“….a women’s responsibility not to “provoke” domestic violence.” Those were Stephen A. Smith’s actual words on ESPN in 2014, in reference to Ray Rice’s two game suspension from the NFL for knocking out his wife, Janay, in an Atlantic City resort elevator. (Meanwhile, for those who don’t follow the NFL, Robert Mathis, another football player, was suspended for four games for taking Clomid, to help him & his wife have a third child in 2014.)
To say that a woman is “responsible” for a man’s actions is not only absurd, it is sexist. Let me enlighten ALL men that, a women doesn’t “ask” to get beaten and in the same breath, she doesn’t “ask” or “invite” any man to rape her either. The only actions a woman is responsible for are her own. Period.
Not the cold hard facts on domestic violence: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner every year, 85% of domestic violence reported is against women. It is estimated that 960,000 incidents of violence against a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend to 3 million women are physically abused by their husband or boyfriend per year. Women ages 20-24 are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined. Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.
Domestic Abuse starts off small. #1 FACT: Most domestic violence incidents are never reported. Domestic violence isn’t just an argument every once in a while. Domestic violence is an ongoing pattern of abusive behavior when one person chooses to control the relationship through force or intimidation. Fear and embarrassment are the reasons that many women do not wish to report the abuse or do anything to stop it. This is the reason most abused women stay in those relationships and blame themselves for the abuse.
And in the case of millions of actors and actresses not coming forward about being sexual harassed, or raped, until years later, the reason highlights itself. They were afraid of being blackballed in Hollywood. How much further will this topic go? Will we just forget about sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and sexism when this Weinstein story blows over? Because that is usually what happens. We never “fix” problems, or come up with solutions. All we do is talk things to death and then move on.
Same could be said about the NFL now. They are worst hypocrites. They make all their players wear pink for “Breast Cancer Awareness” and then they allow players to get second chance after second chance when they commit a crime against a woman. They are afraid to lay down rules as we see with the National Anthem, as we are witnessing. Can you imagine the powerhouse the NFL could really be if they had strict rules that were enforced, educated the players on domestic violence, and then turned around and educated the public? Can you imagine what true role models those in Hollywood would be in they stood up against sexual crimes, in spite of their own careers?
We can all help eliminate domestic violence and sexual crimes. Can we stop it? Probably not 100% but we can educate others after we educate ourselves first. We should do this because every child, woman and man deserves that, no questions asked.