NOTE: Formatting is not cooperating – Apologies.
Okay, so let’s talk about social/social media abuse. It is the most commonly perpetrated form of abuse and ranges widely in its presentation. Equally common amongst men and women and by no means isolated to Domestic Violence.
Social abuse in a nutshell is bullying and social control. In a relationship, it commonly involves restricting a victims social interactions, speaking poorly of them or making false allegations of their behaviour to family and friends. It includes monitoring their phones and email. Putting down those close to the victim, devaluing their support network.
Social abuse can be solitary or it can coincide with many other variations of abuse. In circumstances where it stems from violent Domestic Violence, it’s impact can have far greater and further reaching consequences.
In these cases, it often takes on its most severe form after a victim has left the abuser. In these circumstances social abuse often involves severe social denigration of a victim and character assassination.
In other words ‘let’s make the victim look like a jealous crazy person’ in order to achieve the air of innocence. Rolls eyes.
Social abuse is transferable abuse and often the most damaging. Transferable is the sense that any one person in the originating abuser’s camp can use social abuse to carry out or encourage a sustained attack on the original abusers victim. This without ever once having to physically attack or confront the victim themselves.
In other words, the new social abuser can begin to act as a proxy for, or extension of the original abuser. A proxy who unlike the original abuser is not at present subject to a court order and therefore much harder to reprimand legally.
This abuse is often invited, encouraged and inspired by the original abusers actions. In many cases it becomes a pack mentality with numerous allies of the abuser banding together to perpetrate the abuse.
In mine and E’s case for example, there are multi faceted court orders in place to prevent direct abuse and contact. But there is next to nothing I can do about the social abuse that carries on. That is aside from keeping a fierce diary and continually disregarding the mental instability of the unbalanced perpetrators who carry it out.
The most common example social abuse can be seen when friends, family and even the new partners of domestic abusers develop what can only be described as a campaign of hate against the victim or rather, a campaign of innocence in favour of the abuser.
Social Abuse Campaigns
These campaigns often refuse to consider criminal evidence, medical evidence, or even social evidence (witnesses, first hand accounts etc etc).
Some social abusers join the campaign agree jumping ship when the victim (a former friend/lover) has opted to end a relationship or friendship with them. They learn to disregard the abuse they had witnessed first hand in an attempt to fit tightly into their new camp.
This could be described as a form of bonding over the mutual dislike of the victim or the victims decision to cease contact with both parties, even if at seperate times for seperate reasons.
These social campaigners have an excuse for everything; he/she’s a liar; it never happened; I heard she did this to set him off; I’ve known him my whole life, he would never… etc etc
The campaigns have one objective only; obtaining the social perception of innocence for the offender. Regardless of what is most often a mountain of legally substantiated evidence to the contrary.
Or this one…
See the above picture for example, posted to Facebook by my ex husband last year.
To those not privy to the details of our divorce. (Because why would you want to get involved in someone else’s divorce?) His posting this would likely suggest that I prevent access to my daughter unfairly which I achieved by making false allegations of abuse.
It further suggests that perhaps I got a brilliant payout as a result of the divorce and now restrict his financial freedom via child support.
In the interest of women everywhere facing social abuse and insinuations such as this, let’s clear a few things up.
I won sole custody of my daughter with no contact at all awarded; based on undeniable criminal, medical and electronic evidence. This evidence was provided to the court by my lawyer, E’s Independant Children’s Lawyer (at my expense only), the AFP, multiple psychologists and our GP.
I in fact agreed to walk away from a four bedroom home and any form of financial settlement in exchange for only asking for custody my daughter. I have this, thankfully, in writing; in a legal financial contract drawn up and provided to me by my ex husband, his father and their then lawyer.
I left my marriage without a cent. I voluntarily went bankrupt at 24 years old; selling most of mine and E’s valuable possessions in order to sustain my legal fees which were in the tens upon tens of thousands.
He retained our home and utilised free legal aid whilst publicly posting the spoils of his oversees holidays.
With respect to child support. The assessment at that time was was approximately $23.00 per month and it was three months in arrears when I was granted a child support exception. An exception granted on the grounds of domestic violence following an independant investigation by Centrelink in 2013. I have not received a cent since.
I however have been significantly financially controlled by my need to fight.
These are particularly private details, but the need to share them arises from the need to demonstrate just how far from the truth social abusers stray in order to appear innocent.
This demonstrates just how much many abuse victims go through legally, financially and socially in order sustain their freedom from abuse and retain a clean name within the community.
I share this because this is mine and E’s life. It’s our experience and our abuse. Because it deserves to be heard and stood up to. Because it is abuse worthy of being ashamed of.
Because other women need to know that they can stand up and refuse to be intimidated. That they, for lack of a better word, don’t need to put up with this #crap.
As a society we find it almost impossible to believe that parents are capable of abusing their children. More so the self proclaimed ‘protecting, loving fathers’. It seems these days, all you need to qualify as a loving parent is to update regular Facebook statuses with cute pictures and fluffy captions proclaiming love.
“See, look he/she posted this. They’re a great parent…”
My ex husband was posting loving comments along side stolen pictures of my daughter on social media during the same week he was charged and successfully convicted in an Australian Court of Law for threatening to kill me.
These posts attracted comments such as, “you’ll get her back soon” and “the truth always comes out”. Unbeknownst to the authors of those comments I guess…. rolls eyes once again.
We have seen this time and time again in the media. In almost every occasion a father murder’s his children we see them described as ‘the perfect dad’ or ‘a great bloke’. That is in most cases a description provided by all except the wife who had recently left or had been granted custody of the children that were later killed as a means of punishing the mother.
This article for example sheds a little light:
Understanding social abuse is important, because often many people do not know they are perpetrating it. Whilst others take a form of sick pleasure in dishing it out. Sometimes gossip is a little more serious than playing Chinese whispers.
At some point we’ve all been guilty of passing on a rumour or colourful story. Guilty of inserting our own opinion into matters that in no way concern us. Whether it be local or celebrity.
“Did Kim really drive Kanye into his depression? Of course she did, such a selfish bitch”. She made a sex tape, she must be an awful wife”. Comments that regularly grace social media posts. Yet none of us know either of them. Most often it simply feels easier to blame the woman regardless of her societal status.
If you find yourself commenting on other people’s private lives publicly, condemning their personal choices to people who are otherwise not concerned with the matter.
If you are taking it upon yourself to defend somebody guilt of abuse by laying unsubstantiated claims of their innocence, then you are guilty of social abuse and should probably just mind your own business.
Social violence is not restricted to friends and family members of the abuser. Sometimes a competing business and former friend will jump on the DV bandwagon in support of a man they have never even met and know of only via your sharing of experiences, simply to get a very personal dig in…
FYI – Its not cool to mess with business where it concerns the kids.
In my situation, the social abuse always kicks up most when my ex husband finds himself a new partner. It seems to kick up his confidence and he then, every single time, begins to entertain his illusions of grandeur by approaching my friends and family members seeking information on E and I.
Claiming to be desperately concerned. Passing on veiled threats of future court action or asking that people tell E “he will fight for her”.
Eyes may roll out of my head soon.
In 2013, I was subjected to harrassment by the friends and family of 30 year old estranged husband’s new 20 year old girlfriend. Her mother repeatedly stared at my daughter and I in our local doctors office, her stepfather added colourful comments to each of my ex husbands Facebook rants. Her ‘barely out of school’ friends commented socially on my divorce and the parenting of my child.
In 2014 and 2015 I was inundated by hate from what seemed like an army of women who worked at the local strip club my ex husband frequented and in which his new girlfriend worked as a dancer.
I received dozens of friend requests, was approached or once again stared down in public. One man even went as far as to sneer, “just give him his kid back you crazy bitch” whilst E and I walked past him in the City.
Then it was the online contact from his new work friends from his time spent living in Melbourne. They lived in MELBOURNE and had never physically laid eyes on me or E. Thankfully all documented.
I’d never met any of these people in my life.
Now in 2017, it continues.
Just last fortnight I turned while getting into my car in Braddon after my hens night dinner to find two of my ex husbands near 40 year old cousins and their best friend standing on the street staring straight at me. This was less than 5 metres away. Attempting to intimidate me. This was witnessed by my now sister in law, and two best friends of 16 years who know these women and were also in the car.
I got in the car, shook my head and drove off. Jeez Louise.
These were the sisters of the same woman, another cousin, who publicly posted this unprovoked rant to my business page last year. A woman who had never tried PIP & LOU. given I had started the business officially a number of months after all contact with that family had been legally severed.
My ex husband has recently married a girl he had known for less than three months, a girl who just 24 months ago had been one of my nearest and dearest friends for a number of years. One whom had witnessed my abuse directly and seemingly supported me through my escape as I had supported her through her own divorce.
This current social abuse is very difficult to navigate. It’s almost impossible to call out abusive behaviour without being labelled jealous. Jealous…… Holy moly.
This new relationship is all great and I wish them well. Honestly. To be frank, and any domestic violence victim will agree with me on this – anything at all that diverts attention from E and I is a god send.
But my enthusiasm for their new relationship begins to dilute when I receive constant evidence of their now joint efforts in investigating mine and E’s life, spreading their NOW conjoined sob stories of my having ended relationships with both of them and continuing the social abuse.
Thank goodness for my crazy law school behaviours which compel me to store every text and email I ever receive as evidence. Friend or foe. I’ve learnt the hard way that friends all too often become foes.
Just this week I have been inundated with evidence and accounts of conversations initiated by either my ex or his new wife with friends and acquaintances of mine attempting to sell their story and defend their actions. Attempts to seemingly gather allies in a war that they don’t seem to realise that I’m no longer participating in.
No sob story, no matter how creative trumps legal understanding.
No one with any form of intelligence can ignore that evidence is evidence. You can’t talk your way out of it. It simply is what it is.
Conversations surrounding E and I, initiated by my ex husband and the numerous conversations undertaken by his family members, his new wife and her family members within the community are social abuse. It is intimidation by proxy. It is skirting around the fine line that is the restraining order contained in my iron clad court orders. Because talking about or trying to obtain information about me and E isn’t technically illegal, even if it causes insurmountable stress.
These situations can be particularly dangerous. In each event that a mentally ill domestic abuser feels that they are heard or justified by anyone at all. Each time someone simply listens to or sympathises with their story, they can develop grandiose delusions that tell them that this person is now their ally. That they are now joined with them in their relentless pursuit of the victim.
Domestic violence is a never ending recycling of abuse. There is always someone jumping from ship to ship. There are always new people jumping on for the ride and jumping off again once it no longer interests them.
This is why each of my friends have been asked to be polite but vague. Smile and say hello but move on swiftly.
Unfortunately there have been exceptions and those ‘friends’ who have chosen to take it upon themselves to discuss mine and E’s situation, sharing details with my ex husband or anyone concerning him, have found themselves politely but swiftly left behind. I have no tolerance for those who involve themselves in circumstances that do not at all concern them.
I blog about the rampant social abuse I continue to face by ex friends, ex family members and of course perfect strangers because I refuse to tolerate it.
I guess my blogging is representative of this and if ever my blogs are called to account in the family court. I will stand behind them proudly as my contribution to a community in the midst of an epidemic of Domestic Violence. These blogs are intended to be both inwardly and outwardly beneficial.
This blogs represent the ‘No Bullshit’ approach required to deal with domestic violence.
I refuse to let the accusations of drama queendom, lying and narcissism levelled at me by these people land. I stand strong purposely.
If you find yourself the victim of social abuse, whether it be bullying or relationship related. Keep a diary. Even of the things you have no evidence for. Keep every screen shot. Every social media post your name is inserted into. Everything.
Because while it may in some cases take years, if it lasts that long. You will eventually have enough evidence behind you to have your lawyer legally put an end to it.
So keep that diary girl!
Eventually every unbalanced person will unbalance themselves and the truth really does set you free.