The Lockdown brought many difficulties with it. One of these, is the increase of domestic violence against FLINTA*. In most cases, physical, emotional and psychological abuse does not come from strangers, but family members or partners. These relationships are defined by emotional, familiar, or financial dependencies that because of the intimate abuser-victim-relationship, are often invisible to the outside world and make it harder to grasp for the victim themselves. Often this is connected with shame, guilt and fear. The fear of not finding someone who believes them. Shame of prejudice and reproaches.
Not only the reproaches of others but from oneself. How could someone let themselves be treated like that? How could they let themselves get into that situation in the first place? Worse is having to confront yourself.
How could I let this happen?
Is it my fault?
Am I even really experiencing this, or am I just exaggerating?
It is hard to call our loved ones out on abuse. Abuse always comes with a misbalance of power and manipulation; it is a private and uncomfortable topic. Abusers need to manipulate their victims’ reality. Only if they succeeded in this, they can abuse their victim.
So the victim starts to believe that the violence was only for their own good.
Or the abuser didn’t mean to.
The public space also got more dangerous for FLINTA*. The crisis affected everyone. In some, it triggered a higher violent potential, a higher sex drive or a loss of outliving these desires. We are feeling the effects of it on a daily level. Insults, starring, encroachment, rapes, femicide and murder. Abuse has many faces and we as a society don’t talk about it. If we do, then it’s quickly focused on the perpetrator. Who, when, did what exactly? How could we find them, will they get punished and what would that punishment be?
Society rarely looks at the victim.
How do we react? How do we live on? Which possibilities do we have?
‘Boundary Set’ is an awareness work, but first and foremost it is a work made for the affected and to encourage them. It is for everybody who feels abused in their boundaries. For those who got their reality manipulated and don’t know what to believe anymore. For those who question themselves and if they’re on the right track. For those who question if they are worth it, if they can make it or if they are allowed to.
It is always hard to set boundaries. Specific groups in society are socialised to forget their own boundaries for the sake of others. If one counts to this group of society and gets told from a young age to put their focus on the wellbeing of others and not themselves, they will of course have trouble to know what their boundaries even are. It is hard for us to even recognise, that someone abuses or abused us. Even harder, is to change the deeply routed behaviour.
It is hard letting go of something that became a survival instinct.
And still, it is the only way out.
Only with a constant confrontation with our boundaries, with our self worth, with our acknowledgment of our own needs and realities, is there an improvement for us.