I read with horror in the Herald today that 10% of pregnant women suffer violence during their pregnancy. I view domestic violence with extreme distaste but I have to ask myself what kind of man beats up on his pregnant partner? And why are there such a lot of these pillocks? The Herald goes on to report:
“Three-quarters of those women had been beaten by the same person, which was usually the father of the child, before they were pregnant.
“For most of these women, the violence stayed the same or got worse after they became pregnant, the study said.”
Sadly, the scenario of women being serially beaten by their partners is revoltingly common. I used to wonder why women put up with such things and why they stayed. It always seems to boil down to three lies they tell themselves, often all three at once. They are:
I deserve it - Nobody deserves violence. NOBODY. I don’t care if you are the most irritating, abusive woman in the world (and I’ve met a few).
I have nowhere else to go – One of the few things that socialists and I agree on is that this is exactly what the DPB is for – to give women an alternative to an abusive relationship.
He promised me he’ll never do it again – He lies. Except for the occasional single episode of “minor” violence (I hesitate to use the word minor), where the offending spouse gets immediate help, I have yet to see a spouse beater stop. If it is the second episode, I have never seen a man stop it. He will do it again.
My advice for these poor women is always the same – leave. As soon as possible. If there is one thing I am sure of in male/female relationships, it is this – no relationship can survive violence. It is the ultimate betrayal of trust. I have seen plenty of marriages survive infidelity, but only two survive violence – and they were both in the “minor” category. Violence is the exact opposite of what a man is supposed to bring to a marriage – his strength and protection (yes, I know that’s old-fashioned, but that doesn’t make it untrue ).
And, ladies, this sort of violence always spills over on to your children. If he’s kicking you around while you’re pregnant, do you think he has any regard for your children, regardless of whether they are his or not?
So what type of man would abuse his partner, particularly his pregnant partner? Here are my observations:
They dominate their spouses but are otherwise weak – their behaviour is completely controlling, often disguised as doting on their wives (never letting them out of their sight).
They do not usually have an anger management problem – they rarely abuse other people or get into fights.
They usually abuse alcohol – I’ve yet to see a spouse beater who was sober at the time. Interestingly, remarkably few of them take methamphetamine, unlike child abusers.
These men (and they are usually men) are essentially powerless drunkards. It is essential that we have zero tolerance for these people. Ridiculous half-excuses like “he was drunk, so he was a bit rough with her” (Woman with a broken forearm and two fracture ribs) and “She gave him lip so he gave her the bash” (Woman with internal bleeding) only serve to entrench this behaviour. Domestic violence is much more than “not OK”, it is a blight on our society.
Those who have guessed that domestic violence makes me exceedingly angry, are right! I note with regret that the new family violence courts do not appear to be working very well. However, it does look like their problems are with their management rather than their design.