When I speak publicly about violence against women, this comparison, which you may have seen before, is the one that stops people in their tracks because while we can, culturally, understand the horror of war and the sacrifices of soldiers, we are disinclined to think of the terrorism of everyday domestic violence in our midst: The number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq is 6,614. The number of women killed in the same period as the result of domestic violence in the U.S.: 11,766. That number of women killed is only slightly higher than the number of requests made, mainly from women, actively seeking help avoiding a situation where they night end up being killed EVERY DAY… and being turned down.
The facile response “Why doesn’t she just leave him?” ignores not only the real risk of death, but the cultural, social, economic and structural environment that people function in and is fundamentally based on the belief that the person being assaulted is in control of the situation or to blame for the violence. This question inverts the reality of domestic violence: “A pattern of behavior in an intimate or dating relationship that includes a range of abusive tactics which establish and maintain coercion and control of one partner over the other.”
Important and not discussed nearly enough.
When Lakisha Briggs’ abusive ex-boyfriend assaulted her with a broken ashtray that left a gash on her head and four-inch stab wound in her neck, she begged her neighbor not to call the police because Norristown, Pa., has a “nuisance property” ordinance that forces landlords to evict residents of rental properties if police have been called to the home three times within four months. The neighbor called anyway, and she was threatened with eviction until she got help from the ACLU and the city backed away from its demand. The laws are intended to weed out drug dealers and disruptive tenants, but can force individuals, especially women, suffering from domestic violence to choose between calling the the police and holding on to their homes. “These laws threaten citizens’ fundamental right to call on the police for help,” says Matthew Desmond, a sociologist at Harvard.
What’s your take?
Read more via the New York Times.
Experts said screening for domestic violence should be added to all levels of health care.
“I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”
Nothing but love for him, his support and the women who have built this movement.
"Saudi Arabia has long been known as one of the worst places in the world to be a woman: Under the kingdom’s legal system, women are treated as minors and are forbidden from traveling or working without the permission of their male guardians. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2012 Global Gender Gap Report, Saudi Arabia ranks 131st out of 135 countries when it comes to opportunities for women.
And yet, there have been small signs of change. Two Saudi women competed in the Olympics for the first time last year, and King Abdullah broke new ground by appointing 30 women to the consultative Shura Council this January. Now the kingdom has its first anti-domestic violence campaign: The ad above is from the “No More Abuse” campaign, which seeks to promote awareness of domestic violence and encourage citizens to speak out when they hear of it. The website promoting the ad features a list of phone numbers for Saudis to call in order to address cases of domestic violence.”
This is fantastic. A mentor of mine once told me: Celebrate the victories as they come, as small as they may seem.
Violence is not always visible.
Last week Turkish celebrities piled on make-up to to pose as women who had been physically abused for a public awareness campaign.
But Turkish journalist Sule Yilmaz said she’s not sure it was a good idea; instead, she found a very different campaign looking to address the same issue more powerful:
“‘Violence is not always visible,’ it said, with a picture of a half-smiling woman with no signs of violence in her face. ‘She has 3 broken ribs, 2 loose teeth, 5 cigarette burns on her leg… You can’t always tell,’ said the words below her picture.
Designed by Danish designer Trine Sejthen, the ad won the first prize in the UN European Ad Competition, No to Violence Against Women, organized by the Brussels-based United Nations Regional Information Centre (UNRIC). You know what? It moved me more than the Turkish celebrities with bruised faces, in particular Avşar.”
"Domestic violence is a growing concern in Turkey, where women are killed by their male partners, relatives, husbands or ex-husbands, and this week’s guest for Monday Talk looks at the reasons behind this."
"Domestic violence is often shielded from public view. Usually, we only hear it muffled through walls or see it manifested in the faded yellow and purple bruises of a woman who ‘walked into a wall’ or ‘fell down the stairs.’ Despite a movement to increase awareness of domestic violence, we still treat it as a private crime, as if it is none of our business.
During my time as a freelance photojournalist and as a Master’s candidate at Ohio University, one of the biggest challenges of my career came in November of 2012, while working on a project about the stigma associated with being an ex-convict. Suddenly, an incident of domestic violence unexpectedly became my business.”
What do you think? Should she have intervened? Or did she have a greater duty to share the story?
Maggie, the woman assaulted, did give the green light: ‘Women need to understand this can happen to them. I never thought it could happen to me, but it could.’