Category Archives: Meta

Changes coming.

The time has come to make some changes around here.  Structural changes in what this site/blog is.  The site has been around sharing a different approach to abuse recovery for more than twenty years now.  And it’s going to stay around doing that job indefinitely.  But under the brand of Abuse-free, and that brand is going to be applied to a whole new effort I’m going to be making to help reach people currently involved in abusive situations to help them find their way to safe and abuse-free lives.  This is going to involve more than just sitting on a website waiting for people to find me.

I’m planning to form a non-profit under the brand Abuse-free, which I will engage in fund-raising activities for.  The money will go toward funding healing opportunities for underserved populations that the mainstream abuse community has ignored, largely because they defy the narrative the mainstream abuse community subscribes to.  My purpose isn’t in fighting or refuting that narrative — it’s in reaching beyond it to help all people experiencing abuse.  Abuse-free isn’t going to be anti-feminist, if anybody’s wondering.  The feminist movement created the mainstream abuse community, which has brought attention to this issue, creating what infrastructure and support has been created, and that’s been a major effort that has helped people and saved lives.  Without that, this site, my recovery and Abuse-free wouldn’t exist.  I view that with gratitude.  But not enough gratitude that I’m going to join them in turning a blind eye to the people and situations they have ignored.

The next step in the effort is going to be to create the Abuse-free Podcast, which will begin with me reading in the information found around here, and then growing into whatever else comes along.  I expect to create some new material.  And to respond to questions and comments from listeners.  I plan to start recording on this in the next few weeks, and then editing them together and publishing them when I’ve got enough for a handful of episodes.

Somewhere will come the creation of the non-profit, and then will come the plans for the fund-raising.  I’ll talk about them here as they progress.  I will need your help with this.  Nothing much from any one person.  But the point here is to reach many, many people, some of whom can help with the effort, and some of whom will be helped by the effort.  So, the biggest piece of help we can receive is in reaching people.  There is no special need for those people, although those who are used to helping with charitable efforts and fundraising can be particularly helpful with the fundraising and building up of the agency.  If you have access to any of them, please reach out to them, but also just reaching average folks with no special connections.  Abuse is a problem that reaches many, many people.  So, anyone you know could benefit from this information, and could benefit the effort by helping to reach people and maybe make small contributions of funds.  Enough small donations can add up to a large donations.

This is about ending the cycle of abuse.  This is going to take all of us.

All God’s critters got a place in the choir
Some sing low, some sing higher
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
And some just clap their hands, or paws or anything they got now

I’m a big fan for those who just clap their hands, or paws, or anything they got.  They make the world go around.  As George Bailey would say, ” they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this [world].”  Let’s help them and the rest of us do so in a world where abuse of all kinds are forever unacceptable.  What do you say?

Help Wanted

Howdy.  I’m looking for some people who can help out with things to make this a better and more useful resource.  This means those who actually care enough about the place to do such extraordinary acts as follow what goes on here, specifically those who are reading this post.  This means you.

1.  Roundtable members:  I want to have a group of people who are willing to engage in conversations on abuse-related matters, so we can post the conversations around here.  We might have those conversations via email or threads around here that aren’t open to everyone.  I’m open to input on how to do that.  The required qualifications are that you are human and can read and write.  I want people from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, including service providers, advocates, survivors, abusers, and civilians (those in no way associated with the world of abuse other than an interest in it).

2.  Promoters:  I would like people to share this resource with others in their circles.  The FB group for the blog is nowhere close to the 100 likes required to increase its visibility.  That can include not only sharing the link to the blog itself, but also reading through the posts here and sharing any that you find interesting.  I know there aren’t many at the moment, but getting the roundtable going should help provide more material to post that can hopefully lead to more conversation.

3.  Commenters:  I would really like people to respond to the posts and pages around here with comments (available at the bottom of each post or page).  First-time commenters’ comments have to be hand moderated (currently by me), so they won’t appear right away, but once I’ve released your first comment, your comments will be released immediately.

4.  Permas, Mods, etc.:  I would like to see this grow beyond me.  When the site first went up, and it had more traffic than it does today, people submitted their stories, and those stories are still available.  But it’s been a long time since anybody submitted a story.  And I don’t even get email about the site much anymore.  As things grow here (which I hope they will), there will be need for other people who can help out as Permas (Perma-bloggers, or those who regularly produce posts here), Mods (Moderators, who can release comments from new commenters and delete inappropriate comments, including the large number of spam comments that are submitted here), and I would like to create a podcast based on conversation like what I’ve described in the Roundtable point above.  Podcasts have proven quite effective in reaching large numbers of people who don’t necessarily have time to actively follow the posts on a blog.

I don’t expect anything here that would take more than a few hours a week for the foreseeable future, but some of these roles are more responsible than others.  This is life in the New Media, where reaching out virally to involve more and more people is how you create useful content to help people.  Letting me know what you’d like to do in a comment below with your real email address would be a great way to start being involved.  Thanks.

Mythology v reality in domestic abuse

As I prepare to begin responding in this space to news stories about domestic abuse, I’m finding things I need to talk about before I can get back into current events on the topic.  Some of them I’ve already talked about around the site, but I need to say some additional things about them.

It’s been quite a time since I’ve written anything new around here.  I’ve had more experiences, and my approach has developed in some particular directions.  As always, I’m about challenging people’s assumptions and presuppositions about abuse and related things.  But I’m seeing that I’m going to have to do so in ways that might piss off people who might have been allies in the past.  My priority here is in being about the realities of abuse as a way of helping people involved in abuse come to grips with what their options are to find their way into abuse-free life.  I am particularly concerned about those who want to use the issue as part of a political agenda.  Not just because I’m probably on the other side of the aisle politically from that agenda, but because I think it’s too important to help people find abuse-free lives to burden that process with anything else that might get in the way of safety, recovery and healing.

The mythological view of domestic/relationship abuse begins with the term “domestic violence,” which you may have noticed that I avoid.  I do so intentionally, because I think it gets in the way of clarity.  It implies that all that matters is violence in the home, which I do not at all agree with.  When I was in ACT, they taught us that “Abuse is any actions, words or attitudes which hurt, threaten or humiliate others,” and that goes far beyond violence that happens in the home.  In the work I’m going to do on adolescent relationship abuse, the term gets in the way, because the abuse there isn’t necessarily happening in a home-life context, and may not include violence.

Beyond that is the standard expectation that DV means men beating women.  As my main page has made clear since I wrote it twenty years ago, anybody can be abusive, and anybody can be abused.  No one is demographically immune to abuse.  I have taken heat many times for challenging the assumption that this is a gendered issue.  This is a place where I see political agendas getting in the way of fixing the problem.  I once sat in a meeting with DV Perpetrator Treatment Providers where one of the providers boasted that he referred women convicted of DV for victim services “all the time.”  It wasn’t the first or last time I was appalled by statements made by treatment providers who put their agendas ahead of the needs of those who came to them for help.  I was later able to cofacilitate a program that helped women convicted of DV address their own choices and behavior so they could learn to live abuse free.  We did not assume that they had never been victims of abuse, nor that their victims were angelic beings who could do no wrong — just as we did not assume thus in the men’s program.

And then there are the Urban Legends related to the issue. LIke the one that there are more 911 calls on abuse during the Super Bowl than any other time of the year. I’ll be shortly writing about a PSA the NFL will be running during the Super Bowl, which I suspect is based in belief in that UL.  Or the one that English Common Law allowed a man to beat his wife with a stick no bigger around than his thumb, and that’s where the phrase “rule of thumb” comes from.  That one is silly because Common Law provided no particular penalties for a man beating his wife with a bigger stick than that — women were their husbands’ property until relatively recently in the English legal system (still are in many parts of the world), and because “rule of thumb” as we use it has nothing to do with violence.  It has to do with the practice of measuring with the distance between the tip of the thumb and the first joint as an inch, or a rough and ready measure, which is more like how we use the phrase.

Those are all that come to mind at the moment, but I might talk about others as they come up going forward.

Adolescent Relationship Abuse

I’m considering putting together a presentation I can take to schools having to do with abuse among adolescents in romantic relationships.  This comes after running into stories of teens who were in abusive relationships without realizing that they were, because they didn’t know what abuse looks like.

So, I’m looking for some ideas about what kinds of information to include in such a presentation.  I’m thinking the questions from the introductory page here is going to be a good place to begin, but I would — that’s how I’ve built the site to work from the very beginning.  I think the questions build clarity, which is the most important thing to me.  When people have clarity about what in their lives is abusive, they have something to work with in terms of finding help.

But I’m definitely up for input.  I’m also looking at building the blog here as a place people can come for onging and updated information on abuse recovery, and I”ll be looking for people who can provide articles and also who can bring questions on abuse for me to respond to.  So, the few people who are aware that this is here are requested to help point people here, so that people who could benefit from the information here (I intend that to be anybody, not just those in identifiably abusive relationships) are exposed to it.

Thanks.

A Beginning.

It’s been a long time since there has been a beginning here. Lots of water has gone under the bridge. This site started as just a collection of abuse-related links in my bookmarks page on lynx, back when there weren’t very many. When I learned how to make web documents, I made pages for all of the sections of my bookmarks page, and I wrote little introductions to the topics for each section. Every document had my name in its title, because it would give the page some identity — who made it, and what it was about. This one needed to be different than most, because there was really no ground-level information about abuse written for people involved in it in those days. Continue reading A Beginning.