Friday, April 3, 2009

There Are Few Things That Piss Me Off More Than This

This post is a little different from my usual blogs. For one thing, I often use humor though I realize it is often hard to recognize. I find nothing funny about this subject however.

I work with domestic violence on a fairly regular basis in the Emergency Room. I have seen women that have been kicked so hard in the shin their leg was broken. I've of course seen all of the usual injuries, black eyes, busted teeth, bruised ribs, etc.

I talk with women who have been sexually asaulted. One of the tough parts of this is convincing them it is not their fault. I want to be clear for anyone with cute comments about mini skirts, women going to bars, women being out late by themselves, save it. Sexual assault is never a woman's fault.

These women are broken. Not their bodies but their minds and their spirits. The trick is getting their spirits to heal. Broken bones heal. The real injury is emotional.

I have no answers here. I have no solutions. I will go back to work next Tuesday and do this all over again. I just saw this advertisement and wanted to share it. It's a good commercial.

The only real answer is to do what we are trying to do with our own children, teach them about this. Our boys have always been brought up to respect women. Our daughter is being brought up to respect herself.

From what I see in my work, a lack of self esteem in the woman is one of the main ingredients in abuse. This of course is not in anyway meant to blame the woman. The point is that men who like to beat women choose their mates well. They certainly don't want someone who is going to fight back or leave.

The second part of prevention is to pay attention to your children. One thing that helps abusive men is lack of support for the women. If the woman has a family that is active with her, they are too much trouble for an abuser.

We intend to keep involved with our daughter and let her know we are as near as a phone call. Any time, day or night. I can say with absolute clarity that Hell on Earth awaits any man who strikes my daughter.

In the title I said few things piss me off more than this. What is the thing that makes me madder? Child abuse. I deal with this also. Don't even get me started.

Finally, I have one more video. This is Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. While I like them, their music may be a little heavy for some but they do a lot for domestic violence. I think maybe one of them grew up in this atmosphere. This is a great anti-abuse song and video. (note, the embed was removed, probably for copyright protection, the link should work though, it's a good video)


Leslie said...

Thank you for posting this Chuck. It is something I see all too often in my daily work as well. I get to help women gain confidence and self esteem in themselves, learn what domestic violence is, and how to escape from it.

No woman deserves any assault on their bodies or on their emotions. Abuse comes in many forms and the perpetrator often is a control freak who gets the woman separated from any and all outside support, until she is trapped, feeling worthless, and then starts to believe she deserves everything she gets.

Our children need to learn quite a few things: It is NEVER ok to let someone hit you or abuse you in any way. Boys need to learn respect for women; girls need to learn to demand respect; The word "No" really means NO...there are so many I won't list them all.

It is such an important topic to learn about. Learn the signs of abuse. They can be subtle or they can scream in your face...but no one deserves it. EVER.

*One of my passionate soap box beliefs and moments.
We won't touch the child abuse topic, else I will take up all available bandwidth on your comment section.


cube said...

My mother always told us that if a man hits you once, he'll do it again. It was not treatment that you accepted or forgave.

Of course, that didn't stop my dad from smacking me with a belt when I was little. I was a terrible brat but I didn't deserve all the spankings I got.

mksviews said...

Looks like the video has been pulled.

Want a solution? Yes, teach your children to respect women, and little girls to respect men as well. Spousal-abuse is not just a man-beat-woman thing.

Wife-beaters and child-abusers should be treated in the same way, very harshly. The same with rapists, murderers etc. Chain-gangs, execution, their own medicine, that sort of thing. But few in the western world have the stomach for any of that.

That's how you deter them, not by whining at people to wear bracelets and with useless petitions.

Loren Christie said...

This is a good post Chuck. Thank you for addressing this problem.

stormin said...

great post Chuck. keep up the great work.

EatYourOkra said...

I agree with you that mini skirts, bars, and being out late by ones self are in NO way a green light for assault but I do believe that we women need to practice safety in numbers and be very aware of our surroundings. It may not seem fair but life isn't fair and the world isn't always a safe place.

The one place a woman SHOULD feel safe is in their own home. Shame on these husbands who claim to be men.

Chuck said...

Leslie, thanks. Your right, child abuse is a sore spot with me. I've seen enough to last me a lifetime.

Cube, thanks

MK, try the video again if you want. I tried the link and it worked. If not, I just googled them to find the video. I agree, we are not nearly tough enough on this in society. I think people that prey on those weaker should suffer the same fate.

Loren, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the nice comment

Stormin, thanks

Okra, I agree. While women should never be held responsible for being attacked, anyone is responsible for practicing caution. Fair or not, it is not reasaonable for a woman (or a man for that matter) to be out alone at night in an area known to be dangerous. Unfortunately, there are not many areas that are completely safe anymore.

Always On Watch said...

Years ago, a woman I worked with finally got away from her husband, who had been beating her on such a regular basis that hardly a day went by that my friend didn't come to work with a fat lip or a broken finger. To escape, she had to move all the way across the country. She even had to give up her career and become a truck driver so as to stay constantly on the move as her husband continued to stalk her, never mind all the restraining orders and the fact that he was on some kind of probation in the legal system.

Where is her former husband now? He's remarried twice and has continued his cycle of abuse.

But the story has a happy ending for my friend. She found a wonderful man and has been married to him for some 10 years now. I've never seen a happier couple!

Nikki said...

Chuck this is a great post and a much needed change from the Obama train. Women are slowly broken down by their abusers and many do not realize that even the healthiest of women can be physically abused if they do not protect themselves from emotional and mental abuse first. Great post and way to get the topic out should be an on going and constant discussion because unfortunately it will always exist, we can only hope to help and reach a few! :)N

Gramma 2 Many said...

Great post Chuck. MY MIL was terribly abused by her last husband, who was also a drunk. I think these sometimes go hand in hand.
Cannot get the video from your site, but will go watch on you tube.

James Wolfer said...

That's a great song. And any guy that beats on a woman should have the crap kicked out of them.

Tina Hemond said...

Chuck, excellent post - my husband has always been part of the fire service (military airfield) - at some points he worked with an ambulance service, and he had problems with a lot of the calls he went on - our daughter has been taught to respect herself, and, like you and your wife, we keep her close - (and like you, whoever tried to harm her, would have to face both of us "holding onto our guns and bible" type parents.)

It is not a woman's fault, regardless of where she is or what she's wearing - I have personal experience with the subject from my youth - suffice it to say - you're right, a woman blames herself - so God Bless You for staying by them - because that one person telling you "it's not your fault" can make a huge difference in recovery.

The biggest difference between today's young women, and say, women growing up in the 70's, is the music and attitude that is so - anti-woman and violent - parents make the difference - explaining that it's only art and not lifestyle would go a long way towards protecting a lot of young women (and men, as one poster noted.)

That and mandatory sentences (huge fan of the mandatory sentence, being from the "Bluest State" and all.) Nothing rankles me more - a good tool for those who want to be aware of who's in the neighborhood is

Chuck said...

AOW, there is too much laxity in the criminal justice system. Restraining orders are a joke. We need to punish anyone severely for violating them. They will either be deterred or in jail, win-win.

Nikki, thanks. Yoa are dead on on your downward spiral bit. It's often a dead end trap.

Gramma, substance abuse is a big companion of domestic abuse. Both in the abuser and the victim. I think though that sometimes the substance abuse in the victim is chicken and egg argument. Which comes first? Soemtimes the substance abuse is picked up later as an escape.

James, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Agreed on both points. The thing about an abusive person is eventually, there is someone bigger.

Tina, hats off to first responders, they do a Hell of a job. One of the perks of my job is getting to know the paramedics, fire, and police. While I wouldn't recommend it, a woman could be naked and they should not be attacked.

One of the things we deal with also is GHB (the date rape drug). We see this occasionally. I can't imagine a "man" getting anything out of this. It's creepy, but it's out there.

I'm with you on the culture also. Gangsta rap glorifies the abuse of women. There are a few good ones though. Groups like the one I mentioned are quietly doing good work with a lot of issues like this. They get my respect because they use their voice for issues with meat instead of falling into the trap of championing popular cliches like the environment or the rain forest like a lot of the airheads.

Finally, you are dead on about manadatory sentencing. We have had way too many activist judges letting child predators off. This is one of the few things I give Bill O'Reilly credit for, he hounds these judges.

Papa Frank said...

This is such an important post and one that men need to learn as much from as women. I do not degrade my wife or speak poorly of her to my guy friends. I praise her and reiterate that I am lucky to be married to my best friend. "Guy" talk about "showing your wife who's boss" and the like can not be tolerated by true men of character. We need to make it known to our friends that ill treatment of women is not something that we find funny or a joking matter. We need to speak of women with respect when it's "just the guys" as well as when we are with them. My wife is my best friend and I treasure her. I won't even start talking about how I will be expecting my daughters to be treated. Fathers are meant to be protectors - enough said.

Burr Deming said...

A powerful and well conceived post. Thank you.

Chuck said...

Papa Frank, I agree. I enjoy a tasteless joke as much as the next person. If people only knew how we talk in the ER. There are subjects that are off limits though. One of those is my wife. I don't feel a need to prove myself. I'm not into the "my wife knows her place" bit. It's childish and immature.

Burr, thank you very much

sue said...

Chuck - Your article is well written and I agree with what you say.

Sometimes I think women dress in a provocative manner but then I ALWAYS think: that is not an excuse for men to abuse them.

I do not think there is enough emphasis on self control for men, and respect for women.

I'm sure yours is a tough job.

Flavor Country said...

Good post Chuck. I grew up in a household that had domestic violence occurring often.

I saw this commercial earlier, before you even posted this, very powerful.

A woman, in my opinion is the most beautiful creature God made, I myself could never find a reason good enough to disfigure God's masterpiece.

Chuck said...

Sue, welcome and thanks. Well said.

Flavor, Couldn't have said it better.