Saturday, January 16, 2010

Against Survival Instincts - Prey Protects Predator

"I was the prey who protected the predator at all costs."

"When you insulted him, you insulted me."

- Formerly Battered Women

I believe I have underestimated the power and seduction the batterer has over his partner when he is facing judgment.
I was recently involved in a trial in which a man had several felony charges leveled against him, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a felony weapons charge. He'd been in custody several times before, charged and convicted of violence against other women and strangers. He'd had protective orders filed against him, not only for the victim in his current case, but other women as well. Family Court and CPS had ordered him to stay away from his own children due to his violence. Nothing stopped his violence - not being arrested, no court, no person, no conscience. He used weapons. He forced them to have sex. He beat his partners when they were pregnant. He stalked them when they tried to leave him. He beat and threatened people who tried to help women who left him. He is the very definition of a "serial batterer."
And yet. There they were at the end of the day. Awaiting the jury's verdict. He cried and she comforted him. SHE COMFORTED HIM. As I observed them, I realized all these years, I had severely underestimated the seductive power of this behavior.
This truly evil man who hurts all the people who love him, this predator has the ultimate weapon to reel in his prey. It isn't violence, or threats, or intimidation. It is his willingness to seek protection from her. And she is willing and perhaps even relieved to give it. And - in that moment - they become sealed in a way that no one can break. They become fused as one. No one can intervene. Until, it happens again. Until, he hurts her again. Or, betrays her in some way.