Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity. W. Clement Stone
I am in a quandary.
Yesterday I watched the video from the World Narcissistic Abuse Awareness Day, If my Wounds Were Visible, and I was moved by the amount of suffering that people have been exposed to without ever being able to get justice for it. One woman’s words particularly touched me: “If my wounds were visible, he would be in prison.”
It made me think. You see, I had the chance to get him charged with assault, but I decided to close the case because I thought that the physical abuse was negligible compared to the emotional and psychological abuse I endured over the course of our relationship.
Physical abuse happened occasionally, but the psychological abuse was constant, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That’s what he should be charged with and held accountable for. It might seem strange reasoning, but, in my mind, putting the abuse I suffered down to merely physical violence amounts to almost invalidating the highly violent and destructive emotional abuse that I was subjected to. Unfortunately, narcissistic abuse doesn’t leave any physical trace and is almost impossible to prove. The narcissist breaks into your mind, steals your soul and leaves no forensic evidence.
On the last day of my relationship, I had a big argument with him, as he was still playing his mind games and I could not take it anymore. So, I told him it was over. He became physically violent and I dialled 999. When the police answered, he was staring at me. I was scared, so I just told them: “Sorry, I’ve made a mistake.” However the police rang back and this time I had the courage to say: “My boyfriend is being violent, he pushed me, I fell down and I am scared.” I was told that they would send officers as soon as they could.
The police came twenty minutes later but he had already left, as I had told him that if he was still in the house, they would arrest him. The officers took my statement but I refused to give his name because I think I was still trying to protect him despite his abhorrent behaviour. They told me they would contact me later to see which course of action I would take.
Two weeks later, I went to the police station to follow up on the case. As I said before, I wasn’t overly concerned with the physical assaults, as strange as it may seem. I wanted to see if he could be charged with psychological abuse, as in my mind, this had been much more devastating and caused more damage than the physical abuse.
I knew that In the UK a law had been passed two years before: Section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 – controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship. So, I told my story of manipulation, abuse and threats to the police officer. I knew that because narcissistic abuse is so covert it would be very hard to explain and prove and as I was stating all the instances of abuse, I realised how trivial it sounded to someone who had never experienced such a thing.
The police officer was very understanding but said that these were just signs of a toxic relationship and he could not be charged under the Controlling and Coercive Behaviour Law. However, he could be charged with common assault for the several violent incidents that had taken place.
I was confused and told her that I needed to go home and think about it. She refused to let me go without taking a statement because she told me he had committed an offence and should be charged. Also she was worried that there was a possibility he could come back and hurt me.
When I asked what would happen to him, she said they would go and arrest him and two things could happen.
- He admits to the offence and he is formally cautioned and it will go on his record.
- He denies the offence, so they would prosecute him.
I spent three hours in the police station giving my statement but again I refused to give his name or the address that he was staying at. I knew he would deny the facts and I wasn’t sure if I had the strength to face him in court, listen to his lies and his distorted version of the events. I told the police officer: “People think he’s such a nice person. And as in most domestic abuse cases, there are no witnesses. It’s a question of HE SAYS – SHE SAYS. My children heard the arguments but never witnessed the violence. Nobody will believe me.”
The police officer told me: “I believe you.”
But who else will?
What is the right thing to do?
Saying nothing and let him carry on abusing other women without ever having to answer for his actions?
Getting him arrested and having to face him in court with few chances of a conviction and look like a crazy, revengeful ex-girlfriend?
He will never admits to his abuse and will probably use it to play the victim and get more attention and gather more narcissistic supply which will allow him to abuse women more efficiently.
I still have four months to get him charged.
Abuse can never be justified or excused.
I will do the right thing.