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  • Writer's pictureJenny

The Wolf Who Doesn’t Always Cry: I Will Not Apologize for Overusing ‘Abuse’

I read this article today entitled Abusing 'Abuse', and I tried my very best to be open-minded to an alternative perspective. I believe in seeing all sides of a story and allowing others to have their opinions; after all, we do live in a free country, and that’s one of its many beauties.

I can get the author’s intentions to a certain point, and do not believe he is intentionally trying to belittle or offend anyone. However, I cannot buy into a piece that is basically telling abuse victims that their experience is “overly used.” Sounds like someone entitled who has never been a subject of abuse—and in fact, his position sounds eerily like gaslighting to make readers feel like those who claim abuse or use the word are “crazy” or too many are “overreacting.” Just saying.

He starts with this: “The word "abuse" has lost its' salt. It is spewed out so many times each day that it is now a meaningless throw away sentiment.”

So is “love,” but I’ll still receive and accept that word from anyone who gives it.

Is this where I should apologize and say we don’t mean to overuse the word “abuse?” Promise to try to be more descriptive in the terminology we use to describe how our very hearts and souls are stripped away and demoralized by another human being.

And shall we say sorry for “spewing” our stories about how we’ve been physically, sexually, emotionally, and psychologically violated in an effort to raise awareness and make it stop.

Maybe we should feel remorse for using this word so commonly that it’s lost its luster.

Apologize for there being way too many of us. Try to tone it down so that we don’t rock the boat of those not affected by this growing pandemic.

No, thank you. I will keep on enlightening others and helping them through the repetition of what our experience is and/or was: abusive.

Abused girl, chained woman, abuse, wolf
Should she stay silent and chained for fear of abusing "abuse"? Photo credit: Depositphotos.con

He also referred to it as having a “boy who cried wolf stigma.” I get cerebrally what he means, and that he is trying to say that those who do actually manipulate the word hurt true victims. And I don’t disagree on that point.

But what I don’t think he gets is the disproportion of liars versus actual sufferers or considers the sheer numbers of silent victims who remain silent because of an ignorant society that uses more verbal assaults to shut them up into submission.

Now, I’m not trying to single this author out, and by no means, am I trying to discredit his intentions to bring awareness in his own way. He is just expressing his opinion and happens to represent one of many who think this way—and at least, he has compassion for those who do suffer and in his way is trying to help. Although I don’t agree with him, I can respect what he is attempting to accomplish.

However, there is a much bigger societal problem at hand of believing the alleged over the abused—and this kind of article does not help those violated to speak up. On the contrary: it encourages them to keep their mouth shut.

“In order for something to be considered abusive, it must surpass a reasonable threshold.” No, sir, it ONLY TAKES ONCE. One slap across the face. One inappropriate touch that’s not consensual. One pressure-filled comment in the workplace. It doesn’t have to be a full-on rape, years of mudslinging, or being thrown down a flight of stairs to qualify as abuse.

I appreciate him trying to pay Devil’s advocate and bring perspective to a very deep and intense topic. But we’ll just have to agree to disagree on how important it is to keep using the word “abuse” until it finally registers how hidden and widespread this disease truly is in this world.

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