Tag Archives: domestic violence

Domestic Violence Awareness

31 Oct

October was domestic violence awareness month. Terry Cato, host of Real Talk w/Terry interviews Soiyini Taylor-Walton, a domestic abuse survivor. Soiyini discusses her heroic account of surviving a near fatal domestic violence incident.

Watch here, for full episode:

Advertisements

Ray Rice: A Modern Day Witch Hunt

15 Sep

A few days ago, I posted a lengthy and emotionally laced blog post which was my view, a different perspective on the Ray Rice situation. One point that I made was the way in which law enforcement chose to handle the case. My main argument was that had Prosecutors thoroughly done their job, demonstrating a weighty stance on the matter, the trickle-down effect would have influenced how the Team and League chose to initially deal with the issue. TMZ has reported that several Prosecutors in the Atlantic City Prosecutor’s Office have stated that the Rice criminal case was handled “outrageously and shamefully” and decisions were made behind closed doors. I’m relieved to learn that the Prosecutor’s Office is being vocal – even under anonymity – about their mishandling of the case.

NFL-Ravens_Steve Biscotti

Ravens owner, Steve Biscotti stated in an interview that they should have done more to get the elevator video instead of giving up; and has apologized to Raven’s fans, season ticket holders and sponsors. Commissioner Roger Goodell – in full crisis mode – stated that right now they are embarrassed about their handling of the matter and hopes that in 5 years they will look back and realize they did the right thing. This is quite outrageous, the league has made a major decision that affects a man’s livelihood and career and you “hope” it was the right thing! Domestic violence advocates, politicians and many other parties anxious to boost their plat form are now coming for Goodell demanding that he resign. I’m just waiting for them to start demanding that Biscotti sell his interest in the team … wait for it!

NFL_RogerGoodell

The only good thing that has come of all this is that it has once again thrust not just domestic violence but violence against women to the forefront of people’s conscience. Prior to this incident, the NFL did not have a clear and defined standard with which they disciplined players for domestic violence charges. My hope is that going forward the precedent has been set – time will tell.

A Different Perspective on the Ray Rice Situation

10 Sep Ray Rice

I’ve tried to remain silent about this Ray Rice incident and how the NFL and law enforcement have chosen to handle it, until I finally let loose on my poor sister exclaiming that I was totally pissed off at the media and how they were crucifying this man and his wife in the court of public opinion. Before, I go on I must first yell that, I IN NO WAY CONDONE HOW RAY RICE TREATED HIS WIFE; and I have much empathy for victims of domestic abuse, as a child I witnessed domestic violence first hand, and can relate to the pain and dysfunction this causes. Rice was wrong for putting his hands on his wife and should be disciplined for it; initially, he was, the league suspended him for two games – law enforcement chose not to act.

My primary issue is that this incident based on the video evidence is a matter of law, an assault – why was he not charged with a crime? Did law enforcement even investigate the matter? Were they aware of or did they view the video footage of the incident inside of the elevator or did they make a decision based on what happened as the couple exited the elevator? The questions are endless, but one thing seems apparent is that law enforcement dropped the ball big time on this one or they in fact did an investigation and are not making the report public.

With that, my secondary issue is that the NFL and the team have been forced to handle a personal matter under the scrutiny of a hostile public. The initial punishment was a 2 game suspension – now that more details of the incident have surfaced, the team released him of his duties and the league has suspended him indefinitely. I understand that the team and the NFL both have an image to protect, and that image, quite honestly is the only reason they have acted at all. Domestic violence is nothing new as it relates to not only professional athletes, but society as a whole. How often does someone’s employer care if they are a perpetrator or even a victim of domestic violence? How many times has the NFL or any employer so harshly disciplined a perpetrator of domestic violence? It’s rare, and I can only think of a few times but the punishment and backlash was nothing like what is happening with Rice, because most issues of domestic violence are private and rarely become a public spectacle as has this Rice situation.

Ray McDonald

Right now, the San Francisco 49ers are dealing with defensive tackle Ray McDonald’s domestic violence incident waiting to see how law enforcement is going to handle his matter. Being that law enforcement has an active investigation happening, I applaud the team for not giving in to public opinion that has been exacerbated by the mishandling of Rice’s situation by making a rushed disciplinary decision concerning McDonald. http://www.mercurynews.com/49ers/ci_26497579/49ers-jed-york-ray-mcdonald-is-not-ray

Another high profile domestic violence case in San Francisco involved Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi; who was charged with domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness after a New Year’s Eve altercation with his wife. He pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor false imprisonment; and was suspended from his position pendDomestic Violence_ross-mirkarimiing an ethics investigation. After months of in-fighting, Mirkarimi was re-instated to his position and has since moved on with his life. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ross-Mirkarimi-shunned-by-many-political-insiders-4880455.php

A few other highly public domestic violence matters that come to mind include: former Arizona Diamondbacks player, Bobby Chouinard who was charged with felony aggravated assault after being arrested for pointing a gun to his wife’s head on Christmas night. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dbacks-chouinard-arrested/ There didn’t appear to be much backlash from the public in Chouinard’s matter, but he was released fromDomesticViolence_BobbyChouinard the team not long after the incident; former Phoenix Suns guard, Jason Kidd, accused of slapping his then wife in the mouth during a dispute was arrested and pleaded guilty to domestic abuse. Kidd attended anger management and counseling but was still traded shortly after the incident. Jerry Colangelo, CEO/Managing Partner of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks during the time of these incidents had a zero tolerance policy when it came to players exhibiting bad behavior. This in no way is an exhaustive list – and not meant to be – of domestic violence issues concerning professional athletes, merely a few of the ones that I recall being public hot buttons. DomesticViolence_JasonKidd

My third issue is the court of public opinion where there are people – mainly women saying that his wife is stupid for staying with him and still marrying him after how he treated her and are happy that the Ravens released him and the NFL suspended him indefinitely. This really angered me because my thought is this – why are these women judging his wife so harshly when they do not fully know the details of this relationship or why she chose to stay with this man; all they know is what the media is telling us and what they saw months ago in video footage of what happened as they exited the elevator and more recently, what actually transpired while they were in the elevatoDomesticViolence_RayRiceandWife2r – with no audio, and one vantage point. We can all point the finger and play the blame game from now until dooms day, but the real issue here is domestic abuse and how it is viewed and handled in society. There are many women (and men) who have fallen victim to domestic violence – they suffer in silence because quite often no one knows, not even those closest to them. The issue of domestic violence is a complicated one, because no one really knows why an abuse victim will often choose to stay with the perpetrator. Could this be why these women are so happy about the back lash and punishment of Ray Rice because in their psychological reasoning, the punishment coming down on Rice is in fact the punishment that should befall all domestic violence perpetrators; and more importantly their own abuser?! Is this secretly why so many women are ecstatic about how the team and NFL have handled him? Do they somehow see themselves in this unfortunate story? Or maybe they’re comparing notes and their story ended differently and they were left feeling slighted?

Regardless, I DO NOT agree that he should have lost his job and surely not be suspended indefinitely from the NFL because there have been many professional athletes (and others) before, there currently are, and perhaps will continue to be those who feel they can resolve their issue with physical violence. This precedent sends the message that key decision makers will cave under pressure and make brash decisions to calm the public. This might temporarily make people happy, but does it get to the root of the problem – men and women who have an issue resolving conflict without resorting to physical violence. Instead, the league should have mandated counseling and anger management for the couple. Teaching them to maturely resolve their conflict will do more for the cause of domestic violence and their future legacy than the team and league washing their hands of the problem. DomesticViolence_RayRiceandWife

I am being vocal and expressing a minority viewpoint about a sensitive issue that I myself can relate to being that I was a child who witnessed domestic violence; and know first-hand the trauma and anxiety it causes in children. Like always, I am marching to my own beat on this issue and am not afraid to stand alone, but I must put my observations – a slightly different perspective out there.

Who Cares That WR Chad Johnson was cut from the Miami Dolphins?

13 Aug

Image

Unless you’ve been under a rock or out of the country these past couple of days, those of us who follow pop culture know that wide receiver Chad (formerly Ochocinco) Johnson was cut from the Miami Dolphins football team. I think most of us are saying, “I saw that one coming.” Especially if you watch HBO’s Hard Knocks reality show that is following the Miami Dolphins training camp this year. In the show’s most recent episode, Johnson was warned by the team Coach that his comments at a recent press conference were not acceptable; that the team had an image to maintain and his actions could have dire consequences. Well, the wide receiver is now out of a job.

Johnson’s latest media spectacle surrounds an alleged domestic violence incident with new wife Evelyn Lozada Johnson, cast member on VH1’s Basketball Wives. TMZ has reported that the couple got into a verbal altercation when Evelyn found a receipt for condoms in Chad’s vehicle. The argument escalated to the point where Chad allegedly head-butted Evelyn causing a laceration on her forehead. The police report stated that Evelyn went to a neighbor’s house to get away from Chad where she called the police.Image

The couple appears to be magnets for negative media attention. The new Mrs. Johnson has made quite a name for herself in realty TV. Just this past season on the show Basketball Wives, she has thrown a bottle of wine at a fellow cast member, has leaped across a table in an attempt to fight a former best friend, and is ever ready to curse somebody who challenges and/or looks at her sideways. This all made her less than popular with the viewing audience.

The former Ochocinco has made a couple of cameo appearances on this past season’s Basketball Wives reality show. Me personally, I never understood what Evelyn’s attraction was to him. He was portrayed on the show as a significant other that was constantly insulting and degrading his wife-to-be. I recall one comment that he said to her, “you are like the last slice of pizza that nobody else wants.” She laughed at the comment, however, what woman in her right mind would laugh at and brush off such foolishness?  I also remember the “serious” and I use that term loosely conversation that the two had about rumors that he was cheating. He candidly told her that he was not a one woman man, then joked with her about bringing a third person to their bed of intimacy. I’m paraphrasing her response that was something of the effect, “if you have to cheat, use protection.”

The fact that she told him that if he was going to sleep around and cheat, that he should use protection – why then is she upset when she finds a receipt for condoms in his vehicle? This appeared to be the common question on my Facebook timeline from everyone who had commentary on the issue. If you have given your fiancé the green light to cheat by telling him to use protection, why are you upset when you find evidence that suggests he may be cheating?

Image

What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you think she missed some major red flags in her quest to wear the dress?

Additional Reading:

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/12/2947931/chad-johnsons-bond-set-at-2500.html

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/08/12/chad-johnson-released-by-dolphins-following-domestic-battery-arrest/?test=latestnews

http://www.popularcritic.com/2012/08/12/basketball-wives-evelyn-lozadas-husband-chad-johnson-caught-cheating/

WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?

23 Sep

What do these women have in common: Taylor Armstrong,  Rihanna, Nicole Brown Simpson, Tina Turner, Farah Fawcett, and maybe even you? If  you follow celebrity news, you know the answer, domestic violence, because their  relationship problems have been and regarding Taylor Armstrong is currently in  the national news.

Domestic violence is an evil that does not discriminate; it crosses racial, economic, social and cultural boundaries.
Unfortunately many women suffer in silence and shame. I was motivated to write this blog as a result of the Nancy O’Dell interview with Taylor Armstrong, the Beverly Hills housewife who has come forward and is openly talking about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her now deceased husband. For those who follow the show, you know that her husband recently committed suicide. Taylor stated that she is telling her story because she wants to encourage other
victims of domestic abuse and let them know that they are not alone. Isolation is no friend of a victim of domestic violence – yet many victims often suffer in silence, are ashamed and alone; their friends and family not knowing that
they are even being abused.

One in four women (25%) has experienced domestic violence in her
lifetime.

(The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Institute
of Justice, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence, July
2000. The Commonwealth Fund, Health Concerns Across a Woman’s Lifespan: 1998
Survey of Women’s Health, 1999)

Domestic violence is a sensitive issue for me – I
have early memories of my own mother being the victim of an abusive
relationship. At the tender age of seven, I had the number to the local police
department memorized knowing that at any hour of the night or day, I may have
to call the police to come and restore peace in our house. I still have vivid
memories of many “morning afters” having to help my mom nurse her wounds
because she was too ashamed or too afraid to seek medical care. As a result of
the domestic violence that I witnessed at search an early age, a definite deal
breaker for me in a relationship is verbal, mental, and/or physical abuse.

In a national survey of American families, 50% of the men who frequently assaulted their
wives also frequently abused their children.

(Strauss, Murray A, Gelles, Richard J., and Smith, Christine. 1990.
Physical Violence in American Families; Risk Factors and Adaptations to
Violence in 8,145 Families. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers)

For some women, domestic abuse is a relationship deal breaker; however there are many women who endure years of abuse. It’s easy for someone not in the same predicament of the abuse victim to say, “she should
just leave him;” this is much easier said than done. Walking away from an abusive relationship is never easy. Many victims of abuse stay in the relationship out of fear; fear of retaliation, fear of further harm or violence, perhaps
even fear of being alone. Many abuse victims are being controlled financially, and have been isolated from their family.

No woman should have to suffer in silence. There is
support for victims of domestic violence.

www.abusedwomen.org/resources

www.womenlawyers.com/domestic

www.heart-2-heart.ca/women

National Domestic Violence Hotline,
1-800-799-SAFE

%d bloggers like this: