Domestic Abuse – The Cycle of Violence

I normally write about kink related topics, but today I have something else on my mind. Later today I will be going to court to seek a more long term no contact order, in an attempt to deter my stalker from continuing her threatening and harassing behaviour. So what does that have to do with domestic abuse? Well, my stalker is my SO’s ex, and she is the textbook domestic abuser. Unfortunately for him every time he tried to end the abuse, he was shamed and even blamed. He was told that he “allowed it to happen”.

First, let me say that domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, etc. Often times, however, it is viewed in highly gender biased terms. When someone of unknown gender writes of being abused, we often assume they are female. When a male speaks out about being abused by a woman he either “allowed it to happen” or worse, he is portrayed as being the real abuser.

Second, domestic abuse has a pattern. Recognizing that pattern may help you, or someone you know, avoid or get out of a violent situation.

Third, abuse is not always physical. There are many types of abuse.

Cycle of Abuse

1. Honeymoon – Everything seems great during this stage. Your partner will go out of their way to do nice things for you, and you have hope for the relationship.

2. Routine – Things settle into a routine. Daily life is status quo. Maybe things aren’t so romantic, but life isn’t all roses, right?

3. Tension – The eggshells are piling up now. Little things spark frustration. Didn’t take out the trash on trash day a month ago? You’ll be reminded of that now.

4.  Trigger – Something sets off the abuser. Maybe they just got too drunk or maybe they had an exceptionally bad day.

5. Abuse – If this is the first time this has happened, maybe you’ll justify it. After all, no one is perfect, right?

6. Excuses / Victim Blaming – “I wouldn’t have done that if you hadn’t made me mad”. ” I wouldn’t be so angry if you would just …”

7. Apology – In some models, this is called remorse; however, remorse prompts change. In the abusive cycle, there is no lasting change. In the apology stage, the abuser will apologize profusely in the hopes of maintaining their relationship with the victim.

At this point, the cycle reverts to the first stage, the honeymoon, and the loop begins again.

What Can We Do?

  • If you know someone stuck in a cycle of violence, do not blame the victim, regardless of their gender. People stay in domestic violence situations for a number of reasons, but it is never because they enjoy being abused.
  • Be cautious about confronting the abuser, unless you know the victim is safe. Confronting an abuser can often serve as the trigger for abuse, and make the abuse worse for the victim.
  • Support the victim patiently. Offer to help them get out of the situation, and be a shoulder for them to lean on. Leaving an abuser is difficult.

 

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Day 23: How has your sexuality evolved since you first developed an interest in kink?

I discovered kink when I was in my early 20s, and when my sexuality was still forming. I got married very young, to someone who was extremely vanilla, though I was a traditional stay-at-home wife. It seems strange to me that being a homemaker is considered a kink to some. In any case, I did not discover the more extreme kinks until after my marriage was ending.

My discovery of kink was through a friend who was initially just seeking acceptance. He told me he was into “weird” stuff, and was worried I would judge him for it. When he shared those things with me, my initial reaction was one of intellectual interest. I couldn’t really say whether I would enjoy them, but I did want to know more. I eventually became his dominant, and together we explored many kinks. Some I discarded as being “not my thing”. Other’s I became enthralled with.

My experience as a dominant lasted many years. Eventually, I wanted to experiment with being a submissive, and through my exploration of “the other side of the slash” I discovered the Daddy/little dynamic. It is one that I enjoy thoroughly, but being dominant is much more a part of who I am.

I have been fortunate to find a submissive man who accepts my little nature and revels in my dominance. He is also a wonderful service top. With him, I don’t have to worry about labels or roles. We fit together well.

Day 24: What qualities do you look for in a partner?

When I was looking for a submissive, I’d made a list of the qualities I wanted in the partner. For me, this was a list that seemed rather contradictory. For the sake of this writing, I’ll see if I can recall that list to some extent.

  • Protective
  • Alpha
  • Stable
  • Kink compatible
  • Intelligent

In short, I wanted a protective, alpha male, who was submissive in the home. He and I had to share enough kinks in common, and his hard limits could not be kinks that were important to me. It was also important to me that he be intelligent enough to hold intellectual conversations with me.

Agreeing on politics and religion were not as important to me, as I do not find these things to be indicative of an inability to be compatible as partners.

Now that I am not single, I can say that my partner meets these things.

Pervertables

I love turning ordinary household items into kinky toys. Many ordinary items can be re-imagined. Here are just a few:

  • Spatulas
  • Fly Swatters
  • Ping pong paddles
  • Rope
  • Scarves
  • Neck-ties
  • Clothes pins

Kink doesn’t have to be expensive. What do you have in your home that you’d like to see used in the bedroom?

Consent, Power, and Negotiation

A friend of mine recently wrote about the importance of negotiation prior to casual play, and the active role that submissive’s need to take in the negotiation process.

Two things stood out to me: one in his original post, and one in the comments.

In the post, he said, “The more intense the play, the clearer the boundaries need to be.” In the comments that followed someone made this statement: “I am one of those who once in that space does not really have the ability to say no. I actually don’t play lightly because of that. I have to have pretty in depth conversations before I play because I need to know in advance that the person I’m playing with understands that I can have all these conversations now but once in that space, they can’t change the rules because I won’t be able to say no.” Put these two statements together, and you have a concise summation of why detailed negotiation is so vital, and also why some opt out of casual play.

In my own experience, I love that space when my sub is no longer able to say no. My sub is fiercely independent and submission does not come easy for him. Even when he is physically submitting, his mind is still his own. That is a trait that makes him who he is, and who I love. However, when he hits that place where he can’t say no….well, words can’t fully describe how much I relish that place. To me, that is the ultimate power exchange. In that moment, I can do anything.

The balance is knowing his limits and respecting what we have negotiated. Yes, I can do anything, but if I love the place where he can’t say no, then it is up to me, as the dominant partner, to prolong that state. Pushing him too far in that state would not only bring that state crashing to an end, but would also make it harder for him to achieve that headspace in the future.

As a dominant, I have a responsibility to know the rules. We have had in-depth discussions about our mutual boundaries and limits, and when he is no longer able to say no, the onus is on me to make sure the boundaries are respected. As a submissive, he has a responsibility to know himself, and to communicate his limits with me. If we find a limit during play that he was previously unaware of, it is his responsibility to communicate that with me. If I want to try something that we have not discussed, it is my responsibility to communicate that to him when he is not in the altered state of not being able to say no.

Just because someone does not say no does not mean they have consented. When someone “does not really have the ability to say no” then they also do not have the ability to say yes.

Negotiation is vital. But timing is equally important.