The past few days I have had some events happen that have side tracked my schedule however, I believe all things happen for a reason and there was some good taken from the chaos.
Sunday, I participated in a social media blackout to support my voice in standing up against Domestic violence. I usually don’t participate in things unless I really feel they are important. During the day, it was brought to my attention by one of my amazing friends that there was negative feedback from doing this so I checked it out. I was very taken back by one womans opinion. So I am going to open up this discussion.
The domestic violence blackout was was symbolizing a mans world without women. It was a chance to demonstrate how men would recognize and react to all of the blackouts. This wasn’t to target men, demonstrate hate or to make any statement that men aren’t important. It also was not to downplay that men are also domestic violence victims.
1 in 3 women in Utah are victims of some form of abuse by their significant other. That is an acceptable number. Any number is too but 1 in 3?! For over 2,000 women there were only 45 documented cases of d.v. for men. I know those numbers are higher and I know that more men are speaking out and seeking help. Domestic violence is not acceptable at any level for me, however the stats in my state are outrageous. I’ve included the most recent stats from the UDVC report.
Domestic Violence Statistics From 2000-2011, there were 226 domestic violence-related homicides in Utah, averaging 19 deaths per year (6). In 2012, more than 3,114 men, women, and children entered shelters to escape domestic violence (6). In 2008, 14.2% of Utah women (ages 18 and older) reported that an intimate partner had ever hit, slapped, pushed, kicked, or hurt them in any way (2). In Utah, women experienced 169,156 intimate partner-related physical assaults and rapes each year (2). Nationally, each year, women experience about 4.8 million intimate partner related physical assaults and rapes (3). The percentage of women in Utah who reported ever experiencing IPV increased with age, with the exception of women who were 65 years or older (2). 39% of Utah women reporting IPV said the perpetrator was their husband or male live-in partner. 27% said the perpetrator was a former husband or former male live-in partner and 25.7% said the abuser was a former boyfriend (2). In Utah, divorce or separated women report the highest percentage of IPV (42.1%) (2). Nationally, the estimated costs of IPV exceed $5.8 billion each year. This includes costs of medical care, mental health services, and lost productivity (4). There is approximately one intimate partner-related homicide every 33 days in Utah (5). 44% of intimate partner-related homicide victims were killed by a spouse (5). 147 Utah children were directly exposed to an intimate partner-related homicide from 2003-2008 and 78% of these children were under six years of age (5). There is approximately one domestic violence-related homicide each month in Utah (5). One-third of domestic violence perpetrators committed suicide after committing the homicide (5). There are approximately 3 domestic violence-related suicides every month in Utah (5). Almost 12% of adult suicides are domestic violent related (5).
Given those statistics, I want to go back and address the feedback that was so powerfully written but backward in thinking. One of things I myself and other women did find very offensive was one womans opinion that abused women (and men) should take responsibility for enabling the offender. I will not blast this persons opinion or include her name but I am showing part of her statement below 👇
She was encouraging women not to participate and gave her reasons why – but I just can’t get past the above statement. So many times we are in an abusive relationship and don’t realize it until we are in real trouble. Why would one think that a victim need to take responsibility for the offenders actions? This is a statement I cannot accept. As human beings we are responsible for our actions and behaviors most certainly however, we are not accountable for the actions of others against us at any level. Especially when it comes to being harmed by another. Even a seasoned person to abuse such as myself, can find themselves in a bad situation. It takes a real wake up call and removal from the situation to see what’s been happening in alot of cases. Narcissim and gaslighting are huge contributing factors of abuse. You can be victim and not even recognize it.
The blackout could have been directed at all domestic violence. Unfortunately, the statistics show that women are significantly higher at risk than men. What kind of world would it be without women? How many men would notice the blackout and recognize and support the role we do play in life? I’m very fortunate. I had many men reach out and ask if I was ok. Kudos to each of them.
The author I am talking about also stated she refused to take herself out of the light and hide in darkness. I can understand and even agree that nobody should step out of their light however, what point is there in proclaiming you are standing in your own light if you are taking responsibility for enabling anothers actions? I’m a walking contridiction at times but there is no reasoning that idea at any level.
As a SURVIVOR of sexual assault, domestic violence and both physical and emotional abuse as a child I cannot and will not EVER take responsibility for my offenders actions. Saying that I enabled it is still proclaiming IT WAS MY FAULT. What a thinking error. I call bullshit period.
The cold hard truth is domestic violence is a huge problem. It needs to discussed. We need to educate ourselves. We need to build each other up and give each other a hand up instead of blame placing or taking things out on ourselves.
We NEED to shine in our own light. NEVER being shoved into any darkness for any reason. We need to appreciate each other and what we as HUMANS bring to the table.
We ( men and women) need to appreciate life and recognize that we are one in the same in our desire to be accepted and loved yet so different. We need each other to create the balance and offset it takes to make this world go around.
Men are wonderful amazing creatures that women need in their lives and vice versa. What we don’t need is to acknowledge and accept that physical and mental abuse are ok. It isn’t ok. It’s not normal. It’s not right. Last but never least is it ever ok to tear yourself apart and take blame in any action of harm against you by the hands of another.
More Love. Less hate. H