Society tells us that we should speak up when abuse happens. Society says that we are moving towards a point where people of any age, race, sex or socio-economic status can openly speak out about what happened to them and it’ll be taken seriously. That is, until it happens to you.
One day you are with the love of your life, working on the house they just bought, and telling them a minor frustration of yours, and before you can defend yourself, their hands are around your throat. You try to fight them off but they are stronger than you are. In the moment, you don’t quite comprehend what is going on or what is happening to you, only that it needs to stop. When they finally stop, you start to wonder what you did to push this calm-natured person who you love to this aggressive point.
You leave, even though you still love them. You know better than to stay. You decide that you aren’t going to be another statistic, but that you will be the person who leaves the relationship after they put their hands on you. You speak up. You tell your family and friends that the two of you broke up due to them aggressively harming you. You stand up for yourself. You know that your friends will have your back. They will stick by your side.
Days, maybe a week later, you realize that you are making people feel uncomfortable. Making them flock to your ex instead of standing next to you, the victim. Even the police tell you that you shouldn’t have upset them and since your (ex-)significant other has now blocked you, it is clear that you are safe and you should just let it go. You are alone and begin blaming yourself for their actions.
You watch as your mind crumbles from the stress, anxiety and fear. You watch as you lose friends who you’ve had for years, way longer than you’ve known your ex; you watch as they separate themselves from you because they don’t know how to handle what you are going through.
You start to wonder what you did to deserve all of this. You ask yourself why you decided to speak up about what happened and start resenting yourself for creating an avoidable situation — all you had to do is keep what happened to you to yourself. You start to believe that you should have just remained another statistic.
Your phone rings; it’s the police. They’ve decided to not press charges.