People almost always question why victims don’t come forward with their stories immediately, and here’s the kicker — I did. I tried to tell people. I was furious that a person could do these things to so many women and get away with it. And just like right now, people stuck their fingers in their ears and closed their eyes, because they didn’t want to hear it or see any proof. Blame it on people’s general attitudes towards domestic violence, blame it on his supreme manipulation skills, god knows he’d done enough damage to my reputation and credibility to ensure no one would listen when I openly spoke out about what he’d done to me and others. I was too scared to go to the police, because he’d told me previously that he had a two year suspended sentence hanging over his head for assaulting his mother. I know I should have, I know I should have been strong enough to be able to say ‘Well, fuck you. You did this, you need to be held accountable for your actions.’, but unless you’ve been in that position yourself, no one can imagine how utterly hopeless it feels being in a situation that requires support and strength, when your name is already mud and almost every single person you thought you could rely on is shunning you, and trying to protect themselves and their endeavors from a threat of bad blood from a bigger player in the scene. After realising I had barely anyone left, and being constantly harassed on every front imaginable, I simply didn’t have the fight left in me to not only go through the trauma of a court case, but to be ‘that’ chick, the one who sent the aspiring musician to jail, the ‘crazy ex’ who had this poor guy locked up for what would have been played down to be a toxic relationship. And god only knows what would have happened to me had I gone through with it, and he’d gotten away with it yet again. I guess we’ll never know.
I still struggle to articulate how disappointing the general public’s perception of victims is. It’s this disgusting catch-22… Victim has no support, so they don’t have the strength to do anything about it. Nothing gets done about it, so no one offers the victim their support. It’s so much harder when the perpetrator is a public figure, because people simply don’t want to acknowledge or accept that someone they admire is a piece of shit. It hurts people to see these things, and if I’m perfectly honest, it’s the most standard and cowardly way for people to behave when they’re seeing and hearing something that disrupts their conceptions. It’s so much easier to just shrug it off and say ‘nah, it’s not true’, and find ANYTHING to back up that claim, whether it be a simple word of mouth style ‘ignore her, she’s crazy’, than to accept that people are really, really hurting at the hands of someone that they want to like.
I wish I could tell any victims of domestic violence who are reading this that it eventually stops hurting, but it doesn’t. You just learn to cope with things in more constructive ways. I regret not being strong enough to stand my ground and make him pay for what he did. I regret not being strong enough to stand my ground and actually DO something that would have ensured multiple women after me didn’t have to go through the same abhorrent, crushing and damaging experiences that I did. I will say though, no matter how much they make you feel like you have no one left to support you, no matter how crazy and unstable they make you feel, no matter how many ties to support they seem to cut, it’s simply not the case. There are always people who will listen to you, who will help you, who will support you and who will protect you. Two complete strangers and a close friend who lived over 1000 km away were my lifelines, and that was enough to prove to me that people care, and help me start picking up the pieces of myself to put back together. It’s so crucial to reach out. Even if it hurts. Even if it scares the hell out of you. Talk to people. Seek help. Seek protection. Seek love.
You will always deserve happiness. Always. And believe me when I tell you that no one can EVER take that from you.
The first being a confirmation of what I already knew about domestic violence in our culture. That being that it is damn near impossible for domestic violence victims to make themselves heard, much less believed. The fact of the matter is, multiple women, ex-partners and otherwise, came forward confirming that this man abused them, either physically, psychologically, or both. And despite the testimony of at least half a dozen girls, accompanied by screenshots where Brendan Brown was seen talking about making them bleed, breaking them down, and leaving them with bruises, too many people put their fingers in their ears and sang a sad tune of decisive ignorance. It’s no wonder conviction rates for domestic violence are so low, because how can these people, emotionally exhausted and damaged as they are, expect to find any sort of real justice in the legal system if they can’t even find it amongst their peers. It’s truly heartbreaking to see that even though they’re now shouting their pain from the rooftops, so many of you still refuse to hear it. It’s disgusting.
What’s even more disgusting, and it makes me feel physically ill to even talk about it, is my second realization – if you’re talented, if you’ve got fans, you can get away with anything. Even physically and psychologically abusing multiple women. Brendan Brown returned from his self-imposed social media exile with the intention of destroying his victims so that once again they would fear him enough to keep quiet. That much is blatantly clear by his first comments on my previous post about this issue. He came in, guns blazing, with what he believed to be ‘damning proof’ that one girl in particular was a liar, a drug addict, and a slut, who should not be trusted. Screenshots from messages where HE was telling HER what a terrible person she was, which proves absolutely nothing except that his MO hasn’t changed over all these years. In an even more sickeningly brash move he posted a message screenshot that seemed conveniently cut off at the bottom. I recognized that I’d seen it before and I asked the girl in question to send me screenshots of the rest of the message, and lo, there he was mere sentences later in the same message talking about ‘tasting her blood’ and ‘breaking her’. Blatant and vicious manipulation in its purest, most disgusting form. When he realized his technique was no longer working he very quickly changed his tune. You can see it on the thread, he went from attack mode to ‘woe is me it’s not my fault’ in the blink of an eye. He then messaged me directly asking me what I wanted him to do, to which I reiterated the points of my previous post – understand what you did, acknowledge it, admit it, apologize, and get help. He then proceeded to use this olive branch as a template for another sickening attempt at mass manipulation, and it worked. He made something that looks at a distance like he was doing what I’d suggested, but wherein he admitted nothing and claimed it wasn’t his fault, he wasn’t to blame, and once again shirked every ounce of his responsibility for his reprehensible actions. And the worst part of it is, so many of you lapped it up. You opposed the girls coming out about his abuse with your fingers in your ears screaming ‘Evidence! Prove it! You’re lying!’, but the moment he claimed that he had been abused you all held hands and hugged it out, without a single question. One person’s testimony, no screenshots, that’s it, and you took it as gospel.
The truth of the matter is, regardless of his upbringing and the validity of his claims, his choice to abuse multiple women, multiple times, over many years, was his choice alone. No one forced his hand, he acted on his own. The responsibility lies solely with him. Tell me, if his parents came forward and said ‘we only abused Brendan because we were abused as children’, would that make it ok? No. It would not. And yet so many people have blindly accepted his blatant shirking of responsibility and hailed him as some sort of perverse, violent hero to be praised and adored. No. This is simply not good enough. This is the exact reason domestic violence victims so rarely come forward. Honestly, the realization of this disgusting public response has brought me near to tears on multiple occasions. While you stand there worshipping at the altar of a violent, manipulative sociopath, his victims are trampled underfoot along with the reality of what really happened. Crushed in a sickening wave of sycophantic ignorance.
To his survivors, I’m truly sorry that you had to relive all this damage again only to be faced with such a heartbreaking result. I only hope that you know now that you don’t have to carry this on your own. I support you, my band supports you, and the many other people who have been willing to speak up for you support you. This is no longer your private burden, we want to lighten the load and help you carry it.
And Brendan Brown, I hope you see this. Hear my promise mate – this is not going away. We will not forget what you did, and we will not be manipulated into silence.
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