This week has been filled with two major stories of men, both athletes who have either abused or killed their girlfriend. It’s a story we see and hear far too often and one that I feel I must discuss. It’s not often that I pull my own life into this blog and perhaps that’s the problem. So I’m going to try something new. Some may be personal stories, others real news. I think so many blogs try to sugarcoat marriage. I’ve never done that and have no intention to start now. If you don’t…let me know. I think some of it is my own written therapy so bear with me while I work through some things.
We now have two men…both athletes…one in South Africa, one in the US. One for murder, the other (because she didn’t want to file more serious charges) a simple assault. Both have lost lucrative jobs and advertising dollars. Both have said, “I’m sorry”, but I ask, sorry for what? Killing her or getting caught on videotape.”
Oscar Pistorius 6 ½ month trial found him guilty of homicide (which manslaughter here in the US). This is due to the much higher level of intent in S.A., with respect to premeditation (which the opposing council didn’t prove). At the sentencing phase and under South African law, he could get up to 10 years in prison on the weapons charge and another 15 for homicide. In the end… It won’t bring Reeva Steenkamp back. There is rumor that there was often unrest in their home…but we’ll never know.
Now, ironically almost one year to the day, Valentine’s Day weekend in 2014 Ray Rice, in a fit of (drunken) rage hits his now wife, Janay Palmer. It seems they were having an argument and once they got inside the elevator, his method of resolving it was to hit her with a short, vicious left hook, as if she were a man, causing her to hit her head and pass out. Seriously, did he not get the memo that there are video cameras everywhere, or did he think that his celebrity was so great that no one would dare care? Further didn’t his parental figure tell him, “YOU NEVER HIT A GIRL NO MATTER WHAT”!?
This is someone you love right Ray? HOW COULD YOU DO THAT??!? Janay Palmer was lucky, she made it out of that elevator alive. In the end Janya is standing by the man who punched her lights out. He’s standing by the woman who spat in his face. Janay went to social media to say, “To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret everyday (sic) is a horrible thing,” she wrote. “To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass off for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific. THIS IS OUR LIFE!” Sadly, she’s right. We, general public, can be outraged, tell her to walk/run away and say “what we would do if it was us”, but the fact is…it’s not you, this is not your story and our collective 3cents has no impact on their relationship. They have chosen to stick together, and like it or not, we have no say in the matter. It’s between them and no one else.
You never truly know what goes on in another’s relationship or behind closed doors of someone. You never know the struggles they have. Sometimes you reach out to a friend and share bits/pieces, but they only hear your side. Sometimes, there is a party where one wants to go and the other wants to stay, and there may be a bit of pushing or grabbing of an arm or just a “look”. Most only show the joy but if you look closely in the eyes of a victim, you’ll see their constant fear and sadness. So why post about this here? Knowledge is key. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical…it can be emotional and mental as well. How do I know…been there…divorced that…lived through it…came out of it and now happy. I promised myself when I got my divorce that I would never, ever be with a man who would look me in the eye and lie (my ex mastered this), even lies of omission (where bits/pieces are selectively left out of the story) which are the worse in my book. That’s when someone just thinks they can get over on you, but really you know the truth. If you give enough rope, some are stupid enough to hang themselves. I’m grateful that I have someone in my life that is the complete opposite of my ex. That’s not to say our relationship is perfect, but at least we are working on it.
So I ask you, dear reader…be honest, not with me, but with yourself. Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? Do you even know what abuse looks like…feels like? Here are some clues:
What Does An Abusive Relationship Look Like?
Does your partner ever….
Embarrass you with put-downs?
Never give you a compliment or tells you what to wear?
Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
Push you, slap you, choke you or hit you?
Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
Control the money in the relationship? Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
Make all of the decisions?
Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away your children?
Prevent you from working or attending school?
Act like the abuse is no big deal, deny the abuse or tell you it’s your own fault?
Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
Attempt to force you to drop criminal charges?
Threaten to commit suicide, or threaten to kill you?
If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship. In this section, you’ll find all sorts of information on different forms of abuse. Don’t hesitate to chat or call (1-800-799-SAFE) if anything you read raises a red flag about your own relationship or that of someone you know.
Look….I’m not here to pass judgement. We all do what’s best for us at the moment. I just pray that for Janays’ sake that this was a once in a lifetime occurrence. There are many things that I might put up with, but one for I won’t for sure. I will never-ever stand for a man to lay a hand on me…or any woman that I know. That is not acceptable behavior and I won’t put up with it.
What’s your opinion??