China Elevator Stories

Have you found it hard to prove domestic violence?

Once I started to talk about my experience, most people tried to refute the idea that I had experienced domestic violence in my relationship.


Ruth Silbermayr
Ruth Silbermayr


I have not written much about the violence I experienced in my relationship with my ex-husband.

The only evidence I have of years of threats to kill me or that he would hit the kids, which are examples of the violence I experienced, is one picture where he is holding our younger son upside down when he was still a baby.

People have not believed me when I explained the violence I experienced. My husband did get into frequent rages and gaslight me often, among other things.

Others found excuses for my husband and tried to talk me into being nicer to him – because certainly me “not being nice enough” was the reason he was resorting to violence, so their presumption. Those who pretended to believe me at first later started spreading false rumors about me.

I have experienced people completely turn their backs on me and attack me on behalf of my ex.

To be honest, I have never heard of anybody who has had the same experience of being shamed and humiliated by others after opening up about their experience of being abused.

I always thought that people would be willing to believe the victim. But these last few years have proven the contrary is actually the case.

People in general tend to believe the perpetrator, and they tend to believe men more than women.

A man’s status can be a defining factor when people decide not to believe the victim, as can be superiority in age.

I have found that people will often assume that my ex, who is 5 and a half years older than me, is the better parent, simply because of his age.

In the case of two women, where one has been abused by the other, they tend to believe the woman who has a higher status, is more successful or has another feature that makes her seem more superior or intelligent than the other woman.

Have you experienced domestic violence?