Outing Domestic Violence
You don’t still think that domestic violence happens to “other ” women, do you? Or to less educated, less fortunate women? Look around you. Domestic violence is happening to our friends, our neighbors, and yes, in our families.
After watching the riveting TED talk below, you will understand that it can happen to you, and why it is so hard to find out about who is being abused.
One of the “benefits” of the Ray Rice – NFL scandal, oops I mean SCANDAL, is that finally a public dialogue has emerged about what is domestic violence and why women don’t leave their abusers.
The new thing I’ve learned this week is that domestic violence is not “a private matter between couples.” Rather, it is considered a public crime against the community, punishable by law. And: that it is not up to the victim to press charges, but rather, the police.
This thought is so important I have to repeat it. Victims “just” think they’ve been beaten, when in reality, a crime has been committed. All too often victims do not press charges because they are afraid and shamed. It is not the job of the victim to press charges, it is the job of the state. So if you know of someone who is being abused, speak up. Because the victim can’t and probably won’t. She doesn’t know her rights.
Watch this candid talk by Leslie Morgan Steiner, a Harvard grad, who talks about her abuse.
Here’s what Ray Rice did to the woman he loved. This is what assault looks like.
Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice knocks out his then fiancé in an elevator. The “American values oriented” (ha) NFL did nothing to get a copy of the elevator tape, and only suspended Rice for two games. She married him a month after being struck — and believe me, this was not the first time she had been hit. You can tell that by the fact that Rice is so nonplussed about her being unconscious. He’s seen it before. Keeping with the pattern of abused women, she has stuck by her man and has expressed annoyance at the press and the judicial system for intruding into their lives. Any woman who has been abused understands why. But do you?
What will you do about this? I’m writing this post and sharing these videos. Watch the news. Talk about this. Think about this. Be a witness. Be outraged. Raise your voice. You could save a woman from grievous emotional and bodily harm.
It’s not a pretty thing to think about this weekend. But it is an important thing. Give it the time it deserves. Take domestic violence out of the closet and onto the dinner table for discussion. Your friends, daughters, family members, neighbors — will thank you for it.
P.S. I bet every single one of you knows someone who has been abused. I certainly do.
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