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Thursday, July 31, 2014

It's more than just keeping your hands to yourself

I recall attending a wedding many years ago and the mother of the bride told the groom: "If you ever feel like you have to hit her, send her home. She's been raised and she doesn't need you to hit her."
At a wedding, why would a mother feel the need to say this to a groom? And let's be clear, that couple didn't have an abusive relationship.

But that mother laid a foundation that day. Years later, that couple raised a son. He's a really good man and has a bright future. He fell in love with a girl and they moved in together. The young couple got into an argument one day in May. She hit him.
He called the police.
She went to jail.

So, I'm always puzzled when people say a man can't walk away or do something other than hit a woman back when she hits him.
And I'm perturbed by the fact that people say women "provoke" domestic violence. And by people I mean ESPN's Steven A. Smith and all the Steven A. apologists running around social media.

I once dated a guy with huge hands. I ended up in the hospital, not because he hit me or did anything of the sort. As a matter of fact, he drove me to the hospital and I believe I told him not to call my family. But he did. When my mama came to check on "her baby," the first thing she asked me was did he ever put his hands on me. It's also one of the first questions the nurse asked me when I was admitted into the hospital two days earlier.
My answer was no. I've never been in an abusive relationship, but when I was a full time journalist, I covered several deaths of women who were killed at the hands of batters. Did they provoke them? Did they have a family asking questions or were they victims of the domestic violence cycle.

See, what the SAS choir is missing is the fact that we need to talk about domestic violence without victim blaming. We need to acknowledge that men are victims. Because the next line that the SAS choir sings on Facebook and Twitter is that a man who reports DV is called a punk. (Insert eye-roll)
Yes, mothers need to teach their daughters not to hit ANYONE —man or woman. And mothers also need to teach their sons not to hit as well.
This men will be men BS is old. It's past time to let that go. Being a man does not equal being violent. Being a man means you can call the police when she hits you.

SAS was suspended and then his choir pulled out the race card because it's assumed that he was suspended because a white woman co-worker took him to task on Twitter.
But as The Washington Post reports, this isn't the first time Smith has blamed women for domestic violence.

Smith, who created a media storm when he questioned the role of women in domestic violence in the aftermath of the NFL’s two-game suspension of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, will attempt to speak more clearly on his views Monday. While he’s at it, he might revisit a 2013 Floyd Mayweather Jr. interview unearthed by The Big Lead or his 2012 comments about provocation after Chad Johnson was arrested in a domestic incident with his then-wife, Evelyn Lozada. Johnson was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery, and Deadspin dug up video (see it here) of Smith’s commentary then.

So, yes, I've called BS on his apology. The third time is not the charm. This shows a pattern, a pattern of victim blaming and shaming.
If this nation is going to have a discussion about domestic violence, then let's stop with the kindergarten mind set of keep you hands to yourself. Some PEOPLE (not just men) are evil. SOME PEOPLE will abuse someone who they feel is weaker. And the response of the SAS choir proves that there will be more Bianca Tanners before we find a real solution to the serious issues of domestic
violence.

The case has received national attention since Tanner, 31, a second-grade teacher from Greensboro, was reported missing by Smith on June 8 in Charlotte. The report came just 10 days after she moved to Charlotte with her 3-year-old son, Jarrod.
The child told investigators Smith had struck Tanner with a belt and “hurt Mommy in the face,” according to a search warrant. —Source: The Charlotte Observer

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/07/07/5029259/angelo-smith-held-without-bond.html#storylink=cpy



Things you should know:
  • One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
  • Women are more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than men
  • Women ages 20 to 24 are at greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner. — Source: safehorizon.org/page/domestic-violence-statistics--facts-52.html

#1 FACT:
Most domestic violence incidents are never reported.


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