“They” Are Not Watching HER !
It has long been known that Health Care Professionals are in the forefront in the battle against abuse. If a woman or child is admitted to accident and emergency it is normal for the injures to be assessed as possible signs of abuse. The extent to which this is done can be realized when you look at negligence claims when these people “miss” the tell tale signs. However this is just the beginning of the operation. GP’s are on the look out. Midwives take pregnant women away from there partner to discuss “birthing options” then in seclusion ask about domestic violence. Note no one asks the partner at this stage. Any woman going through psychological treatment would expect “relationship issues” to be covered and then Occupational Health Staff get a look.
If, not much chance but if, all these people miss the abuse Woman’s Aid run regular “awareness campaigns” where they teach women what to look for in there friends. The men are not left out, through the “real men” campaign Woman’s Aid dictate how men should behave, and if they get to be too nice, the new “2 in 2 u” campaign dictates how much freedom a person should have, again monitored by her friends.
This monitoring by others is vital. Abusers are apt to believe there victims talking about the abuse is a breach of trust. Therefore if someone else reports suspicions and the Police or social services come asking questions, the victim at least has the fall back position of “I never told them”.
The Investigators have the position of “we have to investigate these incidents” thus creating a better possibility of a positive outcome.
The other use for all this data is statistics. When a report comes out saying x % of women have been abused, you can bet all these bits of intel have made it into the system. These figures are used to produce statements like this one from Domestic Violence London, a resource for health professionals, it was produced by the British National Health Service (NHS)
“Domestic abuse occurs across society, regardless of age, gender, race, sexuality, wealth, and geography. The figures show, however, that it consists mainly of violence by men against women. Children are also affected, both directly and indirectly and there is also a strong correlation between domestic violence and child abuse suggesting overlap rates of between 40-60%.”
So, given the health service is in the best place to collect data, how accurate would they be ? Another pertinent question would be, is possible for a victim to slip through the net for a extended period if time ? say twenty five years ? read on….
I will tell of two incidents. The first was at my place of work, the company operate a health surveillance system as chemicals we use are known to cause dermatitis. When the Nurse was checking my hands she noticed puncture wounds. At this point I felt a weight lift as this was a perfect opportunity to tell someone what had been occurring. When she asked about the wounds I was, for the first time totally honest.
My wife bit my hand i told her, the nurse asked asked why ?
“it was not doing the dishes fast enough”
“yes it broke the skin”
“I had a tetanus injection about a year ago, after the last time she did that”
This is where it gets interesting, the nurse said she would “keep it off the records for me” however I insisted
“I want it properly recorded and reported, I want a record of the injury caused by my wife”
she agreed. So I waited for the police to turn up, she had a duty to report a crime. Nothing. Social Services coming round asking questions, we had young children. Nothing. A letter to see the Company Doctor, who knew I was having psychological problems. Nothing. It was like it had never been mentioned. This however was a private company nurse, what if I reported it to a NHS Health professional ?
I was undergoing a treatment for stress related problems. I attended a councilor, provided by the NHS. One of the things we talked about was my low self esteem. During these conversations I revealed my wife constantly claimed I “did nothing” and was “lazy”. I told the councilor I believed this was not the case however the constant criticism got to me and I no longer knew what was honest criticism and what was a realistic workload. He told me to keep a record of what I did, hour by hour, he told me the evidence would prove I was indeed doing “more than my fair share” and that would solve the problem. I told him I would be afraid to confront my Wife with such “evidence” He told me to collect the data anyway. When I returned next week he asked about my notes. I informed him that my Wife had found the notes two days previous, she has ripped them up into little pieces and accused me of lying, I told him she had continued shouting at me for around two hours, and that she was still angry at me and that the day before she had made my dinner, then threw it on the floor as I began to eat. He changed the subject. I have no reason to believe that disclosure left the office.
I have no reason to believe I am unique, I have no reason to believe the health system set out to ignore me alone, I am not special enough to require that. However the system was quite prepared to leave me out of that data, and therefore quite prepared to leave any other Male that brought up the notion that Ladies may also abuse, how will the data change ? The answer to that one is it will not !
So, if we understand that data will drive the policy. The policy will drive the funding. The funding will drive the research. The research will provide (a) data (b) intervention strategy, and the research data will drive the policy and that circle will continue.
So long as that circle continues, another quite separate circle will continue, and that is the Male victim and female perpetrator, and the world looking the other way.
My conclusion is simple.
She has no need to be paranoid “they” are not watching her !
my life !
PS Comments very welcome, a polished version of this will follow, I just needed to get it posted, help will, like help lol