Welcome back to One Last Thing, the weekly rage column where I post about things I get mad about and things that you should probably know. This week comes on the heels of my Harley and Joker article, where I told you why they shouldn’t be your #relationshipgoals. I’m not okay with abuse, in any form – and we’re talking about it here because this isn’t a Western problem, an Asian problem, or a Malaysian one – it’s a problem we all face.

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About two weeks ago, tabloids published a video of Lindsay Lohan and Egor Tarabasov in a massive fight. The former was screaming: “‘Please please please. He just strangled me. He almost killed me.”

There was minimal coverage on this unfortunate event. Some coverage cast a negative light on Lohan, doubting her victimisation and further affirming the mentality of ‘she deserved it’. The question here is, why is there an image of the perfect victim?

As an abuse survivor myself, this is both worrisome and an example of why victims tend to protect their abusers or cannot ask for help. Society believes that only a particular segment of people can be abuse victims, and even then – they’re marginalised. The perfect victim is some mousy housewife, some poor innocent lamb of a girl taken in and beaten by the Big Bad. Victims who fall outside of that criteria often experience shaming by society, leaving them feeling even more isolated from their surroundings.

There is no way to acknowledge that abuse without someone casting doubt on your story – did you provoke them, maybe it was something you said, etcetera. This further perpetuates the abusive cycle that leads to long-term trauma and invalidates a victim’s experiences. This article has some alarming statistics on domestic abuse, and the truth is ugly.

Now, what I need to stress is that both men and women can be abusers. Abuse can come from anywhere, whether it’s a partner, a family member or even friends. Abuse can come in emotional, mental and physical forms. This toxic behaviour is an inherent flaw for the abuser themselves, and the victim should not be blamed. In the vicious cycle, most abusers were also victims of abuse themselves and thus continue on as a way to vent their feelings of frustration at themselves, or due to the fact that they have no other relationship models to reference. This also explains why victims of childhood abuse are far more likely to experience abuse in their adult lives.  

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The sad truth of the matter is that abuse can really happen to anyone. There was the guy whose then-girlfriend threw his MacBook Air out the window of their 5th storey apartment because he wouldn’t do as she said. The girl who was beaten so viciously by her boyfriend that she cut herself in order to prevent the beatings. Victims of abuse often fear their abusers to a point where they feel like they have nowhere else to turn to, and there will always be a lingering fear that they won’t be believed.

In short, abuse is not okay from anyone, to anyone. That’s something we need to get through our heads. No one ‘deserves it’, no one ‘should be’ abused. With that, exit stage right.