Abuse Is Never Justified or Deserved

Most religious communities teach husbands, wives, and children to love, honor, respect, and nurture each other. In the most enlightened, “obedience” is somewhat downplayed because when it comes right down to it, we only owe obedience to God (and to those civil authorities who can otherwise make life unpleasant for us). However, loving families do need rules, which children need to gradually learn as they grow up. There’s no other way for a healthy society to function.

Obedience under abusive circumstances may be the wisest survival choice at a particular time but it is never deserved, and should never be expected. Unfortunately, abuse crosses all income levels and all cultures, since it is the coward’s way of living, and cowardice knows no boundaries.

Few, if any, men will step in to rescue an abused woman or her child. They lack the courage to violate another man’s “castle”.  Even for police, the most dangerous calls are for a domestic dispute.

The only exception I’ve ever seen is when a woman’s father grabbed his son-in-law by the throat, and then threw him out while he helped his bloodied daughter pack her clothes and a few other needed possessions. (Under our often-insane criminal justice system, a dad would probably now get charged with assault and battery, and then kidnapping, while the daughter likely returned to her jerk of a husband.) Yet for the daughter who truly did need rescuing, she was forever grateful to her dad.

Otherwise, it would likely take seven brothers working together to rescue their one sister in dire circumstances. One brother alone won’t be able to handle it, and likely wouldn’t try, even when he’s trained in martial arts. Trust me. Too many times a family’s immediate reaction is, “You made your bed. Now you can lie in it.” That attitude displays anything but Christian charity.

Of course, if a woman has a demonstrated history of making less-than-optimal choices in her life, that reaction is justified. Eventually, her family will throw up their hands and stop trying to help an impulsive child or an aging brat to improve her lifestyle (or his).  No one needs to destroy their own life by banging their heads against someone else’s wall of stubbornness or other unwise lifestyle choices. Moreover, if someone is over 18, they have to choose professional help. No one else can do it for them, short of a dire emergency.

On the other hand, a brave female is more likely to succeed in getting an abused friend/relative out of a bad situation than a male friend would. Without revealing protective details, it can be done. However, even she may not risk a second or third attempt if, for example, her sister returns to the bad situation, usually for financial reasons. There are definitely few knights on white horses alive today to rescue damsels in distress. Most such are living in the lost world of the Dodo bird.

On occasion, friends and/or family members are too protective, to the point where they rely on rumors and use poor judgment. They can perceive a threat where none exists, and so, build walls around a person to shield her or him from what they think is an aggressive person out to get them. Several earlier British writers came up with “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” Yet a man who perceives he’s been scorned can be trouble down the road. Female or male, we may need protection from ourselves throughout our lives. It can take a lifetime to work through that lingering fear of new abandonment and new suffering.

Even in a close-knit community, abuse takes many forms, overt, covert and reverse but it is never justified or deserved.

Disclaimer: My blog posts are statements of opinion only. I am not in the business of giving financial, legal, medical, or any other type of advice. See Terms of Use and Disclaimer for further disclaimers.

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