remember to be kind and listen to those who disclose Abuse.