Woke up today and saw my twitter feed filled with this interesting campaign message #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou an intimate partner abuse awareness campaign that started in the beginning of May.
There are many forms of abuse i.e mental, physical, and emotional, but we tend to focus on physical signs when it comes to abuse. It's that, seeing is believing gene that we all carry. This is what I like about the #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou twitter campaign, it shares signs of abuse that are not necessarily physical or emotional but something of an in between.
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but gets aggressive when you argue. Maybe he doesn't hit you but acts like you hit him when you react to his goading.
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou he just convinces you that everything is your fault. "You love being the victim"
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but tells you that you'd be disappointing God/going to Hell/disrespecting a higher power if you don't do what he says.
Going through the #MaybeHeDoesntHitYou, I see the same pattern where the perpetrator blames the victim (Victim Blaming) for his/her own actions. It's your fault that I put pressure on you. The tweets are a mixture of male and female users and I like that there is a tone/form of solidarity, telling victims and survivors that they are not alone and that there are people who've been through the same thing.
I was struck by one user's tweet:
#MaybeHeDoesntHitYou but demands you follow his hair, makeup, dress code rules like your relationship is prison or the military.
I remember being in high school and hearing girls talk about how cute it was that their boyfriends didn't like them talking to other guys or people in general because they were jealous or that their boyfriends wanted to dress a certain way. I never thought anything about it until college when I realized that, that was a form of control, a form of abuse; something so simple as telling someone to change their daily routine and as the relationship progresses, you begin to change so many things about yourself.
Who or what classifies as abuse and/or abuser?
Abuse isn't only physical:There are different classifications of abuse (see chart below) and though the # uses the He pronoun, female-female, male-male, female-male, and male-female abuse does happen. We need more campaigns and open spaces to talk about issues of abuse and helpful spaces for the next generation.