Friday, 13 April 2012

Violence in the home

The dreadful violence inflicted on the girl in Cornwall by her boyfriend is in the news today, and it's totally shocking.

I too feel that this is an example of a man regarding his wants as paramount, justifying ruthlessly exercised control over his victim, including cruel punishments and revenge. With this awful result. It's yet another warning that anyone in a relationship where one partner enforces undue control is in mortal danger. Even if it's only mental pressure for now, it may escalate. And if it's already physical, then the abused partner should get out while they can. The Police say so. It's official. The situation will only get worse: the controlling partner will want ever more power, ever more debasement of his victim.

The pity is that so many women will put up with abuse. Is it for the illusion of love, or the otherwise super lifestyle, or simply for the sake of their children? But ultimately they will have to leave when the abuse gets too intense, and quite probably this will be a desperate, crisis-led decision, when it might have been a carefully planned withdrawal with primed friends at the ready. Recognising the situation for what it really is seems to be the biggest problem.

It all argues against forming any relationship with someone who has a flawed personality. But how do you know? 'I have an inhuman, remorseless urge to dominate' is not something that dating site members admit to each other during the first fascinating meetup. Besides, the potential victim may not know what the warning signs are. Or she might get an intoxicating thrill out of having a very possessive, demanding, jealous and highly physical lover. I get the impression that the girl most at risk will be poorly educated, low-income, over-trusting, over-dependent, and inclined to under-value herself. But one can imagine any woman finding herself in a relationship that has a dark side.

Sigh. The behaviour of this man towards the poor girl was appalling, and must make decent men hot with shame and anger. But the destruction of women by bad men of this kind still goes on, despite legal retribution.

Perhaps the only safe course is to forego any relationships at all, not just dodgy ones. I was personally inclined to adopt that course anyway; but after today's news, it becomes prudent and reasonable to stay away from any entanglement whatsoever.

Bottom line: if you share a bed, will you dare to fall asleep?


  1. It's very sad that you should think that Lucy. If everyone turned away from the possibility of a relationship soon there would be nobody at all. Everything aside from that I agree with what you've written. That particular crime must rate among the most deprived of all. Obviously there was no real love in their relationship, at least from his side. Women, that is most women are vulnerable from male domination and aggression where it is prevalent but it isn't safe to say that all men are wicked, they are absolutely not. Sometimes the fault does lie with the woman where she is intelligent, the signs should be obvious but I do appreciate that some women might be insecure, love-struck, timid or whatever else prevents them from walking away from an unloving relationship. Many people these days fall into the trap of getting married far too soon instead of biding their time to see where their relationship is going and end up living with someone they didn't really know or getting a divorce. All of this though isn't an excuse for those who are violent towards others. I'll say it again, we are sinful because we turn away from God. Is it going to get any better with the way human beings are at the moment? I fear not.

    Shirley Anne x

  2. The really heartbreaking bit of this crime is that he'd attacked her before but, with a love that defies logic, she thought she could change him. How truly terrible that such a pure motive should result in such a ghastly attack.

    Echoing Shirley Anne's comment, though, it's important not to tar everyone with the same brush. Wholesome relationships abound; I married young, but 42 years later, we're still deeply in love.

  3. I'd share the view of other commentators here that it is too often not only sad but tragic when relationships fail. However, I also know how wonderful a good relationship can be. Mine might not have survived as a marriage, but a lovely deep and close friendship continues despite my transition. To deny myself the possibility of having another lovely relationship for fear of it going wrong seems to pointlessly close off something that is a valuable part of being human.

  4. Hi Lucy - I think we all have flaws in our characters, which may bear no relation to any propensity for violence, except that we're all capable of losing our temper - Hopefully not physically though.
    And it's generally accepted that at least 20% of violent domestic abuse is perpetrated by women.
    I've not heard about the case in Cornwall, but have of course heard of other horrific cases of repulsive male domestic abuse of women.
    It would seem sad to shun possibilities of a largely happy and fulfilling relationship with a compatable partner due to fear of the worst happening - If you are a good judge of character, as I think you are, you should be able to notice any worrying signs before becoming too deeply involved.
    But I can understand people wanting to take less risks as they grow older, if they've experienced a lot of hurt and heartache in their life.
    I'm aware that you posted this four months ago - I clicked on it after googling your blog - I will soon catch up with some of your more recent posts.
    Best Wishes, Martin.


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