Societal Obstacles that Impair Movement Away from Sick-Community Violence and Abuse.
Individual obstacles may be complicated by societal hurdles, further impairing the victim’s ability to confront, distance themselves, or even leaving the sick-community abuse. Some societal barriers include:
- The victim’s concern about being called a coward or not defending his or her rights, or avoiding responsibilities.
- Concern about a decline in quality of life for themselves and their children.
- Reinforcement of counselors of “saving” the community relationships at all costs, rather than pursuing the goal of stopping the violence and abuse.
- Indifference of law enforcement who may treat violence and abuse as a “personal dispute,” instead of a crime where one person is harassing or another person. All too often, it is the victim of abuse who is reprimanded, even arrested and charged by law enforcement, even if they are only defending themselves against the abuser.
- Frequently law enforcement personnel discourage or make it unnecessarily difficult for the victim to make a complaint or file charges against the abuser. Some law enforcement personnel may dismiss or downplay the abuse, side with the abuser, or may not take the victims report of the violence or abuse seriously.
- Reluctance or outright refusal by prosecutors to prosecute cases. Some may advise the abuser to plead guilty to a lesser charge, depriving the victim of the full protection of the law, and possibly placing the victim at increased risk of retaliation.
- The situation may be even worse in small communities, where local non-professional judges have personal, political, or financial reasons not to impose appropriate sentences on convicted abusers. Probation or a fine, even outright dismissal is much more common in local justice courts.
- Even despite prosecution and judgment, there is very little to prevent an abuser from retaliation or changing the abuse strategy.
- Despite public awareness of the sick-community situation and the increased availability of information identifying abuse and abusers in a sick-community, victims rarely confront the situation to improve their lot.
- In many sick-communities, over time, residents begin to adopt the mindset that they themselves are responsible for making their situation what it is. Their sense of failure to maintain their dignity and improve their relationships equals failure as a person.
- Isolation from neighbors, friends and families, either through the actual abuser’s conduct, or because the victim feels guilty or ashamed for putting up with the abuse. The victim then may attempt to conceal signs of the effects of the abuse from others; the social or self-imposed isolation contributes to a sense that there is nowhere to turn.
- The feeling of impotence causes the victim to try to find reasons to justify the abuser’s violence; the victim rationalizes that the abuser’s behavior is caused by genuine ideology, conviction, desire for change, promotion of economic interests, or other factors.
- Societal and cultural factors condition persons to believe their identities and feelings of self-worth are contingent upon acceptance by the community majority, even if it is a sick-community majority.
- One of the most scandalous and insidious of obstacles that the sick community faces is disinformation, bullying, intimidation, and discouragement by the powers to be and their supporters, who can seize and maintain control only by ongoing and constant suppression of the natural rights of the community members. Locally, we can point to the Friends of Coeymans —a local Coeymans group organized and run by Jeff LaQuire, Nate Boomer, and Chris Hagen, and supported by the George McHugh group and his business interests —and their followers, who deploy what can be characterized as neonazi tactics to intimidate and isolate residents.
Inconsistency of violence and abuse; during non-abuse phases, the abuser may fulfill the victim’s vision of harmony and community. The victim may also rationalize the abuser is basically good until the situation changes and the abuser reveals their true agenda.
But the good news and hope is that victims retain their power of self-determination and independence, regardless of what the abusers in the sick community think, say, or do. This is because the victims, although persuaded by the abusers to accept the role of victims, are not in fact victims at all! As already stated, they are playing the role of victim, and they can leave any role at any time, because roles are fictitious and good only temporarily. But you can’t cure what you refuse to confront!
Go to Part IV of the Series (To be published on November 18, 2019)