So, Stephen A. Smith had a bust weekend. The ESPN panelist kicked off Friday with some what-the-fuck-did-he-just-say? remarks about victims who “provoke” domestic violence and all Internet hell broke loose. On the show “First Take,” Smith and other panelists were discussing Ray Rice, an NFL player who physically assaulted his now-wife and has been suspended for two games. (By the way, the NFL is quite rightly being criticized for this slap on the wrist punishment — another player is currently being suspended for a full year for smoking pot.) In seeming sympathy with abusers, Smith shared his opinion at two different points in the conversation that some DV can be provoked.
“Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” he said, adding later, “We … got to make sure [victims] can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn’t happen.” Keep reading »
Here’s a story that has me heavy in the heart:
Last night in Spring, Texas, a man looking for his ex-wife — whom he had beaten in the past — tied up and murdered the ex-wife’s sister, brother-in-law, and four of their children “execution-style” after they would not reveal his ex-wife’s location.
Ron Lee Haskell forced himself into his sister-in-law’s house near Houston while looking for his ex-wife Melanie Haskell (who was not there). He reportedly tied up everyone in the family and asked them to reveal his ex-wife’s location. When they couldn’t or wouldn’t answer, he shot six of them to death and wounded another, a 15-year-old girl named Cassidy Stay.
Cassidy told police she played dead until her ex-uncle left, at which point she called 911 and reported that Haskell was on his way to murder her grandparents. That phone call by Cassidy — who is currently in critical condition — appears to have saved her grandparents’ lives. Keep reading »
He seemed sweet at first. In fact, he had many sweet moments. But then there was the other stuff …
Abusive behavior isn’t as simple as we, as a society, want it to be. We often think that the kinds of signs that tell you a man could be abusive are very obvious. We imagine monsters, overtly misogynist thugs. We think of extreme physical violence as being the key – or the only – signifier. But often the violence doesn’t start until a relationship is already established – sometimes not until after a woman has moved in with her boyfriend, marries him, or becomes pregnant. In fact, the leading cause of death in pregnant women is domestic homicide, which is to say they are killed by their intimate partners. If we limit our understanding of abusive behavior to physical violence, we risk ignoring other red flags we should be heeding. Keep reading »
The image of Nigella Lawson with her then-husband’s hands around her throat is seared into my memory. If you remember, back in 2013, Lawson and businessman/art gallery owner Charles Saatchi were seated in a London restaurant, arguing, when he placed his hands around her neck as if to choke her. A photographer happened to catch the incident, which went on for close to 30 minutes, as Lawson cried. The fact that it was caught on camera was a rare and disturbing reminder of the ubiquity of domestic violence, even among the wealthy and powerful.
So what are we to think then, exactly, when several artists have created artwork depicting Nigella Lawson being strangled and posted it on Saatchi’s web site? Keep reading »