If you want to have someone change the subject quickly, bring up domestic violence. Some people can’t face such a painful experience – “I can’t bear to hear that; it’s just so painful.” Some blame the victim – “Why doesn’t she just leave? or Why does she go back?”
I use to get really upset over someone blaming the victim. I’d ask people if they thought she should just leave were they willing to help her move, find a job, get a car, find a baby sitter or in any way help her. If not they should just be quiet. That didn’t get a very positive reaction as you can guess. Last fall I took volunteer training with CHOICES, the domestic violence shelter in Columbus Ohio. We watched a video about domestic violence and on it was an interview with a woman who managed to get free. She said she’d gotten that question and her response completely changed my response to that question.
“When people ask that question they are asking the wrong question. What they should be asking is, ‘Why is that man abusing her? He is committing a crime and he should be in jail. She should not have to call police or run, with her children and usually with the clothes on her back, and leave her home to hide in a shelter.”
Domestic Violence is not an impersonal act that happens to people who put themselves in a dangerous situation. It is a crime that occurs in the home where a person should be safe from injury. That’s why I call my book, Home Should Be Safe. Home should be our refuge from danger and harm. Domestic Violence is an act of violence. Domestic Violence is a belief system where abusers, whether male or female, believe they have a right to treat others however they wish with no accountability to anyone. Because of this most of them see no reason to change their behavior despite punishment and rehabilitation attempts.
The only way to end domestic violence is if society as a whole makes a stand and states resoundingly that we will not tolerate abuse in the home. We must teach our sons and daughters to treat each other with respect. We must quickly punish abusers with more than just a slap on the wrist or an overnight stay in jail. We as a society must stop blaming victims and start making abusers accountable. And, we must stop allowing abuse to be hidden because it’s a hard subject. As long as abuse is hidden from the light of righteousness and justice then abuse will continue.
In this blog I will talk about the truths of abuse, the realities of victims who didn’t get away and those who have survived, escaped and thrived. I will talk about what the Bible says about how family members should treat each other and what the Bible says about men who mistreat the wives of their youth and their covenant.
I hope that this information is helpful to those seeking information or those seeking healing. Please feel free to respond to this blog or discuss the subject of domestic violence here.