I sat down to this writing with a drive to educate, educate, educate all of the people. I wanted to explain WHY women stay in violent relationships. I wanted people to understand and sympathize with every woman facing violence in their relationship. I wanted everyone to understand the issue completely because victims of domestic violence deserve that understanding. They deserve to be supported and respected as human beings. They deserve to not be written off as a lost cause or deserving of the violence inflicted upon them just because they stay or “go back”.
And in the case of Samantha Scheibe... why they recant allegations.
Because let’s face it, you've wondered WHY , right? Of course you have. Why does she stay or go back? Certainly, if it was you, you would run for the hills with your middle finger raised in challenge. No person would ever lay hands on you in violence but if they did? You’d get the hell out. Let me first say with absolute sincerity that I am so glad you feel that way. It will help you stay safe.
Domestic violence is an epidemic. One in four women worldwide has suffered abuse at the hands of their partner. And to those who enjoy violence-free relationships, domestic violence and its traps are so foreign that we go to what we know. Ourselves.
I could spend hours talking about the real and physically debilitating fear that domestic violence creates for its victim. I could even equate that fear with something that you would understand like the time you came within inches of a head on collision with a bigger and stronger vehicle. Or the time that you lost your child for 30 seconds in a crowd and you were in tune and out of tune all at once as your heart was exploding in the race to find and hold your baby. What about the time you walked home from the bar during your college years and sprinted through the alley near your house when you laid eyes on someone that scared you and seemed to be following you? Or maybe for you it was the 20 seconds you felt trapped in mud as your toddler sprinted toward a busy road. All of these situations produce a sensory response unlike just being a bit afraid. They produce terror.
But for you, they pass. For you, breathing through them and moving on is an option. Can you imagine living with that pulse pounding in your ear every single day? Kind of like a victim of domestic violence. Your heart is racing, blood pressure rising, constantly calculating how to move forward, always aware of the threat of physical pain hanging over you every single day.
I invite you to understand on a basic human level that a woman living in a violent relationship experiences that terror daily and sometimes several times a day. For some it is even constant. And THAT changes your brain. It changes the way a person processes every single situation they live in. It becomes a place of operation that is typical. Normal. It is even there when they LEAVE. Did you know that leaving an abuser is most often MORE dangerous than staying?
Can you imagine living that way? I hope not. But for 25% of the population of the planet, it is real. And that is why I want for you desperately to understand. Because YOU, yes you, know someone living this horror. I promise you that you do.
So what does this have to do with George Zimmerman's girlfriend? Well, she sent a letter this week asking for the charges against George to be dropped. She even went so far as to recant her statement given to the police. And you know what happened?
The media, both social and mainstream, went apeshit. APESHIT. The shit-storm aimed at HER was amazing.
Keeping in mind that the victim cannot "drop charges" (that is up to law enforcement and prosecution), I offer you the idea that Samantha Shcheibe is not a "crazy bitch" or deserving of "what she gets".
This is something I've seen happen over and over. Law enforcement hinges an entire case on victim testimony. Let's take a moment to realize that if George had killed her that day, they wouldn't need her testimony to proceed with charges. Because of the dead body. But also because of a wealth of other information.
There is other evidence.
But if social media is any indication, she will carry all of this man's violent crimes on HER shoulders. In the end, she will be blamed for "dropping charges" when in reality, that fault belongs to the authorities who give up despite evidence. Things they have -> 911 call, crime scene evidence, witness statements and excited utterances that they can use, several media interviews she gave and on and on and on....
Because see? She's already convicted in her own possible death....
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So in the spirit of not angry tweeting all of these people above, I will make this statement. It is my hope that they and those who thought these same things, see and learn that...
Samantha Scheibe probably did exactly what she believed she needed to do to survive.
Follow me, if you will, on a theory....
Samantha Schiebe enters a relationship with George Zimmerman. At first she probably thought he was innocent of the charges against him. She fell in love with him because sociopaths (my assumption) are freaking EXCELLENT at playing victim. I know this because NO ONE falls in love with violence and abuse. There is no doubt in my mind that she saw his vulnerable and victimized side, no matter how contrived. She saw a "good man" who had been wrongly accused. But then....
After some time, she saw the real George Zimmerman. Frightening. Unpredictable. Violent. Gun owner.
Then he aimed a gun at her and started destroying her things. [ FYI: The message being sent when an abuser smashes and throws your stuff is, "YOU are next" and "I will do this to YOU"] .
She calls 911 and truthfully says exactly what happened in a desperate attempt to not be killed (by someone she knows HAS killed before).
She cooperates with authorities. She is in self-perseverance mode. That never changes.
Some time later she is talking with the prosecutor who informs her that the case hinges almost completely on her testimony. They NEED her to convict him. They need her. They. Need. Her.
Shit! What SHE needs is to stay alive.
She goes home. Her thoughts turn to some very troubling ideas. He has killed before. There has been evidence. He was acquitted. He has already gotten away with MURDER.
So when he says that as soon as he is out, he will kill her...why wouldn't she BELIEVE him? How can she be even close to sure that her testimony will convict him? And when she testifies against him and he is still acquitted, then what?
He will certainly kill her. But then...an idea...
Making a show of support will certainly put him back in her corner. Telling everyone that you love him and that you lied will certainly convince him not to hurt you anymore, right? Recanting all of your testimony will prove to him that you are on his side.
THAT is what might save your life.
Tell me that doesn't make an amazing amount of sense.
You can't. Because it does.
So please, stop asking the question of why women go back. Or why women recant. I have seventy billion other reasons why but I don't have time.
Instead, PLEASE, ask these questions...
WHY doesn't our justice system protect these victims?
WHY do our laws and our society allow men to ABUSE women?
WHY does he do what he does?
WHY are our laws so screwed up that punching your neighbor is a felony but punching your wife is a misdemeanor?
WHY does every domestic violence charge HINGE on victim testimony when a case could and should be made on evidence easily investigated?
Because that, oh yes, THAT is the problem.
Think about it.