As we all know domestic violence is a very sensitive subject. There are people who experience violence, activist who truly are devoted to awareness and ending domestic violence, and there are those who just love to talk about what they truly do not know. I am sure it is easy to guess which one I have a zero tolerance for. I am extremely opened minded, and love to hear what people have to say. However, when it exudes ignorance, and contributes the misconceptions that exist about domestic violence, I feel the need to educate. I believe you should always respect others opinions, just as you wish yours to be respected. Which is the rule I live by. A healthy debate can never hurt either.
So today I came across an article on the web that absolutely floored me! Diane Dimond wrote the article. She defines herself as a “modern day journalist who defies a category.” She does a lot of investigate reporting. This particular article is entitled “Stopping Domestic Abuse Starts At Home.” The title intrigued me. So I clicked on it, and began reading the article. The information or views rather, that I found there were both upsetting and astounding. Diane Dimond, held no qualms in stating on several occasions in her article that the abuse was the woman’s fault. WHAT????!!!! I know I felt the same way. Instead of being fueled by emotion, I became inspired. The contents of this article displayed obvious lack of education on the topic. Therefore, I seized the opportunity. I left the following response to the article:
“Wow!!! Where do I even begin with this article? I mean you cannot be serious. To lead off by saying “There are some women caught up in the throes of domestic violence who are to blame. Domestic abuse occurs because they allow it.” IS SHAMEFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s saddens my heart as both a woman and domestic violence advocate that someone could EVER say something so ignorant. I feel the need to educate you on many of the ignorant statements you made. You stated “They imagine they can’t possibly make it in life without their abusive mate.” as a reason for a battered woman to stay in an abusive relationship. When in reality, most cases are quite the opposite. You have no idea what has taken place in these women’s homes. The fear instilled in them. In fact, more often then not, women do not follow through in court for fear of harm or death. These perpetrators threaten to kill them and then follow up on that threat with beating the crap of them. Those who do obtain protective orders, which are the first step in utilizing the legal system often, have those violated. Repeatedly. I can agree in a “perfect world” that a woman should be able to file charges, follow through, and the abuser be put away. However this is not a perfect world. You also neglected to mention the astounding number women who do follow through, press charges, and go to court. Their abuser is sentenced to a mere slap on the wrist the first 3 times, statistically before a harsh sentence is imposed. Then that battered woman who “stood up” for herself is assaulted when the perpetrator is released, despite the fact that she has a protective order in place prohibiting contact. The “system” routinely fails these women! These are facts battered women often know and fear. This is FACT that very view people discuss, as it is so much easier to take you point of view on this topic. A sad truth. As far as your example of the Jeffrey Maxwell case, you cannot really think, if Martha had followed through that the other assaults would not have occurred. If so, again I would preach education is the key and is clearly lacking in this article. The true odds are even if Martha has followed through (which I agree was the right thing to do) Jeffrey would have still committed the other assaults. The issue is Jeffrey (and his violent ways), NOT Martha. It amazes me how people as so quick to say, “The woman has to help herself.” Trust me, she wants to. Leaving is just not as simple as everyone would like to think it is. If a woman is involved in an abusive relationship, she has to develop an exit strategy in order to escape safely. This is not as easy a people think. If someone has not personally experienced abuse it is really unfair for him or her to pass judgment on these women on what “they should do.” I am sure many would be surprised how their different their views would be if they experienced abuse and survived it. Also, you are misguided in believing or stating a battered woman stems from low self-esteem, bad childhood, abusive parents etc. All I can say is do your homework. The numbers are astounding for educated, smart, strong, independent women, who found themselves in an abusive relationship. There is nothing wrong with them, except they exercised bad judgment. Something we all have done. Your article strongly insinuates blaming the victim whether that is what you intended to do or not. I will end my response with although I do not agree with your angle in this article, I do respect it. It is you opinion, and differences of opinion make the world go round. Furthermore, it presents opportunities such as this for domestic violence to be discussed regularly as it should be. The only TRUE way to end domestic violence is through education, awareness and support, not judgment!
(Sorry for being so long winded. This is a topic that I am vey passionate about.)”
Unfortunately, many people have very skewed views on domestic violence. I don’t believe they even realize the contribution they give to making a bad situation worse. Deep down I believe (or hope) that Dimonds, intentions were good. The problem with they way she did it is this: If a battered person reads her article it will only confirm what the abuser has been manipulating their minds into believing. “This is all your fault.” Domestic Violence is complicated, and has a lot of intricate components. Society has to do a better job understanding domestic violence. It is not as simple as black and white! There is a whole lot of gray! Bottom line is if you don’t know or understand fully ASK! In the case of domestic violence, WORDS DO HURT!
Read the full article and information in Diane Dimond at:
To read this article or other like it, please visit me blog at:mzinquisition.com