I was just reading this article about an ESPN reporter who went off about the Ray Rice situation. For those of you who don’t know, Rice is a professional football player accused of knocking his then fiancée out and dragging her unconscious body into an elevator. As of right now, his punishment is a 2 game suspension.
Stephen Smith begins by saying how deplorable it is for any man to lay his hand on a woman. He talks about how he would involve law enforcement. A good start right? but then things get infuriating…
He continues to talk about thing he would tell women which would be “let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions” because we all know that in an abusive situation, the victim (man or woman) has obviously done something bad enough to be beaten. WRONG!
Another reporter, Michelle Beadle, began to speak out against his ridiculous statement so he defended himself. He reiterated that domestic violence is wrong, that no one should ever do it but of course he follows that up ” But what about addressing women on how they can help prevent the obvious wrong being done upon them?” Are you being serious right now? He obviously has no comprehension as to what an abusive relationship is.
I think if people could prevent domestic violence, no one would be in that situation in the first place…. Women’s actions do NOT cause an intimate partner to become violent with them. Men’s actions do NOT cause an intimate partner to become violent with them. How are they supposed to prevent it? Please do share with the world your preventative measures. I’m sure we’d all love to hear them.
Do they include not dating a violent person? Well, the thing is, with domestic violence perpetrators, victims don’t know they’re violent until they are already in the relationship. Perpetrators don’t act violent toward everyone they know and they can be the most charming men/women you will ever meet.
Is another preventative measure to not be around them if they are under the influence of alcohol? Well, alcohol does NOT cause domestic violence. Alcohol, as everyone knows, lowers inhibitions and makes it easier for true personality to come out.
Domestic violence is about control over a person. Victims can be men or women and perpetrators can be men or women. Victims can feel lost, hopeless and worthless. They can also feel as though they deserve these actions when in fact they don’t at all or they can feel that if they love them enough, the abuse will change. No two victims feel the same way.
Let’s just remember though, a victims does nothing to deserve violence, a victims does nothing to provoke violence and any decision a victim makes really has no relation to violence. If a partner is willing to lay their hands on the person they say they love, there is no reason for that ever and therefore women (or men) do NOT need to make sure they don’t provoke the actions of an abuser.
I truly don’t think he will ever understand why his statement was so wrong but this is why we need to continue to raise awareness of issues like domestic violence. We need to teach our young men and women what domestic violence and sexual assault is so our future generations don’t grow up saying statements like this.