I haven’t watched any of Celebrity Big Brother this year. Actually, that’s a lie; I watched the first one, realised that the celebrities weren’t actually real celebrities at all, and then didn’t tune in again. I was most disappointed when I realised Stormy Daniels wasn’t going in after all.
Being a victim/escapee of domestic abuse and violence, however, it’s kinda impossible not to be drawn in by the headlines right now. I lost myself for a full hour just reading news articles and social media comments, everyone having their say on what happened.
The Roxanne-Ryan Saga.
So, I watched it. I first watched the play-fight. Then I found another clip of the play-fight slowed down. I then came across the reaction of Roxanne Pallett in the diary room afterwards and watched that. And then I watched Big Brother myself. The one where Roxanne tells the boys what happened and reenacts what Ryan supposedly did to her, plus the devastating effect the entire thing had on him. Seeing Ryan cry in the diary room was really heartbreaking.
I don’t really understand why anyone would want to lie about [embellish/exaggerate] an “unprovoked” attack that included “repeated punching” when said incident was recorded for the entire world to see? And I’m assuming these ‘celebrities’ know and understand that they are being recorded all of the time. She even mentioned it — “house under surveillance”. She signed a contract, didn’t she? To the tune of £750k or so I read. That’s quite a fee. To be fair, she’s quite the actress.
I’m trying to see things from her point of view — playing devil’s advocate — because it really doesn’t make sense to me why you would want to lie about ANYTHING when you’re being recorded 24/7 (or close to), and when there are OTHER people in the room watching the event.
I figured I’d try to work out why …
Reason #1: She was triggered by previous DV experiences.
I’ve been there. I’ve felt that. I can relate. There was one incident in the kitchen with Bear when I felt fear like I’d never felt before, but it was unjustified fear. He never laid a hand on me. He NEVER has. I don’t think he ever would. But, for that brief moment in time, I genuinely thought it might happen … He might do it. Punch me. Put his hands on me. And I overreacted like a good’un. Overreacted is probably not the right word, but I was definitely triggered. I cried. Great big hysterical cries. I started shaking. Hyperventilating. I had an anxiety attack. A big one.
The thing is, I apologised profusely afterwards to my poor boyfriend, for thinking he was going to do something awful to me. I know he never would. He didn’t. He hasn’t.
I didn’t go into the diary room (or to the cops) and carry the charade on, telling anyone who would listen that he was a woman-beater and demanding that he get kicked out of the house.
Why didn’t I?
Because that’s wrong. That’s so wrong.
And that’s it. One reason. The only reason I can think why she behaved the way she did: she was triggered because of her previous reported experiences with domestic violence and abuse.
But that doesn’t explain it all, does it? Because she hasn’t apologised. She hasn’t taken back her words. She has reinforced them, though. And let’s face it; those words are words that’ll RUIN a man. Once you get that label attached to you — woman-beater, and she actually said the words — that’s it. Your career is down the pan. Your life is pretty much down the pan. If the entire incident hadn’t been on camera (and thank FUCK it was), he would be a ruined man. I have no doubt that her cries would have been listened to, and her demands catered for. He would have been dragged into the diary room, given a stern telling-off from the CBB bosses, and more than likely thrown off the show. There might be an interview or two afterwards, but that’ll only be for a viewing-numbers boost (who doesn’t want to watch an interview with the woman-beater), and I imagine work would dwindle very quickly once that flurry of excitement had passed.
She, on the other hand, would have come out of it lookin’ like a damn hero. Yeah, she took a (non-existent) punch to the ribs, but she did it “for the team,” highlighting domestic violence/abuse issues and fundraising for various charitable organisations. People would have cheered her on. Congratulated her for her bravery. Thanked her for giving strength in actual situations where violence or abuse occurred.
But that’s not what happened. Thankfully. The entire incident was caught on camera. And in case you haven’t actually seen it, it’s a joke. I don’t even think Ryan touches Roxanne. There’s an interaction, yes, but a physical one? I’m not sure. But let’s just say for one moment that he DID physically make contact with her … why did she walk into the bedroom holding the wrong side/part of her body? I’m sorry, but for £750k you’d think she’d remember which side of her body is meant to hurt.
I’ve thought of another reason why Roxanne might have embellished the truth:
Reason #2: What if she were trying to highlight the fact that even JOKING about domestic violence and abuse isn’t right?
(Remember, I’m trying to play devil’s advocate here.)
I mean, she might have a point with that one. A little one. Perhaps not even one. To a domestic abuse survivor, though, playful punches are sometimes just as frightening and triggering as real punches are. I’ve started play-fights with my boyfriend that I’ve then ended up putting a swift finish to, after I flinched too much when he went to tickle me and he then got upset because he would never want me to think that he’d hurt me.
Again, though, she hasn’t done herself any favours by running off the show with her tail between her legs, deleting all traces from social media (although probably for the best right now), and hiding in some dingy hotel, all the while sticking to her whinging and manipulative-looking side of the story. She needs to come out and start talking. Apologising. Not just to Ryan — a man whom she called a woman-beater on reality TV — but also to victims and survivors of domestic abuse and violence. Because she HAS made a damn mockery of all of it. Of women like me. I don’t want to blame Roxanne for everything that’s wrong with the justice system, but cases like hers are the reason why so many genuine cases don’t even make it as far as being reported. Police don’t have the time to deal with genuine cases — women who genuinely need help — because they’re too busy investigating bullshit claims like hers. I don’t believe for ONE moment that Ryan deliberately went over to that woman to physically harm her.
(Admittedly, I don’t know these people and wasn’t there.)
Women don’t think they will be believed. Women like me. VICTIMS like me; we’re not just talking about women here. (Checked myself.) My husband already started the non-belief ball rolling by telling people I’d hurt myself, so I never once thought someone would believe me if I told them what he was doing. And someone didn’t believe me. That someone believed my husband’s story. The one that went: “she head-butted the floor because she’s crazy”. It took a neighbour hearing him beating me — hearing the thuds as he kicked and punched and dragged me around the apartment — for me to start the get-out process.
What Roxanne has done is send victims back a hundred years. She hasn’t raised awareness of domestic abuse, but she has raised awareness of cases where someone definitely cried wolf. She has let herself down, too. And me. She played right into the hands of people who believe victims LIE about domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, harassment, and other serious crimes, just to get a bit of attention.
But thanks for triggering me for no reason, Roxanne. I wish you all the best. I also wish you the very best help.
P.S. Ryan — no one thinks you’re a woman-beater. I’m betting you’ll win.