You see the word domestic violence and you might have an automatic response about what you think it means. You might automatically be thinking things like: it could never happen to me, what is wrong with these people, is it just for black eyes, why isn’t it always reported right away, would someone really make up all these stories, does it just happen against women, does it mean the perpetrator is not a nice person? Well, just like the movie title: “It’s Complicated.”
Domestic violence is the umbrella that covers many actions by the perpetrator and not all perpetrators or victims have identical facts. Victims can all express how it makes them feel and the devastation it causes. Victims feel ashamed, at fault, inferior, unimportant, insignificant, worthless, timid, fearful, alone and helpless. Perpetrators spin their web by controlling, belittling, taking away power, loving, being kind, changing behavior at the drop of a dime, giving black eyes, acting superior sexually, demanding, rude, funny but not really funny, giving small digs tearing at the victims’ core, isolating, stalking, abusing pets, abusing children, blocking exit from a room, throwing cell phones, dishes, and slamming doors: the list is endless.
And, domestic violence crosses all cultures and socio-economic lines. And, yes, Mr. President: domestic violence matters. A perpetrator of such violence is not normal in any of their thought, word, and deed.