The following was published in the Newsleader on March 27, 2009
Some years back Naomi Judd, of the famous mother daughter country music duo “The Judds”, wrote a book in which she spoke of, among other things, spousal abuse. Naomi’s opinion was stated as this. If you are abused by your domestic partner, the first time you are a victim, the second time you are a volunteer.
That seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? The question I ask, and I think a lot of people like me would ask, is why would a victim of abuse go back for a second helping or more? What is so lacking in their self esteem that they would believe such activity is either normal of justified?
A lot has been written and said just recently concerning domestic abuse because of the young singer Rihanna and her so called boy friend Chris Brown. I won’t rehash the complaint against this young man because I think most know the story. This writing seeks to examine the why.
First the young lady. Is she so bereft of self esteem that she feels this could be in any way justified? Is her background so filled with this type of behavior that she might consider it normal? We are told that most victims come from a background of abuse. Does she think such beatings are an expression of love? One could only believe that she believes it will come to an end eventually. The facts seem to bear this out, but not like victims believe. The abuse comes to an end when somebody dies, is permanently disabled, or the abuser goes to jail. That’s not a very satisfying ending, is it?
Now consider the abuser. I am going to figure the abuser in most cases is a man and the victim is most likely a female. I know there are other cases where the roles are reversed, but they are probably rare. What kind of arrogance could the young man in this case have? What on earth could cause him to believe that he was within his rights to punish his domestic partner with violent abuse? Did that make him feel more like a man? Did his expression of power over this defenseless little girl make his self esteem grow? If he gets pleasure from beating on people, I have a suggestion for him. Try somebody your own size. See what it feels like for someone to smash your face in and beat you to a bloody pulp. Of course that is not likely to happen.
The problem is that this type of so called man isn’t a man at all. They are terrorists. They are cowards. They hide behind some kind of outward respectability. They are probably your neighbors or maybe even fellow church members or business associates. The only time you hear about the abuse is when something tragic happens. Often it is then too late.
The next problem then is that soon the conversation about abuse will die down and again be shoveled under the carpet. I am convinced however that we will revisit the Rihanna situation again in the future. Unfortunately it will probably be tragic when we do. The reason is simple, domestic abusers don’t stop until they are forced to stop. Child beaters don’t suddenly grow up and become adults. They continue their abuse until tragedy strikes. Wife beaters will continue to be wife beaters as long as they have wives to beat on.
I have a simple question for you. If you are the victim of abuse, what is it going to take for you to get out of that situation? Your abuser is not going to suddenly become a man. He is going to continue to be a coward because that is just who he is. It is your choice. Are you a victim or are you a volunteer? Get the help that is available to you and I wish you well.
Ron Scarbro March 15, 2009
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