Most people (and most of our social institutions) do not know how to honour the many creative ways victims resist abuse, oppression and violence. Rather than seeing and honoring a victim’s resistance, they see the victim’s responses to the abuse as indicating her deficiency or defectiveness. And because they see her as deficient, they put negative labels on her behavior.
Examples of how victims resist abuse and how people negatively label victims’ resistance
If a victim resists the abuse by not sharing her emotions, people may label her as “emotionally detached” or “having flat affect” or “unable to express emotions” or “avoidant”.
If she resists the abuse by not doing what the abuser wants her to do, people might label her as “passive-aggressive” or “difficult/uncooperative”.
If she resists the abuse by refusing to stoop to the abuser’s level of behavior and by doing nice things for him, people might label…
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