Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Protecting the Offender a Dysfunctional Family Role

on her blog The Thriver's Toolbox did a post titled abuse
No surprise here that's a subject I'm drawn to, since that's about all I seem to post about on this blog. But her post brings up an important issue about the families locked in the cycle of abuse.

What is at issue is the entire family system is set up to protect the offender. That's right, the offender. It doesn't matter whether that offender is an alcoholic, a drug user, a compulsive gambler, a child molester, a batterer or whatever other forms of abuse are out there. What matters is that the dysfunctional family system is set up to enable the offender to continue doing what they do.

Any attempts by a victim to disclose the abuse or problems related to it are met with extreme resistance as the rest of the family system circle the wagons around the offender at the expense of the victim who dares to speak up. Speaking out is considered to be tantamount to destroying the family when in actuality it is the abuse that is destroying the family.

It is no wonder that many victims never speak out and those who do usually pay for it the rest of their lives. They are ostracized from their families and blamed for any and all problems the family encounters from the time of the disclosure on. A victim who stands up for him/her self can find themselves totally alone without siblings, spouses, children or other family members and feeling like somehow they are the ones at fault when it really is that family system and the offenders responsible for the harm.

With all that has been done to help battered women get away from their batterers, rape victims to heal from their assaults and so on, little has been done in regards to educating people about the system that supports the offender. People who would normally consider themselves to be educated can't see the forest for the trees and are still caught up in the throws of family abuse cycles, unsure how or why they are caught. Yet it is their own behavior that helps keep them stuck.

The only way out of this cycle is by education. People must confront their denial and recognize the problems within their families. Assigning responsibility to the offender and then making them deal with their offense is the first step in healing for any family system.

Unfortunately, in today's world it seems the victims are healing one here and there while the rest of the family wallows in their dysfunction. And many more victims are sitting in silence afraid to rock the boat and incurring the wrath of their family of origin.


jumpinginpuddles said...

or if they try are called liars before they even get their foot off the blocks

BarnGoddess said...

I have come to accept that families will do ANYTHING to protect the abuser, even at the expense of innocent children.

Kat_womanx2 said...

There is a family that lives in our county...and for YEARSSSSSSSSSS the father has been molesting his own children and grandchildren and even fathering children with them all. The inbreeding is so severe that none of them can work and all are on SSI and welfare due to extensive cardiac disorders, disfiguration and mental retardation...the entire state is aware of this...and continually ignores it, all the while financially enabeling them all. They have a house and bills paid through HUD..they receive welfare checks in the amount of thousands of dollars a month as well as food stamps and medicaid cards for everyone. The "offender" DAD...the only one able to drive...drives a brand spanking new high dollar pick up truck. I have been by there on many calls...there are people wandering out in the yard naked and blind...hands and toes webbed together, one boy chases the ambulances and barks at them. The entire house is infested with lice, fleas and roaches...and this has been going on for more than 20 years. The offender is now probably 70 yrs old. There have to be 15 people living in that ratty house...all ages. And every time someone pops out a baby...he gets another 250.00 a month plus food. What really burns my ass about this.....they will prosecute and convict another man of having sex with his 17 yr old STEP daughter....and allow this SOB to continually abuse his own blood relatives and let him walk around free...and pay him to do so...

Raine said...

You nailed it on the head. I see it consistently. It is deeply ingrained into the victims that they need these horrible families and they wont give them up.