Maybe you have heard it before, or maybe you have used the words.
“Why would you stay? I would never put up with that.”
When you hear that an individual is in a domestic abuse situation, what are the thoughts that come to mind? Perhaps you think that anyone who gets involved in abusive relationships have low self-esteem or that no self-respecting person would allow that to happen. Maybe you believe that she wouldn’t be dead if she stood up to her abuser, walked away, or called the cops.
Do you turn your head or change the subject at the mention of domestic violence? Maybe you glance at the booth dedicated to domestic violence awareness, but walk on by. Afterall, who wants to talk about that? It’s someone else’s problem, not yours.
Maybe you give your money to another cause that is more popular. One that people don’t “bring on themselves.” Or perhaps you volunteer to clean streets or pay to run in a 5k that is a commercial operation. $50 to a big business allows you to show your support for….running? If people don’t want to get beat up, maybe they should think twice about who they date. There are diseases killing people…domestic violence doesn’t do that. Does it?
Anyway, it doesn’t involve you, this domestic violence thing. It is a something that happens behind closed doors, where it belongs. We need to focus on happy things, like rescued puppies, adopted children, and cured individuals.
You have heard your neighbors yelling, but that doesn’t involve you. You have that student in class who won’t pay attention and cries all the time, but he is just a sensitive kid with ADD. You see the man in the street yanking his dog by the collar, but he is just having a moment of frustration. There is that waitress at the diner that always seems to have some injury slowing her down. That secretary at your office just never seems to make it to work on time. Maybe she needs some time management training. And you have seen that lady and her kids sleeping in the car in the office parking lot, but what can you do about that? Your best bud rants about how bossy his girlfriend is, but you told him to man up. Your daughter is spending less time at home and doesn’t have any interest in anything anymore, since meeting that new guy, but that’s a teenager for you.
How many excuses do you have to pretend domestic violence is not in your world, in your community, and in your personal life?
The Facts – Women
Did you know that 1 in 3 women have been a victim of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime? 1 in 3. The three most common cancers in women are Breast Cancer (1 in 8 women), Lung Cancer (1 in 17 women), and Colorectal Cancer (1 in 23 women). Do you still think domestic violence is not an issue?
The Facts – Men
1 in 4 men have been a victim of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. Who says domestic violence doesn’t affect men? As a matter of fact, domestic violence affects more men then the three most common cancers in men. Prostate Cancer (1 in 7 men), Lung Cancer (1 in 14), and Colorectal Cancer (1 in 21). Those statistics represent physical abuse, not verbal, emotional, or psychological.
On a typical day, there are over 20,000 calls to domestic violence helplines.
Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violence crime.
1 in 15 children are exposed to domestic violence a year, and 90% of them are eyewitnesses.
13% of intentional pet abuse cases involve domestic violence.
Elder abuse, including neglect and exploitation, is experienced by 1 out of every 10 people, ages 60 and older, who live at home.
This is why we do this.
So, if you are one of the many who prefer to look the other way, want to believe that domestic violence does not involve you, or would sooner pretend it is not happening because facing it could mean a lost friend or difficult confrontation, I beg of you to reconsider.
Domestic Violence affects us all. It affects your home, your workplace, your friendships, and your community.
We must bring domestic abuse out of the shadows and shine the light brightly on it. It is only through awareness that we can stop domestic violence. Abusers count on us looking the other way, expect their victims to be shamed into silence, and do not fear consequences. By dragging it out in the open, we can create a world where domestic violence is unacceptable.
We do this to bring awareness and change views. We do this to save innocents and give victims a platform. We do this to end domestic violence in our community.
Will you support, speak out, volunteer, or give? Will you join us as we say no more?
http://www.cancer.org; http://ncadv.org; http://www.americanhumane.org; http://www.cdc.gov
One thought on “This Is Why We Do This”
I have been hit and demeaned in front of people who do nothing but sit and stare. Usually it is men who sit by idly, but sometimes women too. I have been beat up in motel rooms and yelled for housekeepers to help; only to have them cluck their tongues and say “Oh you know, men are crazy.” I have been told to stop fighting back when he shoved me and called me a whore because when I fight back it makes him more angry. I used to be some of those people who stood by and pretended not to notice until I was on the other side of things. The side frantically looking to catch someone’s eye and signal danger, or say the right phrase to let a bystander know I couldn’t control the 6’3″ 200 lb man charging toward my car in broad daylight yelling “Bitch I’m gonna kill you.” Once I was the person who was so frightened the metallic taste in my mouth became the norm, my senses for others in danger were refined. I can hear the tone of fear, see the distress and embarrassment when the abuser is screaming in public, now I know. And I am ready to defend or fight or do whatever it takes to reassure the victim they do not stand alone.
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