“It’s not enough for women to speak out on the issue—for the message to be strong and consistent, women’s voices must be backed up by men’s.” ~ Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Michigan

“Our house was small, and when you grow up with domestic violence in a confined space you learn to gauge, very precisely, the temperature of situations. I knew exactly when the shouting was done and a hand was about to be raised—I also knew exactly when to insert a small body between the fist and her face, a skill no child should ever have to learn. Curiously, I never felt fear for myself and he never struck me, an odd moral imposition that would not allow him to strike a child. The situation was barely tolerable: I witnessed terrible things, which I knew were wrong, but there was nowhere to go for help. Worse, there were those who condoned the abuse. I heard police or ambulancemen, standing in our house, say, “She must have provoked him,” or, “Mrs Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.” They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes and he alone is responsible for it.”

~ Patrick Stewart


2 thoughts on ““It’s not enough for women to speak out on the issue—for the message to be strong and consistent, women’s voices must be backed up by men’s.” ~ Rep. John Conyers, Jr., Michigan

  1. Lita – Sorry about your water/plumbing troubles, I read it but stopped mid-way. I don’t do well with water stories ( sorry , being flooded 3 times kinda makes me jaded).

    But I wanted to comment on this post. A few months ago we ( my Mom, Aunt Gracie and I) go word that my cousins daughter had been beaten by her husband. He was arrested and we all thought ( incorrectly) that this would prompt her to file for divorce. Not so. What’s really disturbed us is her mother’s ( my cousin) reaction. She had the gall to tell her NOT to provoke him?? Are you serious???? Aunt Gracie laid into her and gave her what for. This woman is an operating room nurse -one of the most sought after in the COUNTRY. And this is her response to her daughter? We’re in an uproar over here. I haven’t heard anymore other than they have a court date. Odd thing?? She’s the moneymaker in the family and works and lives in another state – he lives with 4 of the 7 kids in N.D. and she pays for everything!

    Apparently, in some folks minds, nothing as changed on this issue. I cannot imagine telling my daughter NOT TO provoke a man who was abusing her. The trial would be for me , cuz I ‘d kill the s.o.b.

    1. Sarah,
      First, I have to admit that I got a giggle at picturing Aunt Gracie tearing into someone. Sorry, the subject matter is not funny, but your aunt is.

      Okay, now on a serious note: That woman is insane. Provoke him? My god, that sounds like something straight out of the 1950s. No one deserves to be hit, neither woman nor man, in a supposedly loving relationship. I’m certain that my old temper might have provoke the hell out of someone as I’ve never been known not to speak my mind, but does mean that I deserve to be beaten into submission? Violence is violence. Violence begets violence. Violence condones violence.

      The sad part is that spouses in abusive relationships are so cowed, so utterly in denial and so without self-esteem that divorce seems unfathomable. I am so sorry to hear about your second cousin (correct?). It’s a damn shame.

      When I hear stories about things like this, my mind always travels to Farrah Fawcett and “The Burning Bed.” Not the right solution, of course, but justifiable.

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