Response-Based Therapy with Victims of Violence – Despair, Resistance & Hope
Despair both embodies and engenders resistance while it affirms the insatiable desire for freedom and dignity. What a person despairs against points to what she hopes for. Sociopolitical violence committed in the context of totalitarianism cannot be equated with personalized violence such as sexualized assault and abuse, wife-assault, physical assault, verbal abuse or workplace harassment: The structural differences between the two cases are simply too pronounced – one essential similarity, however, is that both types of violence rely on misrepresentation. In personalized violence misrepresentation has less to do with newspeak, an orchestrated campaign of propaganda complete with its own neologisms, prohibited terminology and odd grammar, than it does with oldspeak, the habitual use of obsolete terms, vague grammar and stale metaphors that (a) conceal violence, (b) mitigate perpetrators’ responsibility, (c) conceal victims’ responses and resistance and (d) blame or pathologize victims (Coates & Wade, 2004; Todd & Wade, 2003).
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