Forensic Nurses Helping Abused Women

Who doesn’t know someone that keeps going back to an abusive relationship? They wear you down with their drama and pain, but keep going back. They want to believe that the person they need to leave will change. Repeated beatings, stealing, sleeping around with other people, using drugs and/or alcohol. And then abusing the children that are almost always another factor in the morass of their lives. And the abused woman lets them. This is where society blames the victim. Is it fair? No. Is it a normal response? Yes. Our capacity to absorb others pain is not limitless. And being the third party sets some distance for more objective thinking than the victim is capable of. Of course they eventually alienate all their friends and family. Then they are isolated as they abuser wants. Why are women so stupid? They expose their children to men they don’t know and leave them in their care. They go and move in with a man that has had multiple wives disappear or die with no explanation. They date and co-habitate with men that have got off on murder charges with technicalities…..why are women so stupid? Recognizing these women is not always easy. They are not always of the lower socio-economic status. They are not always uneducated. The one common denominator is low self esteem. No woman that valued herself as worthy would tolerate that kind of behavior. This is probably one of the most common cases that the forensic nurse deals with in the emergency room. How frustrating and heart wrenching to see someone that has allowed their self to be so mistreated. It would take a certain amount of distancing to deal with this on a regular basis. Could they render a real service and save lives? Of course. But what a challenge. The forensic nurse would also be the one to help organize the appropriate services around this patient. Legal for protection and restraint orders. Social to assist with placement (hiding at times) and a combination of social and psychiatric to deal with the remainder of this person’s ego, should any remain. Children involved? Then so CPS will be involved also. It remains that this could be a hugely rewarding, though challenging job.

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