Phoenix | Gaslight by normalised mysogyny

This isn’t about inappropriate sexualised behaviour, but I do see this incident as part of the problem of crimes against women and girls and the way police are normalising abuse.

I called the police whilst my boyfriend at the time was going apesh*t crazy and was punching holes in my bedroom walls, in a blind rage, with my kids (two girls by the way) in the house. Just making the call spooked him because I wouldn’t hang up the line and I’d given them my address, so he just grabbed a bag of weed and his laptop, wallet and sweater and drove off (I never saw him again, but he’s made several threats to my life since). The police arrived around half an hour later, my kids were in shock and upset still, I was a mess and had been physically pushed, but thankfully none of us was hurt. There was blood up the wall where he’d hurt himself whilst smashing things. There were bits of wood and plasterboard everywhere, hanging in pieces off the walls and across the floor. And there was loads of white plaster dust all over the room. One of the first things police asked me when they arrived and saw the room was if I really thought this was ‘a crime’?, that they were just checking because this kind of thing in an ‘argument’ is considered by some people to be quite ‘normal’.

I have reflected on this so many times since, I see it as gaslighting a person in trauma whilst simultaneously victim-blaming, minimising my experience and my children’s and normalising violence and it is totally mysogynistic. Toxic behaviour towards women and girls and the normalisation of it is clearly so deeply imbedded that they don’t even blink to ask, in the middle of a crime scene, ‘do you think this is actually a crime?’ I mean WTF? Do they even slightly understand domestic abuse? Even if a person on the receiving end of violence somehow believes that it is ‘okay’ and ‘normal’ that is cause for serious concern and it is a still a CRIME! If a vulnerable woman, in front of her traumatised children has her decisions to call in ‘protection’ questioned, especially in an obvious crime scene, then that is GASLIGHTING. When speaking to a vulnerable woman in front of her traumatised children, in a position of ‘authority’ no less, and suggesting that the behaviour by another person, in your home, which has resulted in criminal damage, common assault and huge distress, may be ‘normal’, that is MINIMISING the crime and the experience of being a victim of crime and suggesting it is a REASONABLE RESPONSE to ANYTHING is frankly insane.

The outcome, after months, is a ‘conditional caution’ and ‘stern talking to’ (which incedentally did nothing but further inflame him, unfortunately ultimately taken out on another woman).

Sorry for the rant – it feels good to have somewhere to say this though and let it out.

Constabulary: Devon and Cornwall Police

Timespan: 3 years ago

Did you report it to the police?: Prefer not to say

Your ethnicity: Prefer not to say

Have you experienced suicidality due to this?: Prefer not to say

Are you disabled as defined under the Equality Act 2010?: Prefer not to say

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