With the exposure the Ray Rice case has been receiving I’ve been inspired to write a post on the blatant victim blaming shown in our culture and sexist expectations when it comes to handling violent domestic situations.
A go to question many have for the victims of domestic violence is “well why don’t you just leave?" and the answer is very simple. Domestic Violence occurs as a process, not an event. Meaning the violence typically does not start until you’re so deep in you do not want to leave. No one is abused on the first date and sticks around to put up with it. Being a victim of domestic violence is always an ongoing war of loving and fearing your spouse. Being abused makes it no easier to leave a long term relationship, if anything it makes it more difficult due to fear. It is built into our culture to blame the victim as opposed to the abuser. Ask not "Well why don’t you leave?" but "Why are you abusive?".
Evidence to our victim blaming sexist culture lies no farther then our prisons where near 90% of women in jail today for killing men are women who killed their abuser.
Another classic example of the violence enabling culture we live in lies right in the living rooms of the majority of American families. Disney’s own classic, Beauty and the Beast. A psuedo-feminist movie about a strong independent woman who falls victim and is captured by an angry abusive ‘beast’…..and is expected to find the good in him and fall in love with him. What an absolute joke, a movie people play to their children is a movie that drills the idea into our subconscious that you should give everyone a chance, find the good in everyone, even if they are abusive. Even if they pull you from your family and are constantly, or even just a little, violent.
Our children have been and still are being grown into being satisfied with a domestic violence culture. In elementary school it is commonly accepted that when a boy likes a girl he picks on her and she is supposed to understand that his aggression is a sign of his affection. We need look no farther for signs of domestic violence culture than that.