14 August 2012

There's more to talk about

Today I accepted the Executive Director position at a local domestic violence program.  I have watched my words as the news of Evelyn Lozado and Chad Johnson's recent news came out because I knew very soon, I would be representing an organization that deals with this issue head on.

It has been hard to bite my tongue as I have seen my Facebook news feed and Twitter stream full of jokes and speculation over what happened.  Comments from guys and girls alike have totally caught me off guard.

Here's why. Domestic violence is never ok. No matter what side it comes from - male or female.  We need to make no room for it in our society.  What happens in these high profile cases is people come to look at what "caused" the incident to happen, blame gets placed on one party or the other, and speculations fly rampant. We make comments like "let's be real, we all know she's the crazy one" or "this is what happens when you marry a gold-digger".  These comments are the ones that make this incident of domestic violence seem like an isolated, once in a lifetime event, when the reality is there are people who live in abusive relationships every day, and who don't know if tomorrow will be the day they will be killed.

I saw it with Rihanna and Chris. It came up again this weekend with Evelyn and Chad.  It turns my stomach because we lose our sensitivity to the real issue of abuse.  We gossip and speculate about what happened that night between the two, but we don't bother to think about what happens every night to millions of women fleeing their homes.

While you watch TMZ for your updates on Chad and Evelyn, know this:
  • One in four women have experienced domestic violence in their lifetime. That means you probably know a woman who has been abused.
  • Nearly three out of four Americans know someone who is or has been a victim of domestic violence. Told you so.
  •  On average, more than three women and one man are murdered by their intimate partners in this country every day. If that statistic doesn't make you stop gossiping and start caring, it should.
  • One in five teens in a serious relationship reports having been hit, slapped, or pushed by a partner. Do you know who your children are dating? Are you having conversations with them about healthy relationships? If not, it is time to start.
  • 50% of the men who frequently assault their wives also frequently abuse their children.  Thus, continuing the cycle of abuse from generation to generation. We know that sons who watch their mothers be abused are more likely to become abusive, and daughters who are raised in abusive households are more likely to enter into abusive relationships themselves.

I by no means mean to ignore male victims of domestic violence either. The data for male victims is so scarce because men are taught to be strong, and have a very difficult time admitting abuse.

I hope that when high profile cases like this come up, we are slower to judge and quicker to learn more about the real issue.  Domestic violence is real - possibly in your home, your neighborhood, your church, your job. Let's not get caught up in who did what and who deserves what. Let's use it as an opportunity to educate ourselves and to make society an environment without all the stigmas surrounding this issue. Maybe, just maybe, a life can be saved.

Statistics taken from the Domestic Violence Resource Center.


  1. Great insight! Especially the facts on teen relationships!!! This chad and evelyn mess is CRAZY! Who head butts a woman?


  2. great article and its very very sad! Congrats on your new posotion btw


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