Kyriarchy, patriarchy, sexism, misogyny, hate crimes, rape culture, ableism, erasure, racism, and all of those other terms most known within social justice circles have one thing in common: their root. All the various types of oppression, all the systemic power imbalances, all of the terrible ideas that come into play in many cultures are born of the same toxin: abuse. What is an abuse culture? An abuse culture encourages secrecy, ownership, dependence, confusion, control, division, superficiality, and more. While there’s talk of restorative justice, accountability, and intersectionality there will be little done if we don’t all understand why abuse is so common. If we cannot even name or recognize abuse for what it is, then we will fail to transform the culture as a whole. This integrated feminist lens serves to reveal the different tendrils of abuse culture, delineates the difference between abusive acts versus an abusive person, promotes self-care and support for the victims, lays out steps for accountability readiness, and lifts the veil on history.
This collection introduces how to use the trauma-informed MIC (pronounced meek) Method:
Abuse Culture Case Study: Parental Privilege Fallout
Summation of the phuckery re on my kid’s abuse:
1. We know he did it. He admitted it and accepted responsibility for it.
2. I at least know why and how it happened. Still unacceptable, but understandable. Not condonable, but correctible.
3. Kiddo seems to have also been abused by others, but that’s a separate issue. Those fuckers have not been held accountable and it sickens me.
4. The one actually serving time is undergoing restoration and actually being held accountable. The one abused has the space to heal, is safe, and will not be subject to such a horrendous experience again.
5. The jury trial is held up yet again, damnit, so June before we know what they decide. Unless they delay again. Waiting is torture.
6. The choices are plea bargain with time served counted towards sentence or life without parole (wtf).
7. Accounting for all the “justice” system imbalances, my mom’s phuckery, my stance on abuse, and abuse culture in general makes this really, really bizarre for me in ways I can’t fully describe.
8. I still see some issues — love is not a blinder but clarifier for me — but none which further endanger us. Boundaries are respected and will be maintained. I am not my useless mother and I am not my apathetic father.
9. I still don’t know what the future entails, with us holding this. It is transparent and acknowledged and not hidden or shameful like in so many other families. It is not ignored but actively discussed and analyzed. The one it happened to and their health is the priority, and we take our lead from them. Simple as that.
Restorative justice is nuanced and difficult and takes so much active time. It looks different in each situation but the underlying processes and tools remain the same:
Center the most marginalized/the victim, create space and funnel resources toward their safety and health, the accountability process is secondary — at their request, with their input, and for their benefit only. Accountability is only possible with recognition, acknowledgment, remorse, and reparations. It is not a solitary event but an ongoing practice and permanent change.
The victim owes nothing.