On a soul-level, I have always known that most people didn’t understand how a domestic violence survivor’s face ends up bloody and bruised. Those faces have portrayed us as victims rather than as courageous survivors.
This all changed yesterday. When people saw Jaynay Palmer get beaten, they woke up to the horrors of domestic violence. I am still in shock over the social media shitstorm and public outrage. We have been waiting for this day for a long, damned time, and it finally came. It finally came.
no longer kept secret;
when everyone understands that even one case is too many.
That’s when it will change.
It’s ironic that the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was in response to the public outrage over the brutal murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman by NFL legend O.J. Simpson. He got away with it.
Vice President Joe Biden was the sponsor of VAWA and remains one of our greatest champions. Bill Clinton was president. He had witnessed his mother’s abuse and took a baseball bat to his abusive stepfather. He was also my champion ~ my only champion after a certain judge threatened to kill me.
Pres. Clinton and the late, great Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL), who I had first campaigned for when I was just three years old and was head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, kept him off the federal bench. Dumbass judge knew that Sen. Simon was an old family friend. You’d think he might have been smarter than to engage in domestic violence with me ~ especially after the abuse of his third wife was the reason the U.S. Navy denied him elevation to flag (admiral) and respectfully asked him to resign because they didn’t perceive he was an officer and gentleman.
VAWA will be 20 years old on September 13. That’s a long damned time to wait for the next sea-change moment: powerful perps being held accountable.
From O.J. to Ray Rice, the NFL has had a callous disregard for domestic violence. Quite frankly, the fans didn’t much care either. They didn’t care what their favorite player did behind closed doors so long as he delivered on the field. Yesterday on PBS, Kevin Blackistone pointed out:
Since the year 2000, there have been at least 77 players in the league who have been penalized for domestic violence.
The video didn’t just wake Roger Goodell the hell up. It also woke up the fans.
The amazing Cyd Marckmann posted a link to Paul Silvi’s passionate commentary on KING5 this evening on Facebook. I hope y’all will take the time to watch it. He said in part:
I have a daughter, a daughter who enjoys watching football, which is one of the reasons I have such strong feelings about the Ray Rice situation. . .
The NFL has been working hard on spin control from the start. . .
The Ravens actually took a shot at the victim, tweeting, “Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role she played the night of the incident.”
Yeah, if Janay’s role was to get punched in the face twice, fall head first into a guard rail, and get dragged out of an elevator.
I missed the commentary because I was watching CBS Evening News. Norah O’Donnell’s interview with the NFL’s Roger Goodell aired this morning on CBS This Morning. The second segment will air tomorrow morning. The follow-up story made me cry. A DV advocate was asked the question all DV survivors hate: “Why doesn’t she leave?”
The advocate responded by asking why we don’t ask why he doesn’t leave? Why don’t we hold him accountable? Holy shit! What a concept, eh?
the best disinfectant is sunlight.
A month after I started this blog, the New York Times asked me to write a post responding to the question, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Chris Brown’s assault of Rihanna was in the news.
It has taken us over five years to get the media to finally ask, “Why did he assault her?” The judge told me that he had the cops beat the ever loving shit out of me to teach me that he could, in fact, deprive me of my right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
I was ecstatic tonight to read that V.P. Biden ended his remarks today with an intent to expand women’s civil rights which are violated when we are violated:
It’s a right that flows from the document behind me — the equal protections clause — inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And it’s enshrined in every document we pay tribute to. And it’s the right that measures the character of the nation. It’s the single-most significant and direct way to measure the character of a nation — when violence against women is no longer societally accepted, no longer kept secret; when everyone understands that even one case is too many. That’s when it will change.
Related links and posts:
Behind Elevator Doors: It’s Time for All Men to Stand Up Against Domestic Violence by Victor Rivas Rivers, Huffington Post, 9/11/14 [Victor Rivas Rivers played football in college and for the Miami Dolphins. He is an actor, the national spokesperson for the NNEDV, and author of A Private Family Matter, which is an excellent memoir about the abuse he experienced and witnessed behind closed doors. He has been calling on men to raise their voices against DV for years, and I am ecstatic that so many are joining his chorus this week.]
Jon Stewart’s Commentary, YouTube video, 9/10/14
Roger Goodell: An Enabler of Men Who Abuse Women, Keith Olbermann, 9/9/14
Will Rice firing set precedent for pro sport rules on domestic violence?, PBS NewsHour, 9/8/14
Paul Silvi calls NFL out over Ray Rice incident, Paul Silvi, KING5, 9/9/14