Dear Readers: Please be aware that this post discusses the issue of domestic/partner violence and how it relates to both women and men. While I try to only stick to the facts in my writing, there are 3 video clips of actors/actresses in potentially harmful situations. If you suffer from visual triggers, please watch/read cautiously.
Domestic violence. It’s a crime than has affected many of us,
with the CDC reporting that approximately 12 million people are victims of intimate partner violence each year. Victims not only have to deal with physical scars, but with mental and emotional damages as well. Of those who reported it, 63% of women and 16% of men were found to have legitimate PTSD symptoms, and the numbers went up to 81% and 35% respectively when asked about whether the abuse had ANY impact on their lives. (Please note that I believe the male numbers are drastically under reported.) Clearly, domestic violence is not just something we can pretend away or claim ignorance of. ..especially when the violence presents itself in public. Let’s see what happens when a couple’s “argument” makes its appearance in a packed restaurant with other patrons.
The three following clips are from ABC News, specifically the series “What Would You Do?” It is a hidden camera program that touches on people’s natural reactions to difficult or controversial topics, and interviews them afterwards about why they acted as they did. I will likely use more episodes in future posts, but for now let us continue on with this topic. Please click within the parentheses to see the videos.
As you can see, it did not take long at all for bystanders to start helping; in one scenario, the boyfriend didn’t even have time to show up before the other diners noticed something was wrong. Though various methods of assistance were given (shouting, asking the “boyfriend” to leave, alerting mangers to the problem), the important thing to remember is that not a single scenario went by without someone helping the victim. This is exactly what should happen, and I applaud all the people who helped in this situation. But what would onlookers do if the battered woman was not so conservatively dressed?
Surprising, isn’t it? Or perhaps not…After all, there are vast segments of the American population who view prostitutes as the lowest of the low, women that have no dignity or moral compass. Little thought is given as to why they are prostitutes in the first place, or if they are being forced into the “occupation” by other, less scrupulous individuals.** I found it interesting that these women received little to no help, all because of how they were dressed. At no time were their conversations indicative of being anything more than a girlfriend to the “abuser”. Apparently, if you show any cleavage or leg, you deserve whatever abuse you get…
This last video was the worst in regard to stereotypes. The fact that a police officer said that he would have stepped in if the man had been hitting the woman just lends credence to the double standard that some would say is nonexistent. The one passerby who said “You go, girl” is precisely NOT what we need. Anyone who feels that abusing another person is a form of empowerment truly needs to reconsider their beliefs. What was perhaps most telling was the fact that (when interviewed) the women laughed and stated that they didn’t intervene because they “thought she’d caught him cheating”. Imagine if a man was slapping and throwing things at his girlfriend in public, just as the “girlfriend”/actress did…would it be considered acceptable for bystanders to walk by if it sounded like he was only doing it because he’d caught her cheating? Of course not! So, why do the majority of people feel it is fine for women to do it to men? THIS is one of the double standards that need to be eliminated for true equality in our society.
I understand that some of this may have been difficult to watch and/or read about, so thank you for doing so. It is important to note that domestic violence knows no boundaries…it affects people across every line imaginable, be it ethnicity, sexual orientation, income, gender, education levels and culture. No group is immune, and thus all groups should receive aid. If you’d like to know more, please consider visiting these sites:
As always, I welcome anyone’s comments and opinions, so long as they are kept polite and respectful. Have a lovely week, and hopefully I’ll see you back here next Monday!
**Obviously I’m not talking about the individual contractors who work at the Bunny Ranch in Nevada. These women are legitimate sex workers, with rules, protocols, and their own ability to say what they will or will not be willing to do. This is the only form of prostitution I support…one where the sex worker (female or male) has full control over their actions and the clients they take.