I had an essay out last month on The Manifest Station titled ‘Fuck Self-help.’ It’s about all the women I know who have come to me for advice on whether their relationship is abusive, and it also tells something about my own experience of intimate partner violence. What the past has taught me is that very often you are on your own whether that is because of politeness, or fear. Survivors should not be on their own though. We should be helping them.
Here’s an extract:
In most cases, victims are deeply in love with their abusers, a love exacerbated by dependency, and by the exploitation of vulnerabilities. This is not weakness, but it is a dangerous situation for victims, and no simple self-help is adequate to solve the problem. Fuck self-help. They deserve more from us. And not just in the days following an escape, but a month later, six months later, a year later. Even if they go back. A door that stands open for as long as it takes.