Before I get started, let me make one thing clear: Society has failed its abuse victims.
It’s failed them by shaming them into silence, by not believing them when they come forward, and by hushing the topic so much that real victims are afraid to come forward.
We have a long way to go before most victims are able to speak up — and an even longer way to go until many people are ready to hear them.
But some abuse “victims” need to shut up.
Some of you haven’t been abused, yet claim you were. And I’m tired of the word “abused” being thrown around as a plea for pity.
Abuse isn’t when someone breaks up with you and you want to soothe your hurt feelings with the label of being abused.
Abuse isn’t when you’re trying to win a custody battle.
Abuse isn’t when you file for divorce and try to shove your ex out of the house with a restraining order.
Abuse claims aren’t a revenge tactic to be used on an ex you don’t like.
Stop claiming a battle you’ve never fought and stop trying to win a war using tactics you know nothing about. Stop claiming you were abused when you weren’t.
By doing this, you pave the way for real abusers to abuse real victims because your lies are blinding people to what real abuse looks like. You’re talking so loudly about things you know nothing about that no one can hear the real victims.
Because of you, court judges discredit victims, society turns their faces from them, and the word “feminist” has taken on a negative connotation. No one knows what to believe anymore because the false claims have muddied the waters.
In relationships, people get hurt. It’s not pleasant, it’s not fair, and it’s definitely not always comfortable. Relationships change and sometimes they end.
But that’s called life, not abuse.
Just because you didn’t always get along, he didn’t always listen to you, she wasn’t always sweet to you, and you can’t agree on a parenting style, that doesn’t mean you were abused.
Abuse is a the woman who was left bloodied and broken at the hand of her boyfriend.
Abuse is the man who, after years of being emotionally ravaged by his wife, doesn’t even know who he is anymore.
Abuse is the time she said, “No,” and he didn’t listen.
Abuse is the constant and relentless control that someone exerts over another person’s life, or the moments of sheer terror when that life is threatened to end.
It’s all the blood and tears and shattered dreams that have stolen the lives and futures away from people who deserved the chance to be who they were destined to be.
It’s not just a word to be thrown around when you feel wronged.
If you or someone you know has been or is being abused, The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 to help you figure out what to do next. You don’t have to go through this alone.