When people who suffer domestic abuse, realise they can leave and want to, something extraordinary happens. You may be working with a woman, who for the entire you have known her has lived in a situation where she has been manipulated, gaslighted into doubting her own judgement of her reality, controlled. When the point comes, and that woman (and I only say woman because I thinking in writing and have only worked with female domestic violence victims) realises the techniques that have been used to control her, or finds ways to assert her own agency, trust her own judgement- it is astonishing. It is visible. It is so visible that often women who are planning to leave, have to hide how renewed their sense of self has become, how capable they suddenly feel and how confident. They literally come alive in front of you(sometimes ONLY you are a safe person to see that transformation) and the changes you then see these women achieve, and the planning they go to, can leave you gobsmacked. I mean utterly gobsmacked. I have seen a woman with four children, plan carefully so that she had a place to go, money to get her there, and  that the transition for her children was managed, and did this after a relationship where she had been afraid to breathe too loudly, go to to the shop without permission,  or spend money on a hairbrush. And he did not know till she had gone.

People are people. Politics is about people. The abusive message that masked our centre position became a lot thinner when the power of that economic consensus died and  with the media selling it shown to be gangsters. This country has undergone a bit of a consciousness raising. And I think when a country starts to shake of the manipulation that allowed such abuse, those who wielded that power might be unprepared for the consequences.

Advertisements