Battered wives must make their own decision to leave

| 14/05/2012

domestic_violence6_11.jpg(CNS): As distressing as it is to see women put up with being abused by their husbands and partners, it is the role of those who care for them when they run from their abusers to help them get on with their lives in a non-judgmental way. Battered women must make their owndecision to leave their abuser and this means, on average, running away from their husband or partner seven times before they finally see the light, according to Cayman Islands Crisis Centre Director Ania Milanowska-Sedgley. She said that with domestic violence one thing was sure – it always got worse, not better, until the victim left for good.

Speaking on the subject of domestic violence at last week’s Nurses Conference held at the Marriott Beach Resort, Milanowska-Sedgley said that globally, one in four women are either beaten or forced into sex by an abuser, who is often a member of their own family. 85 per cent of domestic violence victims are women and every day three women are murdered in America by either their husband or partner.

Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women in the US, beating all other causes, such as car accidents and muggings, combined. 25 to 45 per cent of women who are abused are pregnant at the time of the abuse and domestic violence costs America US$5.8 billion annually, with US$1.4 billion of that being spent directly on medical costs.

People who were abused come from all sorts of backgrounds, she said. They were all ages, ethnicities and economic backgrounds and all had suffered at the hands of an abuser who was looking for power over them. Milanowska-Sedgley outlined the types of abuse that was considered domestic violence and this not only included physical abuse but also sexual, emotional, psychological and financial.

She said that abusers often criticized the victim in public, put them down and insulted them to lower their self-esteem. Often they would appear gentle and kind to their victim in public and save the abuse for when they got home. They may withhold finances from their partner or wife or restrict access to family and friends in another way of abusing their victims, she explained. Women were made to feel that they had no choice in this type of activity and that the abuser had total control over their lives.

Milanowska-Sedgley outlined many reasons that abused women gave to validate why they had not left the abusive relationship, and even though it was hard to bear witnessing the suffering that the women had endured, she said it was important for those who cared for such women to allow them to make their own decisions as to when they would finally leave their partner or husband.

Women might say that they feared the unknown if they left their partner, that becoming a single parent was too much to bear, that their husband or partner promised they would reform and was also considerate after the abuse. She went on to say that women sometimes thought their husband was sick and it was their duty to help him, as a wife. A lack of self-esteem sometimes prevented women from leaving, as did a lack of financial support without their partner or husband. Some women believed that they would be perceived as failures by society or their families if they left their husbands. Some women, particularly ex-patriots, kept the abuse from their families back home and pretended that it did not exist for fear of bringing shame on their families.

Some women had religious beliefs that prevented them from leaving their abuser, thinking it was all part of “God’s plan”.

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre has room for 18 abused women and they are never turned away, even if they have left their partners multiple times to be helped at the Centre.

“Women are never turned away because seeing them repeatedly means they are one step closer to being free from the abuse,” Milanowska-Sedgley said. “It takes women on average seven times to leave their husband or partner before they leave him for good … Abuse only gets worse if the victim does not do something about it.”

While the Crisis Centre was a female-only refuge, she said that men in Cayman were also abused by their partners or wives and even though men did call the centrefor advice, there was not a place of refuge on island for them to go to. Milanowska-Sedgley acknowledged that there was little support for men in this regard.

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  1. Lay her flat says:

    Yeah these women are abusing the system big time.


    I was the victim of abuse and one time she tried to stab me.  I quickly reminded her with a left and a right that she was still on planet Earth and that she crossed a major boundry.  That being my life and I was prepared to face whatever punishment was coming my way cause I would still be alive to fight another day.

    I am still with her to this day and while delusional about the situation, apparently I am an abuser and she is still the victim, that never happened again i.e. attempt on my life.

    I am sure there are some sick fellows out there including me when you try to stab me but for the rest of us…the system is stacked against us.

    I am sure if some more gentlemen like myself would stand up and give them what they got coming the balanced would be restored.

    Some of these women need to come back to reality…and the judical system need to recognise this too.


  2. Matilda says:

    Women make decision to leave their abusive man,boyfriend,lover or husband … won't happen because if he beats (physically,verbally and emotionally abuses) his lady … then he has also lowered her self-esteem therefore she'll feel worthless and helpless with out him by her side making her feel dependant on him. Therefore she won't leave because she's so use to the routine of the abuse that it has become immune to her.


    I have females who are relatives of mine and have been in this situation … and even though I've spoken to them about that they don't need those losers they still refuse to leave. They would rather the physical,verbal and emotional abuse from their partners.

    Best way to avoid decades of abuse is from the first altercation … LEAVE & NEVER LOOK BACK ALWAYS REMEMBER "ONCE A WOMAN BEATER ALWAYS A WOMAN BEATER" … even though he might come back with the "Baby, I'm sorry I lost my anger … I would never hurt you again it's all lies just to get you back so he can repeatly abuse you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Once upon a time there was a husband of a mostly verbally abusive woman.  The man moved out of the house numerous times that he had built and pays for himself.  It was extremely difficult financially to maintain the two households and he missed the children terribly. After a while he would end up moving back in after his wife begged him to return.  After many years he finally had enough and filed for divorce. The wife quickly started to put her plan in place by accusing the man of domestic abuse and did everything she could to get the house for herself and custody of the children, simply to inflict as much pain and humiliation as possible.  

     The stereotypical image of the big drunken buffoon coming home to the timid little wife and then starts beating her about the head because he didnt like the food she had cooked for him, may well be true in many cases, but not always.

     Lets hope our judicial practicioners are wise and objective enough to come to the right verdict in these often difficult cases.



  4. Anonymous says:

    Kudos to the men on here for speaking out! There a lot of men out there with similar situations but lack the courage to come forward or speak out. 

    Domestic abuse is just not abuse against women…It's time that the people holding these conferences become objective and make it very clear that women can and will abuse men too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    HI,  am the Happily divorced man! Violence solves nothing? Wo onto a man! Believe me when I say, if I had hit her, her shoes would have been left in prospect and the rest in Central America, where she came from!!   Violence solves nothing, and I agree, why spend useless years in Northward, we only live on average 70 YRS?? I have two very intelligent, beautiful kids, of whom I cherish…..and definitely is worth my freedom for? I am a very highly educated Christian Caymanian………you can't win every battle and sometimes walking away is the Best, Christian and only thing to do….Had I gone to prison, over a woman, my children would have starved and probably be in a gang now, instead of being in church and top of their classes!

    But I must say, the last three years of my life has been the worst, because of divorce:

    1). In divorce, a woman gets a raise, and man takes on another mortgage or mortgages……

    2). She gets the best of everything…..while he is left in financial ruin…..

    3). Most of the Judges are biased in my opinion, as i LIVED IT!!! Not all, I finally got justice with Mr. Henderson and Priva Levers…..They were able to look through the bull and finally give me a chance to get back on my feet and live again……..Highest praises to them both!

    I recall when we were divorcing, a JUDGE, other than those mentioned above would not even let me speak as much as her? I said to this Judge, but she is sleeping around? His reply was, "she can do whatever she wants???" I then asked, what about me? His reply was, you do it and it will be adultry? OH man, I said, chase me out in them ghetos in CUBA, I need a Woman!!! He said, what, I can't hear you? I said nothing? He then slapped me with a $1500.00 a month maintenance, of which was an impossibility for me to maintain…..  I recall, I went so low, I had to borrow a bicycle to get to work………..

    Some guys never get back on their feet………..Drugs/Alcohol etc…….

    Belive you me, I rather face the GALLOWS or FIRING SQUAD, rather than face divorce and MARRY another woman!!!!! Got plenty women in CUBA and HONDURAS< and now Perhaps PANAMA. IT ain't worth it……….

    God forgive me, as I am a christiam man, but I tried……..Hopefully he can look beyond the my circumstances………..

    By the way, didn't Solomon have 300 wives and 5000 concubines, I think…he found favor with GOD! I think National Geographic is still looking for his Gold MIne! ( Kinda had maintaining all them) I know this post may stir some nerves, but life goes on……..There are still good women out there…., I am just not ever willing to take that chance ever again…….

    I better do some work………memories giving me a headache!



    • Anonymous says:

      A 1500 slap?  Wow.  How many children you have?  I got divorced because my wife was cheating on me with some manager. It's been two years now and I have to pay maintenance for one child (thank God only one) and it is 300 dollars a month, and it is hard for me,  because of what I make. Moreover, I can't see him and she uses him as a pawn. Whenever I go to visit him, he is either sick, not there, or don't want to see me, so she says. She is always his messenger because he is a boy and the court favors the mother taking care of toddlers. But I know deep down it is because she just wants to see me hurt. But I am beyond that now. It use to driveme crazy for months. But bro I learn to live life and move on.

      Yup…. plenty pretty women in Honduras, Cuba and in Jaimaca, but I am keeping it low profile now. Women come and women will go. I am thinking about me now. No more tied down to commitment. Many women from the places you're naming, just want a crutch stick, a sugar daddy, or better way of life to get visa to the United States, so be careful and make sure you protect yourself. You some decent women, but you have to know them real good before you decide to live with them. As for me, I consider myself a handsome and able man with potential. So I will be investing in no one else, but me. When I get my own house, land, and assets, then I will look for an independent woman like myself. I don't recommend someone who has nothing and you have everything… that is not equality and that is encouraging someone else to become DEPENDANT on you. If she has ambition and is independent like yourself then I can see the relationship working and mutual respect. That is why wealthy people marry wealthy people…. there is a reason for that.

      • Anonymous says:

         YOU have a child but nowhere do you mention anything about  " all about  HIM  " and taking care of child it's all about you.


         But bro I learn to live life and move on.
        Yup…. plenty pretty women in Honduras, Cuba and in Jaimaca, but I am keeping it low profile now. Women come and women will go. I am thinking about me now



        gave up on the kid also ?


        • Anonymous says:

          If you had a love one who had a serious illness, and you went to the doctor and exhausted all options for help, would you cause the ordeal to sicken you?  I am sick and tired of this woman and going to courts and not receivingthe Justice in spending time with my son. Why should I cause myself to become more ill?  What will that accomplish for him?  If I am ill, how can I live for my son?  I find no other alternative but to focus on bettering my life, that way, I am able to better my son's life when he is of age and understands what went on between his mother and I. You can never spend quality time with someone, if you yourself are so stressed that your mind is not on him. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is so good to hear the men speaking out on this forum even if anonymous. Many are crying out for help and assistance and to no longer be stereotyped and treat equally.

    Maybe it is time for men to demand equality and fair justice when it comes to this issue!


  7. Anonymous says:

    The irony here is that within the younger generation there are clearly more incidents of women committing "domestic violence" against men. I can use my personal experiences and those of the men / people in my circle.

    For decades now younger men clearly understand the repercussions of such an act. Furthermore, society has gone through many changes in regards to breadwinners and "gender power" within the household.

    However, it appears as if some women consider these changes to mean "I can do what the hell I want to and you have to take it! Otherwise, I can work the system to have your ass thrown in jail!"

    The "strong and independent" western woman has truly morphed into quite a belligerent and intolerable beast in many instances. Ask any man with real experience and with the advantage of having been exposed to relationships with women from other backgrounds – he will quickly confirm.

    My heart goes out to the women that are truly victims of domestic violence today, however, there are MANY, MANY women that absolutely abuse the social code and legal provisions that cater to these issues.

    One life lesson that I will be sure to teach my young daughter is;

    "A man has the right to hit you back as hard as you hit him."

    (Think about it …)

  8. Anonymous says:

    Cayman is a very different place and there are a lot of many being abused by women but they won't say anything becasue society will treat them as outcasts and tell them they should keep their women in order.

    There a lot of good men out their to but no help for them. This is a good forum for men who have been abused to speak up anonymously. I have been there. Not only me but my children as well. It is not a good thing and men need help with this situation too, particualry those with young children.

    There is no gender equality in Cayman. That is why there is a Women's Crisis center and none for men. Men are told, go get another place to live,you can afford it, you are a man, why do you need help?

    Men need help too and I would like to see some of these government officails and speakers come out and say it. It is very real!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry sir that won't happen..this is Cayman and the Caribbean. That would be political suicide. Men would be called all kinds of names and laughed at becasue they let their women beat them and their children up!

      There will always be help for women becasue they are considered to weaker sex and in the minds of most women don't abuse it is always the men, so why bother. Have you ever heard of aman getting legal aid to fight an abusive spouse in court? Not in Cayman but check out how many women just walk in tell the judge they need it and get it, even if they themselves are the abusers?

      Mike Adam, I think this area falls under your ministry. You are a man of principle. How about taking a go at it? I know you will get resistance from all the women in there but please sir, give it a shot!

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have also been a victim of abuse and feel the same way . Please Please get help for some of the abusive women in our society , who the authorities make them believe it's always the husband fault. Alot of the women need to be in a  DCR Department Class.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I am a former victim of domestic abuse and a SURVIVOR! One thing that people dont hear as much of is that when expat women marry Caymanian men who are abusers, the women are afraid to leave their husband/partner because of the constant threats by him to "throw her off the island" while keeping her kids here.  I heard that too many times to keep count.  After 7 years of constant abuse, and our young children getting old enough to hear the horrible demeaning things their father would say to me, I GTO OUT. And how? By staying at Cayman Islands Crisis Center. Yes, as the article above states, I stayed there 4 previous times, for a week or so each time, until the last incident of domestic violence on me in front of my children when I had enough! Thanks to God I had the strength to get out of that marriage and away from the man who constantly told me he loved me more than an thing in the world but continued to beat me.

    Dont EVER say to a victim "Why dont you just leave" because until you walk in THEIR shoes you just cannot understand the emotional hold an abuser has over his victim.

    But like I said above, I am a survivor. I thank the Crisis Center, the Women's Resource Center and some special people in Immigration who helped me get papers on my own right (my kids are Caymanian).  RCIPS??? Forget them. They did nothing. After the last incident of abuse when the physical abuse was seen by the RCIPS, my then-husband was NOT EVEN PICKED UP or QUESTIONED for a whole week. RCIPS does in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM assist the victims and that is a darn shame when you see a bruised and bloodied up woman who said her husband did it to her but RCIPS says that they cant pick him up or hold him until a complete statement ismade. RCIPS is NOTHING for the victims of domestic abuse here in Cayman.

    Through prayer and my faith in God and the strength I gained though His healing touch, and the counsellors that helped me in that first year,  I am now divorced, my children are now well adjusted and I have re-married.  They have a wonderful man as their father figure, who treats them with love and me with resepct.  At least I got out while they were still young and I pray to God that they will not have much memories of the abuse their father showered on me, as much as I tried to hide it from them. There is way way way too much domestic violence here in Cayman, and the shame of it all is how it is pretty much accepted by everyone as "well, that's just the way it is here."

    Thank you CICC, for saving my life and my children's lives. You are a wonderful group of people!

  11. Anonymous says:

    We need to have equal rights for men that are battered and mis-treated as well. I was not married but living with the mother of my child who consistently accused me of hitting her and  my child and reporting me to the police . Luckily for me, I was cleared of all charges and was able to prove her abuse and now I have parental custody of my child and living far away from her.  She no longer speaks to me or my child which is fine with me.

    This whole situation pretty much bankrupted me while she was given pro-bono lawyers through the courts and used the woman's centre to further her little campaign.

    I would love to see the day when this government realizes and admits that "domestic violence" is just not husbands against wives but it can just as well be the other way around. I had no where to go and nobody to even share my situation with except my lawyer. This society frowns upon a man who allows his wife to abuse him. I decided to take charge of my own life and to stand up for my child and forgot the stigmatism of Cayman. Most men wouldn't do that or have the resouces to do so and unfortunately the courts will believe the woman over the man any day.

    My ex would always tell me she is going to fix me… She told me "all i have to do is say you did it and I can get your a$$ arested? She did on more than one occasion.

    Where is the justice or the assistance for men, husbandsand fathers, that are good and decent people. Where is the gender equality?

    • Prickle says:

      You people need to stop relying on government and crisis center for everything!  Like the article says battered wives must make their own decision to leave. It is the same thing with the men. RESPONSIBILITY REST IN YOUR HANDS.  YOU DECIDE TO STICK AROUND AND TAKE ABUSE!  ONLY YOU – NOBODY ELSE!  IT IS YOU WHO WHEN YOU SEE THE SIGNS SHOULD MAKE A DECISION TO LEAVE!  ONLY YOU – NOBODY ELSE!  Stop playing victim and take charge of your life!  No wonder why Police look at you people and leave you at your own demise… because it is not their job to give you all the attention in the world and nobody else. They have other people to protect!  They are not counselors, and they are not your personal security guard!  It is you people that have to grow up, swallow what hurts, and move on. I know its harsh words, but that is life and if you continue playing victim, you just make yourself more and more a slave or dependent to the abuser, and that is not only a grave sin to you and others, but a miserable way to live.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have been a jury and I see that women are using system to there advantages, a lady almost sent an innocent man to jail, I was in aww when I heard the evidence  against him. We need the system to be fair towrads everyone.

  13. Castor says:

    What a one sided article. Violence of ANY kind is abhorent! Simple!

  14. Anonymous says:

    MY ex-wife shoved me down in the house whilst making a sandwich for my son. Then, when I got up, she kept pushing me with her shoulders, attempting to provoke me, stating, and I quote, " Hitme! Hitme, so I can send you to Northward!"

    I calmly collected myself and left the house and situation………………..Husbands get battered too?????…..then eventually we went down to the courthouse, man, some them Judges looked at me like I was a monster……etc……….

     I am very Happily DIVORCED!" As a Caymanian, I will never marry again……………..

    We need a crisis Center for men!!!!


    • Anonymous says:

      Men already have a crisis center – its call a pub

    • patty says:

      Why didn't you hit her?  Why?  I am a woman, but if I am a man, and some brat comes to me and gives me man punches and hits me in my face, do you think you are being not a gentleman to return the man punches?  If you don't retaliate, I have no respect for you, because I would have to show her who is wearing the pants!  Like my mother told me when I use to go to school, if a woman is tough enough to give a man hard blows, she should be tough enough to receive them too.  I never forgot those words. As a man, don't be afraid to defend yourself when it is warranted and necessary. I am not saying now to punch your wife out that she can't get up and then you got a homicide on your hands!  No, that is excessive use of force.  But if you are with a woman that believes in violence and she believes she can ride you like a horse and can get away with anything, you have to put her in her place, for crying out loud!!!  Take a stand, BE A MAN and prove her wrong. I personally am not attracted to any man that takes abuse from their wives and do nothing about it!  That is so wimpish. Perhaps, I am too Caribbean, but I knew one thing. Myfather never laid his hand on my mother, but I can tell you, my mother never did the same to my father. They were both respectful to each other.  The law?  The law favoring women over men?  Don't worry about the law, because mister, you certainly don't need the law to defend your self!  I respect who has mouth and stands up for his rights just like a woman that has mouth and don't put up with sh%t.  If you back down, she will look on you like a wimp and trust me, for all you know, she will leave your a%s and get somebody else who is tough like her and can put her in her place, and know how to talk to a woman.  

      • Anonymous says:

        Patty, you are wrong, wrong, wrong.  Better to have looked "like a wimp" as you put it, than to spend years in Northward unnecessarily.


        • cow itch (gone to jail) says:

          i guess i need to lick my wife…. free tv, free water, free light, free telephone calls, and no more nagging will be the result