“4 Good Reasons for a Man to Hit a Woman”. This was the title of an article by Troy Dunn that circulated Facebook a few years back. Disgusted, I opened it, ready to rip the author to pieces. But what I found was not an article in need of rebuke. The 4 reasons he gives for hitting a woman: if she’s on fire, if there’s a spider on her, if she’s choking, or if she’s about to wander in front of a train. After his chuckle-inducing reasons FOR hitting a woman, he gets to the meat of the article: Real men don’t hit women. Read the full article here.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Why? It’s no secret that domestic violence exists. We see news stories nearly every day about domestic violence situations, so why do we need more awareness? Because it needs to be talked about. We still live in a society that looks down on women who repeatedly return to their abusers, who are afraid to come forward, and who don’t even realize they are living with an abuser. When a football player batters his girlfriend, the country condemns the guy but the internet also explodes with people criticizing the victim for putting herself in that position.
October is about the victims. You know domestic violence is out there, but who are the victims? The odds are that you know at least one. How often does a domestic violence story pop up on the news and the friends and neighbors say, “We had no idea. They seemed like the perfect family.” The woman didn’t know what to do about her situation and she was afraid, so she did nothing. Her friends never talked about such things, so she didn’t think she could.
What do you do? Honestly, there’s one thing that can start to make a difference: end the silence. Start talking about about domestic violence, child sex trafficking – all of these uncomfortable things that are hurting people but we are too uncomfortable to talk about. You’ll be surprised at the response. When people know that I write for StreetLightUSA, they know that I understand and am willing to talk about difficult topics. People will pour out their life story to me. They need to tell their story, they are desperate for someone to talk to. If you start talking, you never know who will start asking you to listen. The more people out there willing to listen, the more victims will be willing to tell their story.
On October 3, 2016, the Arizona State Capitol will be lit in brilliant purple light to show Arizona’s commitment to ending domestic violence. Domestic violence can stop. Join the governor’s office from 6-7pm in support of ending domestic violence.