The Truth About Battered Women’s Syndrome – Part 2
Battered Women’s Syndrome is a very real trauma that many women suffer with. As you read in part 1, we are conditioned from years of a repeated 3 phase cycle of abuse that leaves us spinning, wondering what is real.
Given that every 9 seconds a woman is beaten in the USA, it makes sense that Battered Women’s Syndrome (BWS) is a problem within our society and something we need to be talking about.
So let’s keep the conversation going!
A question I get/hear/deal with all the time is why did you stay? Why do the victims of domestic violence stay?
Often times, because they suffer from Battered Women’s Syndrome. Many survivors are conditioned from years of abuse to think one of several things –
- They deserve it, their self-esteem is so low.
- They think they have no way to support themselves or their children if they leave.
- They truly choose to believe that their abuser has their best interest at heart. They convince themselves that the person they fell in love with is in there somewhere and hurting us is the only way they know how to communicate.
- They think it is better for the children.
- They fear the abuse will escalate if they leave, they fear stalking and financial desolation.
Because of the conditioning they have been put through, it feels like there is no way out, that no one else will understand, that we have to keep up these standards set upon us by society. Our self-esteems disappear and depression sets in and no matter how hard we try to handle it on our own, it always just seems to fall apart. That is why therapy and counseling is so important, for every member of the family. We need a safe place to talk about what is going on and to make a plan.
There are four main stages that we go through on our way to awareness of BWS. To help you understand better on why women stay, read about the four stages to BWS and how you can help identify them in your loved ones.
4 Stages to Battered Women’s Syndrome
- Denial: The first few times, it is hard to accept that it was done to be mean. So we make excuses and justify it as just being once.
- Guilt: Now that we can no longer deny it is happening, we feel guilt for thinking we caused it.
- Enlightenment: One day realizing that we have done nothing to deserve that abuse and begin to learn about our abusive partners personality.
- Responsibility: Accepting that we did not deserve the abuse, holding the abuser accountable and creating a plan to change our circumstances.
So many people never get past 2. They don’t know how to or are too afraid/embarrassed to ask for help, many probably don’t even realize that they deserve to be helped and that they are not alone. Depression takes over and it seems like there is no way out.
This is why it is so important to keep the conversation going. Even though I have gone through the four stages, triggers can bring me right back to those moments, leaving me firmly in stage 2, for no real reason. However being aware of them, knowing how to cope in a healthy way with them makes all the difference. Knowledge is power and is the key to ending domestic violence.
There is life after battered women’s syndrome. Come connect with me and let’s see!
Malibu Mama Loves Xx