The reason there’s no #MeToo for domestic violence

The reason there’s no #MeToo for domestic violence

The #MeToo movement has focused on workplace harassment, and I keep thinking: when will #MeToo include domestic violence? I try to imagine what it will look like so I can help make it come faster.

Workplace law only recently caught up with women’s experience

Twenty years ago laws were useless in the fight against sexual harassment and domestic violence. The courts added teeth to laws preventing workplace discrimination, and the #MeToo movement followed shortly after those changes. But the laws governing domestic violence remain as useless as ever.

In 1991, courts ruled that victims of discrimination could win punitive damages for harassment, which allowed for large winnings. In 1998, courts ruled that companies were responsible for not stopping sexual harassment. But it took another 20 years for courts to define hostile work environment and retaliation so victims had language to talk about their experience. After 2010, lawyers represented women in workplace harassment cases on a contingency basis knowing they had access to corporate funds in a settlement.

The legal system is useless for domestic violence

But there’s no money in domestic violence cases because there’s no big company to sue for negligence, so this law gets tested at a much slower pace than employment law.

Without the financial winnings, lawyers have little incentive to take the case on contingency. Even if a woman does have the financial means to sue, most states don’t allow family members to sue each other, perpetrators torture their victims in court, and winning a court-ordered restraining order or conviction is one of the most reliable indicators that the victim will soon be killed.

So domestic violence cases end up in the hands of the district attorney, which makes the DA one of the most powerful people in the fight against domestic violence. This situation is not good.

The DA’s job is to prosecute cases that most benefit the public interest, and DAs dislike prosecuting domestic violence cases. These cases are extremely complicated and time consuming, and often the public has little empathy for domestic violence victims; it’s difficult to understand why a woman stayed if the violence was really that bad.

So both women and district attorneys think it’s not worth the trouble to prosecute domestic violence. This means there is little public discourse about domestic violence. It happens in private and it stays private.

Lack of language is always accompanied by lack of power

The #MeToo movement, on the other hand, takes sexual assault out of the private arena and gives us a common language to understand our experience. The #MeToo movement is about clarifying what sexual assault looks like by talking about it. And the more we clarify language, the more likely women are to come forward and talk.

One of the great moments of the #MeToo movement was when Taylor Swift testified against a guy who assaulted her. The testimony is amazing because Taylor puts words to events that happen all the time. She takes control of the language of sexual assault. Everyone cheered.

Taylor Swift did not sue for money, and the perpetrator had already lost his job. Her case is another type of legal action a woman can take—not looking for financial reward, or vengeance, but rather to make sure men don’t keep getting away with this behavior. But you need to have money to do that.

The #MeToo movement is fueled, in part, by women who stayed quiet about workplace harassment until they gained power, and then the women used their power to bring attention to #MeToo. Taylor Swift is a great example of using her power and money to show women how to take down a perpetrator.

Another way #MeToo has transformed society is by bringing women together. The movement was born in social media, and social media enables women to find safety in numbers. Cases against Harvey Weinstein, Larry Nassar, and Jeffrey Epstein are strong because there are so many women telling the same, horrific story.

At best, the #MeToo movement sheds stark light on the isolation of victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence doesn’t allow the victim to keep quiet while she gains power because, more than workplace harassment, domestic violence precludes the buildup of power. And domestic violence rarely involves more than one victim at a time, so the victim could not find the solace of safety in numbers.

We are in desperate need of the #MeToo corollary for domestic violence. We need laws that protect women from getting killed after they press charges. We also need a language for victims of domestic violence to describe their experience. We need to define the invisible violence of terror. We need to quantify the damages from the epigenetics of violence. And we need language to describe the illusion of love that makes the victim stay and stay until she’s dead.

62 replies
  1. JoanneB
    JoanneB says:

    There’s still also such negative connotations in religious “covenant” where many common interpretations/traditions (ESPECIALLY when not actually what’s written) justify the violence, so these women also lose their religious community, which might be their only social network.

    Plus victim blaming. You alluded to it, but it’s so pervasive.

  2. Amanda Twohey
    Amanda Twohey says:

    Love this. DV so rarely spoken about. We were in a refuge when I was little, I live with the consequences of being born and raised in a violent household, where women have very little access to any kind of freedom or help and the children even less. I grew up knowing that men can do what they like, they have all the power they want publicly and privately, they write the laws. I’m now in my 40s and it seems not much has changed, the same number of women die every week at the hands of their partner. #metoo barely scratches the surface

  3. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    In the 1970’s folks met in kitchens to “consciousness raise.”

    One of the words could be “isolating” as in isolating the victim from having friends, taking classes or working. Or learning how to drive.

    I read where a victim was allowed to work only because the husband needed more money to pay the mortgage of his parent’s home. And even then, the wife had to work at home as a day-care provider, and not go for neighbourhood walks.

    Another word might be “Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyding” where a person seems so super sane in public and to the police, yet a monster behind closed doors.

  4. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    I’ve read your work for many years, Penelope; this might be one of the most important posts you’ve ever written. I’m a trauma therapist. You put language to the experience that my clients grapple with daily. Often, they have neither the language nor support for their experiences. They feel invalidated in their heads, and in their lives. As they find words and stories, as they find others whose experiences mirror theirs, they can start to believe that perhaps they do not deserve the feces flung at them from across the cage. Only then can they imagine opening the door to get out. This holds true for assault, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction.

    • Kitty Kilian
      Kitty Kilian says:

      Hi Kelly,

      Would a simple list of the best novels and movies etc about each of these traumatic experiences be a start?

      I had another type of experience and I was dying for information, but even the psychiatrist and all the other ists and carers we met offered no books, movies, documentaries, whatever. Let alone scientific articles. We had to find it all on our own. But we were tired. At first we did not even know there were other possibilities. So in the end we found out too late what was happening, what could have been done or where we should have gone.

      I now think people who are mentally overwhelmed get into survival mode. They shut down a little. They get tunnel vision. Information needs to be offered more clearly. It needs to be handed out, instead of making people ask. And it needs to come in many shapes.

      • Kelly
        Kelly says:

        Hi Kitty,

        I think that would be useful. I often use books, podcasts, and TED talks with those clients that seek out such resources. My clients often point me to biographies and references that I, in turn point others too. If you (or others) are aware of any particularly good books about getting through to the other side of DV, I’m open to adding them to my collection at work.

      • Abbie
        Abbie says:

        Yes, Kitty, I agree that there’s something about providing people with perspectives and information that help normalize what’s happening to them would probably help. Because of the silence on the topic, I think it’s easy for each victim to feel trapped in their own story and feel like they are uniquely stuck, or deserve what’s happening in some way.

  5. Ellen Chamberlin
    Ellen Chamberlin says:

    The last relationship I was in was abusive before, during and after I was in it. He tried to get a restraining order against me (totally unnecessary) but he didn’t want to go through a trial. When the man makes it seem like he’s the victim it’s easy for him to gain the sympathy of friends who are misogynistic incels – there’s no shortage of men who secretly hate women. Lawmakers and judges can be people who are in domestic violence situations. Trauma bonding and trauma pleasure are factors in why People stay in abusive relationships.

    • Kelly
      Kelly says:

      Louis, In my therapy practice, I have not worked with a single female, not one, who has not had a #metoo moment. Think about that. It may not have risen to the level of rape, but groping, grabbing, unwanted touch, attention, expectation of favors for the privilege of being male? Being passed over in school, at work, in athletics because of gender? Being denied a loan, being overlooked at the car dealer, the computer store, the bank in favor of the guy who walked in behind her? Being talked over in class, in a meeting, at church? You think Domestic Violence is too prevalent for #metoo? You might be surprised.

      • Penelope Trunk
        Penelope Trunk says:

        I agree. I don’t know a woman who has not had a #Metoo moment. One of the great things about this movement is there were millions of women who had no idea WHAT the moment was. And now they know how to make sure their moment is counted.


        • Abbie
          Abbie says:

          Thank you, Penelope, for opening up this conversation. Starting even in a small way is still starting…

          In my family growing up, my grandparents on both sides were essentially telling my mother that my father’s domestic violence was her fault. (If only she knew how to be a better wife, he wouldn’t do that.)

          I’ve been fortunate in my adult life that my #MeToo moments have been minor, but looking back I see the price I paid was my femininity, conducting my life more like a man.

        • colt13
          colt13 says:

          Great article.

          Obviously the simple answer is to teach boys not to be abusers, but how do you teach girls that grow up in an abusive household that their normal isn’t normal?

      • Jim C.
        Jim C. says:

        To Kelly: Your comment seems to expand the whole #Metoo definition to take in a whole universe of behaviors. Sexual molestation, sex discrimination, and violence make up the conventional definition. But condescending speech? Having girls’ athletic activities valued less than boys’ (maybe because more people buy tickets to the boys’ games)? Male (and female) store clerks automatically making the invalid assumption that men are more computer savvy?
        Expanding the definition to include things like hurt feelings just devalues the experiences of the real victims of violence.

        • Laura
          Laura says:

          #metoo is broader than just violence. I haven’t seen it commonly expanded to include things like banking issues. I don’t think it really needs to be, as the female experience of unwanted sexual comments, sexual harassment of various kinds AND sexual violence is nearly ubiquitous already.

  6. Armin Chosnama
    Armin Chosnama says:

    The path from courtship to being trapped in a violent domestic relationship is littered with ignored red flags. Support mechanisms for victims and increased attention to the problem are important, but are nothing more than band-aids after the damage has been done.

    A little effort spent on educating young men and women on recognizing behavioral red flags would do much more good.

  7. Abbie
    Abbie says:

    I am struck by the small number of comments posted almost a day after this article went up. I wonder if this is an illustration of the deafening silence on this topic.

    Penelope — any chance you might be willing to share how many page view this article has had? The only alternative explanation I can think of, to be fair, is that you haven’t posted in a while, and not everybody has you in the “Always Read” folder in their RSS reader, like I do…

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I am shocked as well! The post has a pretty typical number of page views. But what is a-typical is how many people wrote me personally to talk about the issue. They didn’t even want to comment anonymously. I have not seen this before, on any post. Even when I have written something people think is crazy, people comment about how crazy it is.


      • So many everywhere
        So many everywhere says:

        The difference is this time you wrote about something that is too prevalent and too true, and for all the reasons you noted, people don’t quite know how to share their thoughts and stories…yet. Myself included.

        In my case my father is violent, and my mother and our whole family are affected by it, and we manifest the traumas in different ways. I didn’t realize until recent years my biggest filter for my relationships has always been “Do I feel safe?” I wake up in tears from nightmares of finally physically confronting my father to try to protect my siblings. I told him recently the next time he harms my mom I will call the police, I am no longer afraid of him. It’s complicated because there are also aspects to love and respect about my father. But the violence is not okay and has never been okay. I continue to struggle with how to process all my feelings about my father. I wish he stops being violent and controlling. I fear being controlling like him without realizing it.

        The HBO show Big Little Lies is a major show tackling the subject, and I was astounded to read a male sharing his perspective earlier this week, so maybe times are changing:

        For context, I am 45yo mother to 3 married to a man who makes me feel safe.

      • Jim C.
        Jim C. says:

        I found it interesting that this post had a fairly typical number of page views, even though there weren’t as many posted comments as usual.
        I just checked your site and found this post today (July 30). It had been three months since your last post. After four or six weeks without a new post I stopped looking every few days and stretched it out to every two weeks or so. I suspected that a number of other readers also had stopped checking so often and therefore weren’t making comments. But then your log of 9 days ago showed the usual number of views.
        (???) I’m stumped.

        • Penelope Trunk
          Penelope Trunk says:

          Traffic is odd. Especially for a blog that has been around as long as mine has. Most people who have been reading my blog for ten or twenty years get the blog posts via email. So most traffic to my site comes from Google and from people mentioning the blog on mainstream media sites.

          Google gives me a lot of benefits because I’ve been around a long time and have lots of incoming links from huge sites. Google is always sending new traffic to my site, which means I’m always getting new readers to the most recent two or three posts. So the only time I notice a drop in traffic is when Google changes their algorithm.

          You can think of this each time you see a new post from me. I could probably go a year without posting and my traffic wouldn’t drop. I post because every time I stop posting I feel sad. And every time I post I am happy.


  8. Zed
    Zed says:

    What does this have to do with women? Only or mostly women are victims of workplace harassment and DV? I don’t think so. If I recall it’s 1/3 men or more? And women kill about as many partners as men? Am I wrong? Are male victims going to have access to this #metoo protection?

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      The Equal Protection clause in the Fourteenth Amendment gives men any benefits of protection that women have. The majority of victims are women so I used female pronouns.

      And, while we’re talking about the Equal Protection clause, I wonder if writers who use male pronouns as a default will receive an equal dose of the language policing you have given to me.


      • Laura
        Laura says:

        Actually, the Equal Protection Clause does not protect against discrimination on the basis of sex the same was as it protects upon discrimination on the basis of race, which is why we need the ERA. That said, domestic violence victims *are* primarily women, which is why the female pronoun is used. The Violence Against Women Act is actually gender neutral. The laws about domestic violence are generally written to be gender neutral. Men have the same or better ability to access resources.

        While there are female abusers, domestic violence cases that involve female perpetrators typically involve violence by both parties.

        80% of the victims of intimate partner numbers are women; fully half of all women who are murdered are murdered by a current or former intimate partner. 93% of female homicide victims knew their killer; women comprise 15% of murderers overall.

        If you’ve been listening to #metoo, women have been sympathetic to men who have been sexually harassed. I don’t know a single woman without a #metoo story. I can’t count the number of men who had NO CLUE it was like this. That tells me that a woman-centered movement is appropriate.

        Men have created and perpetuated the systems that have allowed sexual harassment and violence against women. When a system has to be dismantled. When you dismantle, you go for the power. Men are still the power.

    • Kelly
      Kelly says:

      Zed, I checked my facts before replying to your comment. More women than men are survivors of domestic violence. Although reported in similar numbers, more women tend to be severely injured or killed: twice as likely to have been injured, three times as likely to have suffered frightening threats, more likely to have been assaulted three or more times. To be clear, whether the survivor is male or female, it’s traumatic and potentially deadly, but your question suggested that women were assaulting men in numbers equal to those cases where men are assaulting women. This does not appear to be accurate. Unfortunately, this is also an issue in the LGBTQ community.

  9. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    I wonder how many male parters are lying when they say, “She is so stupid she makes me hit her.” I say this because a man at work thought I was very stupid AFTER he abused me. Easier for him to change his opinion of me than to feel any guilt or shame.

    He is the type who does disrespect much of society and doesn’t say, “I was w-w-w-wrong.”

    Luckily I have done decades of work with folks who esteemed me, or else I would have been very shaken by being so disrespected after the abuse.

    • MBL
      MBL says:

      “I wonder how many male partners are lying when they say, “She is so stupid she makes me hit her.””

      All of them.

  10. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Today there is a BBC web story where a cop who lost his mother at age 15 now heads up a domestic assault unit. He advises salon staff on signs of abuse.

    Regarding resources, A few years ago I saw a new book by a survivor, written comic book style. Down the years the scary angry monster would cry every time she wanted to leave. So she stayed, out of love.

  11. Jack
    Jack says:

    The last sentence is the big issue: ” And we need language to describe the illusion of love that makes the victim stay and stay until she’s dead.”

    Too often, even if the woman leaves they return. It can still happen after months of separation. I have a buddy that was dating a woman after she left a mentally abusive (and suspected physical abusive) relationship. Dirt bag had left town shortly after she left him. Months later he returns, and she goes running back to him. It was a WTF moment for many people.

  12. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    One of the breakthroughs of women’s liberation, during my boyhood, was the concept that rape can be to have power, not from sexual desirability.

    Today we are still learning that many street “compliments” are for power: If a woman is not perceived as bothered, if she acts friendly, then the “compliment” escalates until she is bothered.

    I think we need some words that domestic abuse can be from feeling power, not love, but I don’t know how to phrase it.

  13. David Sebastian
    David Sebastian says:

    While males are the perpetrators of most sexual violence and harrassment, women are about equal to men in perpetrating physical violence in relationships.

    But this is never discussed. Part of this is the stigma of being a man whose girlfriend or wife hits him, and part of this is the much greater strength of most men compared to most women, which makes woman on man violence far less likely to lead to serious injury.

    • Ellen
      Ellen says:

      How have you come to the conclusion that physical violence is about equally perpetuated by women? (My last boyfriend was 300 lbs, I’m 140). Curious.

  14. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Another bit of language is “abuse cycle” which I swear I didn’t know a thing about, not until I found a brochure in a social work office. The cycle goes: rising tension, abuse, honeymoon.

    I read that, after many cycles have passed, during the rising tension a spouse may trigger the abuse just to get it over with.

  15. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    I read this and was moved and outraged, and felt sad and impotent, but wasn’t originally moved to comment until I read yours about why there aren’t more comments. I don’t have much direct experience with domestic violence (that I’m aware of; I’m sure I know plenty of people who have been or are being abused) and I don’t have much to add to the conversation. Though after reading the OTHER comments about “what this has to do with women” I want to scream at the writers about their ignorance and privilege, probably all white men. Just shut up already, ok? Is it really so important for men to try to establish an equal stake in getting abused? The facts, statistics, and anecdotal evidence all point to women suffering more from DV. Not exclusively, but significantly more. Put your time into more worthy arguments, people.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I’m not sure, to be honest. I think it means that I need better language to talk about that experience.


  16. Cate
    Cate says:

    Penelope, I really think you would devour the recent book “No Visible Bruises” by Rachel Louise Snyder. She discusses this exact topic after spending a year or more researching the subject across the U.S., talking to the police, etc. It’s an absolutely fascinating read.

  17. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Regarding an above observation, sometimes I am astonished when a fellow white says something racist, and I am astonished when a fellow male says something anti-women or about males being equally discriminated against. Neither event has happened for years, so maybe I am now moving in more innocent circles.

    While Sean can be a woman’s name (as in actress Sean Young) let me be explicit and say I am male myself. (I like how Celtic names can be non binary, such as Kelly, Blair, Beverly and Shirley)

    Meanwhile, another language term we need is how “freedom of speech and thought” can be nullified by a partner simply clenching his hand. Call it shaping or coaching or training or signalling or something.

    • Abbie
      Abbie says:

      Thank you, Sean for your contributions to this conversation. It helps to remember that the more important distinction here for me is not between men and women, but between enablers of both genders, and those who believe we can do better as a society and act on it.

  18. Jaki
    Jaki says:

    There are a few things that need to happen first.
    1) rape needs to be studied/understood/prosecuted/believed on a cultural level, including in law enforcement. It’s been known for over a decade how trauma affects memory, how dissociation/ptsd make for bad witnesses or “weird” reactions, but men just don’t believe women.
    2) trauma-awareness needs to be integrated into cultural awareness. We’re only just now learning what trauma is and how it can/should be handled as individuals and communities.
    (of course I say ‘we’re only just’ although people of color have been talking about trauma for a decade now
    3) More people need to be educated about what emotional abuse looks like and how it operates. The cultural misconceptions that allow us to have old narratives of what a “domestic abuser” looks like keep us from being able to recognize the real signs.

    (hi penelope look I’m writing)

  19. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Abbie above, that’s nice to hear.

    I forgot to say that the woman survivor in the cartoon book, who took years to leave, said to herself something like, “Everybody knows that you are supposed to stay in a marriage, right? Especially if he loves you, right?”

    My concept is that being objective is super-impossible.

    To an abused nonobjective friend I would say, “A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client.”‘ That is a cliche among even highly trained lawyers, and applies to us normal mortals too. I would really try to get my friend to see someone objective such as, say, somebody at the YWCA.

    Actually, I did have a best friend who talked of getting me to buy a door lock and set up an escape window, but never went that far. When her partner went alone to see a counsellor the partner entered the room so angry that no session was allowed.

    My friend was surprised that I was not surprised. “Your partner,” I said “was a person waiting for an excuse to happen.” My friend is now married to someone else, hurray.

  20. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    Another thing society needs is the willingness to face up to domestic abuse and the sad legal system, as brave Penelope does.
    Today, August 1, 2019, the BBC’s Jeremy Cook follows a domestic abuse case through the legal system.

    (Note: US lawyers are allowed to note British precedents, the world is getting smaller)

    Although the story is sad, at least it shows that society is now willing to allow news report on such things, which can lead to a willingness to change… Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      That’s a great link. Thanks. Also, it’s so interesting that US lawyers can cite British precedents. I had no idea.


  21. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    There was a movement in the late ’80’s and 1990’s used by prosecutors that had success in the legal system called evidence-based prosecution to prosecute domestic violence cases ( ). Victims were recanting their stories at very high rates so evidence-based prosecution didn’t require a victim from having to take the stand against an abuser. “Then in 2004, a Supreme Court case, Crawford v. Washington, ruled that the Sixth Amendment’s confrontation clause barred admission of any testimonial statements made out of court, unless the witness who made the statement testified and was subject to cross-examination.” Things have become complicated but it’s still possible to use certain evidence-based prosecution techniques without the victim present.
    I got the above link by doing a search on Twitter using the hashtag #WhyIStayed ( ). The #WhyIStayed and #WhyILeft hashtags came into being in the Fall of 2014 when NFL player Ray RIce was ousted from the NFL – . There’s also this HuffPost article that came out at the same time – . There’s a post by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence ( ) titled ‘When #MeToo Isn’t Enough: Why Domestic Violence Needs Its Own Hashtag’ which says among other things that “domestic violence is more common than sexual violence but is discussed less now than even four years ago”, the language of violence and abuse basically needs to be more clearly defined and refined, and they have implemented the #SurvivorSpeaks hashtag. Which brings me to #hashtags in general. They’re ubiquitous and there are many in use even for the same subject. So when searching it becomes a project. There’s lots of keywords, #hashtags, and places to search.
    The New York Times has another good article ( ) where they say “October is domestic violence awareness month. We talked to experts and survivors about why the conversation around domestic violence differs from sexual assault and what would need to change for domestic violence to have its own cultural reckoning.” So they’re also aware that sexual harassment and domestic violence issues are discussed interchangeably thus making understanding these issues more difficult.

  22. Sean Crawford
    Sean Crawford says:

    As for language and “putting into words,” an exciting new domestic abuse law in the Scottish parliament does just that. I am impressed by the “laundry list” of attributes enshrined in law. In a BBC feature story someone says, “I didn’t know emotional abuse was a thing.”

    In a related article this week, Scottish police now have the power to “connect the dots” and see a pattern in two or more instances of abuse, which they didn’t before.

    I am linking to the older legislation article because it is easier to read.

  23. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth says:

    My dad died last year. A few months later, a couple of my mom’s friends asked me how I was doing since he’d gone. They’d known her since they were in the convent together, saw her change after meeting him then leaving him 30 years later. Eventually heard the stories of how he was with her, with us. How she didn’t tell us for a month or two after leaving him where she was. I knew she was worried he would come and kill her though we’ve never discussed it.
    I told them I felt free. They understood.

  24. Thomas Peterson
    Thomas Peterson says:

    It was interesting to learn that sometimes domestic law cases can be a bit slower than other cases. My cousin has been in an abusive relationship and my wife and I have been trying to help her get out of it and make sure her husband gets punished for what he’s done. Maybe we should get in touch with a good domestic violence lawyer to get the case to move along faster.

  25. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Thanks for writing this. When all my friends started posting their #metoo experiences on facebook, I abstained. Not because I didn’t have plenty of examples, but because the examples I was willing to put out there (that time I took my blazer off because it was hot and my professor told me I’d get an A if I kept it off, that time an investor told me that he and his wife were into threesomes with younger women, you know, in case I was curious…) didn’t seem all that important given the secret I was (and still am) hiding about the 2 years I spent in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship.
    I’m a mma fighter, ENTJ, #ladyboss, I can’t admit in public that I “let” this happen. As a society we still blame women for domestic abuse – either because they “deserved” it or because they didn’t leave when they “should” have. As the face of my business, which employs a dozen people, it’s my responsibility to keep my reputation “clean.”
    When I went to the police station 2 blocks from where I lived with my abuser, they didn’t even bother investigating because I didn’t want to press charges. No referral to a shelter, no social worker called, just “we can’t investigate if you’re not pressing charges”. We need a better legal system, and we need a social movement that makes it ok to talk about this too.
    Thanks for talking about it.

    • Jeremy p
      Jeremy p says:

      I agree there needs to be an emphasis on more “peaceful” methods of getting help, for starters. “Pressing charges” and making arrests an sometimes only exacerbate the problems, rather than being able a peaceful resolution. Many states even have a mandatory arrest policy, where if someone calls in a DV situation, the officers are required to arrest at least one person. That’s taking things from 0 to 60 real fast!

  26. Jeremy P
    Jeremy P says:

    Men are victims too, its just seldom discussed, and they are less likely to ever mention it, so it will never be in the data.

    1) Women are applauded for reporting, but men fear they will look like wimps for reporting.
    2) Women often don’t have the strength to fight back, while men do, but some choose not to.
    3) If a women hits first, and a man hits back, it’s the man that will be charged.
    4) If a women gets more sympathy if she says she is a DV victim, she’s more likely to lie and say she was abused when she wasn’t. If a man gets less sympathy, and feels like a wimp, he’s less likely to lie.
    5) Some men feel it’s their duty to protect their wives, even protecting them from getting arrested for DV. They are less likely to report.
    6) DV is complicated because it happens behind closed doors, and anybody can say anything, so it’s about who has the bruises (or who can fake them), and who is willing to lie.

  27. Jeremy P
    Jeremy P says:

    Men are victims too, its just seldom discussed, and they are less likely to ever mention it, so it will never be in the data.

    1) Women are applauded for reporting, but men fear they will look like wimps for reporting.
    2) Women often don’t have the strength to fight back, while men do, but some choose not to.
    3) If a women hits first, and a man hits back, it’s the man that will be charged.
    4) If a women gets more sympathy if she says she is a DV victim, she’s more likely to lie and say she was abused when she wasn’t. If a man gets less sympathy, and feels like a wimp, he’s less likely to lie.
    5) Some men feel it’s their duty to protect their wives, even protecting them from getting arrested for DV. They are less likely to report.
    6) DV is complicated because it happens behind closed doors, and anybody can say anything, so it’s about who has the bruises (or who can fake them), and who is willing to lie. A trained psychologist may be able to uncover the truth, and help the couple reach a resolution, but the current system is all legal: mandatory arrests, mandatory law enforcement reporting, etc. There is no system to confront the behavior in a more gentle and peaceful way.

  28. Frederique
    Frederique says:

    To be honest it doesn’t really take much but it does require that boys & girls are educated at a young age to teach girls to say no & how to defend themselves, whilst teaching boys to hear what no means & how to respect women. The big question being why is this basic education not being taught within the home? Where I go to study no sooner do you walk into the ladies than the walls are covered with signs saying – if you’re a victim of domestic abuse call this number. If you’re on a date that is not going well in some pubs in the ladies they give you a password word – ask for Nicola – so that they can help you the situation in a safe manner.

    In Kenya by providing a No means No workshops they have reduced rape by 50% – it would seem to me that #metoo should be about how to create mutual respect not hostility.

    #metoo from where I am standing has done very little to really help a situation that should be a part of every school curriculum. The casting couch, the use of sex isn’t something new but has been actively used by both women & men. Blame culture is damaging we need to move forwards & it would seem to me that Kenya is doing something that we could all benefit from. Even Mukhtar Mai wrote in her book: In the Name of Honor – A Memoir – you need to educate the boys as well as the girls. In the UK a female detective admitted that we don’t actually know how many young women have been killed in the name of honour, because they disappear without a trace.

    Domestic Violence is a crime that we can do something about & writing this makes me realise that despite posting it on Linkedin & Facebook & even the BBC has something about Kenya on its website dated June 2018 – the movement to educate mutual respect seems to be further away than ever before. Progress is about moving forwards & making things right. It’s about looking back & seeing the errors of our ways & what to do now for creating something positive from the lessons that have been learnt.

  29. Lara
    Lara says:

    For what it’s worth, the legal choice of words, “domestic violence” seem to minimize the reality of what is taking place so I hope there will also be some re-framing of the issue.

    I had, and I guess, I still have, some small hope that the mysteries around Tara Reede’s life will bring spousal abuse and spousal violence to the spotlight. She apparently has claimed to be a domestic violence expert in Monterey County but I think she didn’t do that out of nowhere. More needs to be investigated about her life.

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