The Gridiron, Domestic Abuse, & Rank Hypocrisy

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Screen shot 2014-09-13 at 5.50.05 PMMy grandparents had some friends who had this daughter, who married a playboy of whom they did not approve.  A neighbor of their daughter called them to report that he had been hitting her, staying drunk, and the girls (quite young) were going hungry.  My grandparents’ friend took two of his dairy hands, and a station wagon to her house.  The husband was out of town.  Even though Uncle H. was B’s step-father he told her he was packing she and the girls up, and they were going home with him and with her mother.  If she argued with them, they would go to the courts, they knew the judge, and take the girls away from them.   Uncle H left a very rude note for his son-in-law.  He told him he had 1 year to get his act together. He as not to contact them until then.  Once that year was over, if he had not changed his ways, and could prove it, he would never see them – again.  Uncle H had the money and political clout to make it happen.

One year to the day the son-in-law, driving a new station wagon, parks in front of their house.  He is wearing a suit, carrying flowers and a briefcase.  Uncle H would not let him even near B.  They went into his office, where Uncle H was presented with references from the man’s boss, a bank book, checking account statement, letter from his minister, and several other letters of reference.  Until Uncle H checked the references, the man was still not allowed near his wife and children.

They were married for 35 years, until he dropped dead of a heart attack.  During that time, he went in business with Uncle H, became a full partner, and ended up quite wealthy.  He became one of those pillars of the community, never again even touching a beer.  Maybe that’s what more parents should do, step in and force the abusive spouse to either grow up, behave, or get lost, permanently.

Even Sean Hannity recognizes that there are rules of behavior.  Men do not hit women, period.   My father always said that a man who hits a woman is a coward. There are so many different kinds of domestic abuse.  It is not just physical. Emotional abuse can be, in the long-term, just as destructive as physical abuse.

To begin with, I absolutely detest football.  I think it is a useless, wretched, horrifically violent game which has no place in the civilized world.  I find editorials like the one from Taylor Marsh absolutely useless.  At the risk of being tarred & feathered I’d like to bring up several points.  First, though, this is a sport where the recent statistics state that 3 in 10 ex players are facing dementia and Alzheimer’s. They will come down with the condition earlier and at twice the rate of the rest of the population.

  1. Janay Palmer was a total and complete fool for marrying the man who beat her up, no matter how rich and famous he is/was.  Anyone who is beaten up by a partner, then turns around and marries them automatically forfeits any sympathy I might have had for them.
  2. What if she did not want to leave the man because of M-O-N-E-Y? Money, money, money, money, money…. Women, since the beginning of time have been known to be gold-diggers.  So have men.
  3. If up to one quarter of the women in this country have been at one time abused by partners or spouses, then the numbers within the NFL are staggering, as they are anywhere else.  There are nearly 1700 players in the NFL.  If we play with those numbers, then, there is a possibility that, at any current time upward of 400 players could be abusing the women in their lives.   The same holds true for any part of life.  To single out just one person, to make an example is, well, just plain short-sighted.
  4. For more information on the pros and abuse, the NYTimes has an excellent piece.

The following stats were pilfered from the Huffington Post.

  • Number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,614:
  • Number of women, in the same period, killed as the result of domestic violence in the US: 11,766
  • Number of people per minute who experience intimate partner violence in the U.S.: 24
  • Number of workplace violence incidents in the U.S. annually that are the result of current or past intimate partner assaults: 18,700
  • Number of women in the U.S. who report intimate partner violence: 1 in 4
  • Number of men in the U.S. who report intimate partner violence: 1 in 7*
  • Number of women who will experience partner violence worldwide: 1 in 3
  • Order of causes of death for European women ages 16-44: domestic violence, cancer, traffic accidents
  • Increase in likelihood that a woman will die a violent death if a gun in present in the home: 270 percent
  • Percentages of people killed in the U.S. by an intimate partner: 30 percent of women, 5.3 percent of men.
  • Number of gay and bisexual men who experience domestic violence in the U.S.: 2 in 5 (similar to heterosexual women)
  • Chance that a girl of high school age in the U.S. experiences violence in a dating relationship: 1 in 3
  • Percentage of teen rape and abuse victims who report their assailant as an intimate: 76
  • Percentage of U.S. cities citing domestic abuse as the primary cause of homelessness: 50
  • Percentage of homeless women reporting domestic abuse: 63
  • Percentage of homeless women with children reporting domestic abuse: 92
  • Percentage of women with disabilities who report violence: 40
  • Annual cost of domestic violence in the U.S. related to health care: $5.8 billion
  • Annual cost of domestic violence in the U.S. related to emergency care plus legal costs, police work, lost productivity: 37 billion dollars
  • Annual number of jobs lost in the U.S. as a result of intimate partner violence: 32,000
  • Percentage change between 1980 and 2008 of women and men killed by intimate partners in the U.S.: (w) 43 percent to 45 percent; (m) 10 percent to 5 percent
  • Average cost of emergency care for domestic abuse related incidents for women and men according to the CDC: $948.00 for women, $387 for men
  • Increase in portrayals of violence against girls and women on network TV during a five year period ending in 2009: 120 percent
  • The number one cause of death for African American women ages 15-34 according to the American Bar Association: homicide at the hands of a partner
  • Chance that a lesbian** in the U.S. will experience domestic (not necessarily intimate partner) violence: 50 percent
  • Chances that a gay man experiences domestic violence: 2 out of 5*
  • Ratio of women shot and killed by a husband or intimate partner compared to the total number of murders of men by strangers using any time of weapon, from 2002 homicide figures: 3X
  • Number of people who will be stalked in their lifetimes: 1 in 45 men and 1 in 12 women (broken out: 17 percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women; 8.2 percent of white women, 6.5 pecent of African American women, and 4.5 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander women)
  • Percentage of stalkers identified as known to victims: 90.3
  • Percentage of abused women in the U.S. who report being strangled by a spouse in the past year: 33 to 47.3 (this abuse often leaves no physical signs)
  • According to one study, percentage of domestic abuse victims who are tried to leave after less severe violent and nonviolent instances of abuse: 66 versus less than 25
  • Average number of times an abuser hits his spouse before she makes a police report: 35
  • No. 1 and No. 2 causes of women’s deaths during pregnancy in the U.S.: Domestic homicide and suicide, often tied to abuse
  • Number of women killed by spouses who were shot by guns kept by men in the home in the United States: 2 in 3
  • Percentage of rape and sexual assault victims under the age of 18 who are raped by a family member: 34
  • Number of women killed everyday in the U.S. by a spouse: 3+
Religion dispatches
Religion dispatches

As bad a public relations problem the NFL now has, the far right has an even worse problem, and no one seems to care. Ben Carson is case in point.  They just don’t think there is an abuse problem in this country.  Unfortunately, it has NOTHING to do with the GOP’s war on women, and everything to do with the ‘new’ religious culture of the religious, dominionism, patriarchal, submissive, godly minions of the right.  No one wants to admit there is a huge abuse problem in the far right Christian world.

I have been told that I’m lacking in compassion at times.  Guess what, this is one of those times where I am.  When a woman knowingly marries a man she knows is going to hit her, she’s lost my sympathy vote.  When anyone goes ahead and willing marries a spouse they know is abusive, tough stuff.  There are instances when abusers hide who they really are, and their true personality does not appear until after a marriage.   That’s a different tale, entirely.

My problem with singling out a single person to make an example of them, or to start this purge of anyone guilty of spousal abuse is that it can back-fire.  A man loses his job, livelihood, or position and, knowing how certain abusive jerks think, they make life even more difficult for the women they are controlling.  “You tell and I lose my job.” It would be pushed farther back into the closet.

 

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