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Dear Abuser… if you love them, leave them alone: Letters on domestic violence in T&T

“Dear Abuser… I am asking you please, if you love them, leave them alone. Acknowledge that you are toxic.

“Acknowledge that you have hurt and violated them in a way intimate partners never should, and leave them alone…”

The following letter written by Rachael Amanda Espinet—who described herself as the friend of an abuse victim—is the third in a series of missives from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence, meant to raise awareness about the problem of violence against women and girls in Trinidad and Tobago:

Photo: A woman cowers in the shadow of her would-be abuser. 

Dear Abuser,

Yes, that’s your name, please own it. I know you see yourself as a good person, but you assaulted someone I love, and your abusive cycle must end.

You came into my life because you “loved” someone I love and they thought they loved you back. Since you two got together, I noticed when I stopped seeing them show up at my house for breakfast. I noticed when invitations to yoga were declined, and I noticed whenever you were not around their phones blew up with incessant text messages and calls from you. That is possessiveness. That is a need to control the ones around you because you don’t trust them.

For whatever reason, you have trust issues. I don’t care what they are. I don’t care why they exist, but you should go to a therapist and talk it out because your anxiety is abusive, and you hurt someone I love.

I wasn’t surprised the day they turned up at my house with a black eye and burst lip. I wasn’t surprised when they told me you punched them nonstop until they had to be hospitalised. I was horrified, disgusted and enraged, but I wasn’t surprised.

Every time they left you I told them they did the right thing. Yet, you would not relent. You would call, harass and badger your way back into their life only to cause them more pain.

Photo: WPC Nyasha Joseph’s lifeless body was found in the Gulf of Paria on 15 March 2017.

So I am asking you please, if you love them, leave them alone. Acknowledge that you are toxic. Acknowledge that you have hurt and violated them in a way intimate partners never should, and leave them alone. Don’t buy them flowers. Give away their things. They don’t want them back, and they don’t want to see you. If you love them, leave them alone.

Intimate partner violence—be it a man hurting a man; a woman hurting a man; woman hurting a woman or a man hurting a man—is abuse, and should not be tolerated in any civil society. So if you love them, please, I beg of you, think of what’s best for them and let them go.

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6 comments

  1. Armmm unfortunately abusers don’t see themselves as abusers so this letter misses its target audience.

  2. Though sometimes the only way to make them leave you alone is locking them up because they will not stop until SOMEBODY dead.

  3. AGREE WHOLLY!!!!!!!!! Couldn’t be said more succinctly