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You’d think the world would ‘get’ the message about victim bashing by now, wouldn’t you? But let me assure you…it does not. If you believe you’ll be able to stand tall in a court of law, tell the truth and be both vindicated and compensated because you have suffered what amounts to psychological torture, I must persuade you to think again.

Our justice system is not set up to pursue justice or truth. It is set up to reward those with the most resources, those who have no scruples, those who already believe they’re entitled to everything they want; those who assume their own superiority. In other words, the justice system is tailor-made for stroking the egos of abusers, falling for their lies, and handing their on a platter, the outcome they fully believes is their due.

Even worse is the fact that the legal system is also set up to punish those who

Image of a woman as a target.

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have the least resources; those who speak the truth and nothing but the truth, so help them God; those who assume every human being has equal value and the right to fair play. These, the victims, are putty in the hands of ruthless legal eagles, just as they were putty in the hands of their tormentors.

Believe me, I have walked the walk. There is  nothing pretty on that particular catwalk. Prepare to leave your dignity at the courtroom door, to suffer more humiliation as you hear lies and accusations leveled at you with such overwhelming confidence you can’t think straight – just as you couldn’t think straight during all those crazy-making conversations with your accuser; manipulated into believing you are both ‘bad’ and ‘mad’ by relentless gaslighting. (For an explanation of gaslighting, see my post on crazy-making behaviour here.)

The legal profession has a very high percentage of psychopathology among its ranks, far higher than in the normal population. They like nothing better than to band together with fellow ego-maniacs with the aim of screwing the little people. In court-cases in which abusers are involved, the victim is always ‘the little people’. Insignificant. Just listen to your abuser expound about all those years he worked towards putting his ‘wealth’ together and how you, his victim, are a money-grubbing gold digger who is mentally unhinged.

Abusers won’t bat an eye at the idea of lying under oath or signing their names to an affidavit that tears you, once-beloved, to utter shreds. You will be astounded at the number of lies that can be fitted on one page and at the manipulative spin put on every ‘story’ told. After all, it’s a divorce or property settlement case. Abusers can say whatever they want. No one is prosecuted for perjury under the family law act. It’s a free-for-all and your ex-partner will take full advantage of it; there are no external restraints on behaviour and abusers see no need to restrain themselves.

The only thing abusers can’t bear is being exposed for who they really are. Remove that possibility and place them in a courtroom where they are prepared to say and do anything to get what they want (to decimate you publicly and ensure you get nothing), fueled by their financial advantage and the status they’ve fabricated for the benefit of wooing the legal team, and you stand no chance.

I heard accusations from the registrar that had me reeling and it was only in retrospect that I was able to comprehend what had happened. My nemesis had spun such a convincing story of sacrificial martyrdom with a ‘hard few years’ behind him, who’d tried to give me everything I ever wanted only to be repaid by my ‘insanity’, using every trick of emotional blackmail in his repertoire. He said he was still devastated by the death of his first wife. For four years I had heard him say nothing but derogatory and defamatory things about her. She was psycho, he told me – a nutjob; crazy; frankly mad; controlling; without empathy; manipulative and a drug addict. He would sneer and snarl with every word. When I saw his head in his hands, his shoulders slumped, convincing the registrar of his sincerity by using his first wife’s suicide to garner sympathy, I knew I was beaten. The best I could do was exit with dignity.

My lawyer assured me I had the moral victory and that my ex-husband would always resent me for it.

Cold comfort. Cold, cold comfort as I sit here with my future in tatters.

Image of a woman's hands in chains

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