Scallywag

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.

~ Maria Montessori ~

Domestic Violence Goes Public

June 19th, 2013 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 33 secs

Why do we put up with domestic violence?

Why do we put up with domestic violence?

When cooking personality, Nigella Lawson, was recently seen being subjected to domestic violence in a street café, it lifted a lid. Many think (mistakenly) that such abuse is the realm of those less educated or less well off. But that’s emphatically not the truth.

And what is the truth? Well there is a mountain of statistics relating to domestic violence worldwide, investigating the type of violence, frequency, and who suffers from its effects. But, conservatively, a staggering 1 in 4 or more women have experienced serious domestic violence in their life.

Worse, domestic violence reflects only one aspect of abuse. Cruelty also includes other aspects like:

  1. Physical
  2. Emotional & psychological
  3. Sexual
  4. Social, and
  5. Economic.

Which means the incidence of abuse is a widespread epidemic. Disturbingly, right now, at this very moment, there’s a high likelihood someone in your life is being subjected to domestic violence.

Nigella’s husband, who was seen repeatedly grasping his highly distressed wife around the throat, described his hold as a “playful gesture”. Dismissing any suggestion that he is a perpetrator of domestic violence, he expects it will all blow over. And, classically, that is what abusers think.

Sadly, there is no limit to this ugly behavior as people – mainly men – from all walks of life regularly commit acts of domestic violence on their wives, girlfriends, and children.

Believing that it’s “okay to slap your wife around” these bullies brutalize their wives and terrify their kids with a disdain that’s completely chilling.

Anecdotally, I know other men find such abusive behavior weak and nauseating. Perhaps that’s why creepy types tend to hide their violent habits – to avoid the reaction other men naturally have. Because there’s nothing a bully avoids more than to be revealed as the pathetic weakling they really are.

So, they act in secret to perpetrate abhorrent cruelty. Consider these Australian statistics (which, I expect, would be similar elsewhere):

  • Almost half of all women subject to domestic violence confirm that children have witnessed it happening.
  • Where domestic violence is occurring, it is estimated that child abuse is also present in up to 60% of cases.
  • Three quarters of partner homicides involve a male offender and a female victim.

(http://www.adfvc.unsw.edu.au/PDF%20files/Statistics_final.pdf)

I won’t go on, because the stats are simply too sickening. But I know you understand. This is a problem for all of us and, despite attempts so far, it’s not going away.

So what can we do? For starters, talk about it. Secrecy is the perpetrator’s major tactic. Exposing domestic violence is explosive and risky, but necessary. After all, people rally to defend against international terrorism. How about domestic terrorists?

To anyone who is new to reading my posts, you might be wondering, “How can you possibility to talking about the horrors of domestic violence when this is meant to be about happiness? Isn’t it a contradiction?”

My resounding reply is “No, the hard stuff of life has everything to do with happiness”. Being truly happy doesn’t happen in a vacuum but in working through the tough stuff of life. So, yes, if you are curious about finding more of your own happiness, you are in the right place.

Nigella Lawson’s public experience of domestic violence is no doubt just the tip of the iceberg of her private life. But we can be thankful her well-known face is at least revealing this terrible reality. Domestic violence is ugly in every sense and perpetrators need to be held to account. Yes, they themselves need help. But they also need to face the consequences of their crimes. It’s time.

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