Saturday, October 27, 2018

Domestic Abuse Misconception #27

Domestic Abuse Misconception #27: Taking a neutral position won't hurt anybody. Ah, the neutrality myth. And it is just that. A myth. Truth is that remaining neutral always helps the oppressor, the abuser. 

I can see how many friends and family members and even pastors would want to take a neutral position. After all, their loyalty is to both parties. Most people don't want to have to pick sides. 

Trying to maintain a neutral position sends a lot of messages. Neutrality tell the abuser that what he is doing just isn't that bad and that he can cause unspeakable damage with no relational consequences. It tells the victim that she must be partially at fault, otherwise you wouldn't be so on the fence. It tells her that you really don't believe her. It tells her that she is on her own. 

Neutrality benefits no one other than the one who wishes to remain neutral and keep their hands from getting dirty. But unspeakable atrocities have been done while good people chose to turn a blind eye and look away and stay out of it and do nothing. Doing nothing always helps the abuser. 

Jeff Crippen, one of the foremost authorities of domestic abuse and the church, has written this powerful article on the myth of neutrality and the damage it does. 

(Note: In all of my posts I use "he" for abuser and "she" for victim for simplicity and because, in the majority of cases, the abuser is male. But it can be the opposite with a female abuser. Dynamics of abuse can also happen in same sex relationships.)

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