I am a male victim of domestic violence.
I know that others who have been subject to family violence use the term ‘survivor’.
I’ve spent some time thinking about my terminology and choice of words. I believe words are nuanced and communicate subtle messages that frame belief systems. I choose the words I use carefully.
I do genuinely believe that using the term ‘survivor’ is healing for the person who uses it. I absolutely agree that blaming anyone else for my situation and choices is not constructive and prevents my personal growth. I accept that I have made choices that led to my abuse and have previously continually chosen to be a victim. I have decided to stop making those choices and focus on my healing and making better ones. In this situation I think many use the term ‘survivor’ to emphasise their own personal empowerment and to highlight to themselves that they are in control of their decisions and responsible for their own life direction. I think this is the best word to use when someone is moving on and growing independently without being held back by their past decisions and abuse.
And I have decided to continue to use the word ‘victim’.
I do so accepting that the word ‘victim’ can be seen to communicate a blame of others and an absence of my own personal responsibility and my ownership of the part I have played in my own abuse. If anyone suggests that’s my motivation for using the word, I’ll refer them to this.
I believe there is a difference between accepting personal responsibility for my own failings and complicity, and excusing or justifying the behaviour of someone else. I believe that abusing another person is wrong. I believe that both abuser and abused must accept responsibility for their own behaviour in order to be able to change and grow and become better, happier people. I believe I have done my part in this and I and others have seen changes in me that indicate this. In my case my abuser refuses to accept personal responsibility, refuses to change their behaviour, continues to abuse myself and my child and continues to cause significant financial, emotional, psychological, spiritual and legal damage. In my case my abuser and I remain in the court system for both financial and parenting matters and will for some time.
I believe the best way for change to occur and ongoing abuse to cease is for my abuser to also accept personal responsibility. My use of the word ‘victim’ emphasises and focusses on this.
Knot AMan – Male Victim of Domestic Violence prevented by the court from publicly making this claim, Candidate for the 2019 Australian Senate for Queensland for the Non-Custodial Parents Party, Domestic Violence Activist, Writer, Speaker, Advocate, Lobbyist, Counsellor, Researcher, For evidence of abuse, see https://knotaman.com/category/evidence/
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.