Erin Pizzey, who became the face of the fight to break the cycle of domestic violence in the UK, setting up Refuge in 1971, was ostracised and demonised when she talked of some violence in the home being reciprocal. She distinguished between ‘genuine battered women’ “the unwilling and innocent victim of his or her partner’s violence”; and ‘violence-prone women’, defined as “the unwilling victim of his or her own violence.” She undertook a study which reported that 62% of the sample population were more accurately described as “violence prone.” Similar findings have been confirmed in subsequent studies. In her book Prone to Violence, she looked at what appeared to be learned behaviour which she described as akin to addiction, stemming from pervasive childhood trauma.
Her findings and public comments led to attacks by militant feminists for which she needed police protection. She moved to the USA, then the Cayman Islands, then Italy, before returning in poor health to the UK, where she still acts as an advocate for men’s rights, elderly abuse and Arab women seeking refuge.
Born 19 February 1939 6pm (from memory) in Shandong, China, with a diplomat father she had a fractured early few years, captured by the invading Japanese, escaping to South Africa, thence on to Beirut, Toronto, Teheran and England when she was nine.
She does have an individualistic chart with a final degree Aquarius Sun conjunct Mercury Moon in Pisces on the focal point of a Yod inconjunct Pluto sextile Neptune. She also has an angry Mars in the 4th trine an 8th house Saturn in forced-to-be-reliant Saturn, so she would be used to a tinderbox mood in her childhood home. Her Uranus is conjunct her South Node which would run her against the grain of public sentiment and perhaps make her prone to stirring up trouble by being contrarian.
But her central Yod when it clicked into place would give her a singular purpose which she has pursued for most of her life despite heavy resistance at times.
I’m not the best person to comment on this since I have a hard time understanding the mindset of women who stay when they should bale. And yes I know – kids, no money etc etc. But if women were brought up to be self-sufficient and independent, not looking for a husband/partner to protect and provide, they they wouldn’t get themselves backed into a corner. But there again that argument doesn’t work since domestic violence and coercive control is as bad amongst high-powered, successful women as others lower down the social scale.
What stuck in my throat about Sally Challen, the wife recently let out of prison on grounds of diminished responsibility (coercive control) after being convicted of murder for hammering her husband to death, was her comment before she did him in. She had discovered he’d been texting another woman – ‘if I can’t have him no one else will’ or some such. Pizzey was right about it being an addiction – or a psychological fixation. Not being able to let go of what is toxic. He was undoubtedly a first class jerk and she had already left him at least once but then went back.
My jury is out on this one – but comments welcome.