The following article discusses rape culture and domestic violence, please be cautious. *Trigger Warning*
After months of knowing Ray Rice committed acts of domestic violence, the NFL bans Ray Rice. But How many corporations can you think of where domestic violence is still in the age of “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell?”
Government officials, musicians, and business people have all been accused of domestic violence, but the outrage seems to be at Ray Rice and NFL policy towards domestic violence, with the blame on domestic violence being placed on the victims of domestic violence.
And this is why America needs feminism. Because it shouldn’t just be the NFL with a zero-tolerance policy towards domestic violence, it should be a national ethos. And women shouldn’t have to fight for this right, it should be seen as inherent.
The condemnation of domestic violence ought to be so universal in American culture, that domestic violence, and all violence against women, minorities, and children is rooted out.
But here in lays the problem. I can find very little resources for workplace termination of people guilty of domestic violence. This Boston Globe released this article yesterday discussing how most companies handle domestic violence.
Apparently, “Only about 12 percent of businesses have a program or policy that deals with domestic violence, according to a 2005 survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.The number that provide training on the matter is just 4 percent.”
Moreover, several studies have determined that 85% of victims report being absent from work, 50%-60% report being tardy, and as many as 27% (upwards of 91%) of victims have lost a job or resigned as a result of domestic violence.
There are people who actually profit from domestic violence. This law firm offers advice, consultation, and representation for men who have committed acts of domestic violence.
Not only are there firms to defend men in cases of domestic violence, but apparently victims of domestic violence can be terminated from the place of work in all but six states.
“The loss of a job thanks to abuse can end up cutting off a lifeline to end that abuse. Three-quarters of women report staying with their abuser longer because of economic reasons. “We know that economic abuse is frequent in these situations, and abusers often try to get the victim fired in order to increase her financial dependency on him,” Kim Gandy, president and CEO of the National Network to End Domestic Violence”
Many commentators are noting the frequency of domestic violence cases from within black communities as above average. And while black women are victimized at a higher rate, their is a prolific and racist rhetoric which often does not explain, but rather aids this dilemma.
Black bodies are not as valued in American society. Black voices are not as heard. And black people are less privileged than white. This rhetoric that a neighborhood is bad because it is black, without considering the historical context of the area in terms of political oppression, police brutality, and defacto economic sanctions, perpetuates that very belief, while also de-legitimizing people of those communities efforts to strengthen themselves.
That is to say, people who think or say anything within the notion of, “black/ poor communities are just more violent,” do not understand that they themselves are apart of the problem. When you defend a rapist or a domestic abuser, you take part in that rape, and make it harder to prevent and report similar cases in the future.
” “There is a certain stress level created when gender roles change and old patterns are challenged,” Kjaerum said. “I think that’s a factor we should also consider.” “
This quote speaks volumes about dynamics in relationships where violence occurs. If one partner cannot feel in control or powerful, they will resort to the one method of power that is most barbaric, rudimentary, and nearing obsolete- physical force. It is no surprise then, that 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
“”What emerges is a picture of extensive abuse that affects many women’s lives, but is systematically under-reported to the authorities,” Kjaerum noted in the summary of the report, which was written after interviews with 42,000 women across the union. ” “
A lot of this cuts to the issues with the mental health institutions in our nation and the national lack of awareness towards mental health issues. It also is important to note how boys are raised to become violent through the media, and national rhetoric on leadership, and masculinity. This is a persisting sociological problem that cannot be addressed without understanding the sociological, economic, cultural, and psychological contexts for this nation.
Men are taught that to be safe, you must be the predator. That you deserve what you want, and all you need to do is get it.