Have Lela and Carlos reconciled? Tabloid cases support stereotypes and myths about domestic violence

“The circus.” “Both deserve each other.” “The comedy.” The couple can put a smile – or a grimace – on their face. But just because these are bizarre celebrities with extravagant manners and appearances doesn’t mean that, in an effort to make a splash, we need to repeat long-dispelled myths about domestic violence.

I’m not talking here about discussions and comments; this Internet drain will always be full of mud. I’m talking about tabloid articles and headlines. Whatever we want from the boulevard as such, the fact remains that it has by far the greatest reach and influence of the media. And it can handle it well (there are plenty of good practice examples) or not so well – as in this case. Calling a serious suspicion of domestic violence (Lela Ceter explicitly said her partner beat her) a “circus” is inappropriate to say the least. And to suggest that after the woman returns home, all is forgiven and the doves are reconciledit is dangerous to underline stereotypes.

Few domestic violence abusers commonly manifest in their lives as aggressive and thoughtless individuals. If that were the case, his potential partner wouldn’t even go on his first date or run after him.

Let’s leave Karel Vémol and Lela Ceter aside for the rest of the article. Nobody knows what really happened between them. Let’s tell a different story instead. The one that should really be heard by readers on the boulevard and that takes place in many small homes in various minor changes, but essentially according to the same scenario. Where they are even less visible than the tabloids.

Domestic violence is not just a woman with bruises

To begin, let’s dwell for a moment on the very concept of “domestic violence”. Even because of the many domestic violence campaigns that have used such a visual, it is commonly remembered as a crying woman with a monocle. But this is a very misleading view. First, domestic violence doesn’t have to be physical at all (and it’s not just for women, although we’ll talk about that here). This can be a wide range of actions: for example, restricting access to finances, insulting and dropping out, disturbing sleep, prohibiting various activities, checking underwear when you get home, shouting and to menace. And secondly, even after physical abuse, bruises should not remain. At least the word domestic is sitting there – this time it correctly indicates that it is about violence between partners.

Bruises on the soul

It is widely believed that domestic violence and abuse is primarily physical, with victims suffering from bruises and broken bones. Soul wounds aren’t visible in mental abuse, and maybe that’s why it’s so hard to get out of a toxic, hurtful relationship. Especially when the manipulator puts you in a state where you no longer believe in yourself.

Gas lighting. Invisible domestic violence robs the victim of the will to defend themselves

Few domestic violence abusers commonly manifest in their lives as aggressive and thoughtless individuals. If that were the case, his potential partner wouldn’t even go on his first date or run after him. The rapist can usually disguise it well. He is kind, caring; It is not an exception that he is a person with a good career and good performance, who is popular in the society.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t warning signs. Victims of domestic violence may recall episodes from early in the relationship, which – in retrospect – could and should mean a big red exclamation mark. For example, the new companion was jealous of her friends, crawling into her cell phone, etc. But precisely because it was the beginning of a relationship, the future victim waved his hand at it. In love, it is easy to forget and apologize. Jealousy is normal and even a little sexy…

All you have to do is be better, better, more obedient

The first more serious manifestations of domestic violence appear only a long time ago. The rapist, for example, is suddenly extremely annoyed that his partner is going out with his old friends. Or friends. Why does a partner need it when she has hers? Besides, they’re all cows and they don’t like it. They persuade her to break up anyway. And when her partner meets them, she makes a jealous scene. It roars like the woods.

But: the partners live together, have a joint account, the dog or even the children are married. For a partner who is slowly turning into a victim, it’s hard to turn on your heels and walk away. This would already mean big complications and changes for her. And now? The partner did it because he is under pressure at work. He is sleepless. He’s having a hard time. He apologized and he’s sorry… And admit it yourself: he won’t break up with him for such a trifle. Besides, it’s a bad time. However, it is enough that he stops going out with his friends so that it does not upset him.

A little later, a similar scene repeats itself. For example, when the rapist thinks of calling a friend when she was actually a hairdresser. Apologies come back, regrets. And the partner’s hope that this time it will be different. The abuser apologizes, wears flowers, buys romantic trips – maybe he behaves even better than at the beginning. Ideal partner.

Then something goes wrong. Who knows what, but the rapist is pissed off, everything bothers him. There is a complete feeling that another explosion is approaching. The partner tries as hard as she can, doing what she sees in her eyes… But it still happens. This time, the scene is more intense and the rapist breaks some of the equipment in the apartment. And then he comes and apologizes with tears…

Why didn’t she leave?

A question that keeps coming up. If someone hurts me, I’ll leave, won’t I? In cases of domestic violence, it is much, much more complicated. These are the reasons most often cited by real victims.

Psychological manipulation and gaslighting. The aggressor is very effective in harming the victim’s ability to perceive reality and pushing them to blame themselves.
Fear. The rapist may control the woman by threatening to hurt her if she tries to leave. Or his children.
Family dynamics. In some families, it may be considered a failure if a woman leaves a man, even if she has been abused. At other times, the woman herself comes from a dysfunctional family and an abusive relationship is actually “normal.”
Children. The women do not leave for fear that the rapist will then turn against their children. Sometimes they “don’t want their children to lose their father”.
Financial dependency. The rapist very often has all the family finances in his hands. The woman has no means of her own, which makes it difficult if not impossible to leave.
Insulation. Abused women are often cut off from friends and family, with the rapist partner being the “only one they have”.

When the neighborhood doesn’t help

Readers already see a clear trend. We call it the cycle of domestic violence, which has four phases: escalation of tension, the violence itself, reconciliation, and a period of peace and honeymoon. It’s usually a spiral that keeps getting worse. The violence phase is more intense and longer. Anyone looking at a similar relationship from the outside can see where it is going. Except for the victim himself.

In the hope phase, she will believe the aggressor again and again: this time it will be really good. And perhaps even slowly she blames herself – after all, the rapist convinces her of it from top to bottom. If you don’t just say so. If you just forgive the phone with your friends. If you didn’t just leave the laundry on the couch. If only… In the end, the rapist can convince her that she is an absolute zero and a nickname no one else would want anyway, and that she is in fact to blame.

And so the situation repeats itself. In a moment of weakness, the victim may even confide in someone close to him, but people will slowly begin to break the stick on them, because despite their good advice, they always come back. So why help him or even listen to him? The number of loved ones dwindles and there is no one left to go to. Besides, who would believe her? The last time, her friend asked her a bit doubtfully how she didn’t have bruises…

The story continues and the years pass. The victim slowly became a psychic wreck. He stops going to society. The abuser, on the other hand, is always popular. People see a handsome and successful man and next to him… Hysterka. The circle closes perfectly. The rapist is right: the victim is zero that no one wants, and the victim is in fact that he is with such a niche at all. And she can forget that anyone would believe her stories of violence.

Only in a very long time will something happen that will literally force the victim to run away from the rapist. Very often it is the fact that the violence turns against a common child. Or it goes so far that the fear of death is stronger than the fear of leaving a partner after such a delay. And many times, he happens to be determined, he leaves… And he comes back again.

Be there for the victims

From the outside, such behavior is incomprehensible, but it makes perfect sense to the victim. The abuser is usually a great manipulator and gets it exactly where he wants it. The average time between the beginning of the violence and the moment when the victim finds the strength to leave is eight years. Medium, that is, in many cases it is much longer. And our story can also have a much worse ending: several dozen women end up being murdered by a rapist every year.

Would you like a better ending? Me too. But often it just isn’t. But I have good news: the rest of the real story partly depends on all of us. What can we do? Disseminate information about domestic violence at a societal level, dispel myths and delusions and oppose its trivialization.

At a specific, individual level, therefore, one simple thing: to be there for the victims. Trust them, listen, offer practical help, contacts with professional aid organizations such as ProFem, Cercle Blanc de Sécurité, Perséphone or Rosa Center. And on the other hand, don’t expect your advice to save someone and follow them. Because there is a very high probability that such a situation will happen again several times. Do not abandon. You might be the last to break a stick on a particular victim.

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