During grad school, I worked part-time in a gift shop for extra money. I’ll never forget the day glamorous, model-esque bookkeeper Lucy came into work wearing dark Chanel sunglasses. I could tell something wasn’t right. “What’s going on?” I asked. Lucy lifted her sunglasses to reveal two black eyes. Thus began my crusade to help Lucy get out of her abusive relationship, which resulted in me picking up her and her suitcases on a dark corner at night, her boyfriend threatening to “beat the crap” out of me, and Lucy heading straight back to him eventually. This was my first but sadly not my last time seeing the destructive domestic violence cycle. It left me feeling angry and helpless, wishing there was something more I could do. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: domestic violence
Boyfriend of the Year Chris Brown is getting his slap on the wrist in a L.A. courtroom today and then appearing on “Larry King Live” (reportedly after Oprah’s camp said “No way, Jose” to his sorry ass). Brown’s schedule is so free, you see, because he isn’t doing any jail time for beating the crap out of his girlfriend. Keep reading »
Last week our own Judy McGuire shared her story of being in an abusive relationship. This week, she emailed me to let me know that Safe Horizons, a NYC-based domestic violence program, is currently in competition for a $100,000 grant. She and I would like to encourage you to vote for them by heading to ClickToEmpower.com and clicking on “Safe Horizons.” There are other wonderful organizations competing against them, so vote for whoever you’d like, but Safe Horizons is our favorite.
In other domestic violence advocacy news, that couple whose wedding procession video became hot s**t on YouTube last week are now using their global fame to raise money to combat domestic violence, in part because the music playing in the video is by Chris Brown, who beat up his girlfriend Rihanna earlier this year. Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz explain on their new website that they want to direct all the viral attention towards a worthy cause. “Due to the circumstances surrounding the song in our wedding video we have chosen the Sheila Wellstone Institute. Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities.” It’s awesome to see two people using their sudden fame for good, isn’t it? [Star Tribune] Keep reading »
- California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, cut all of the funding—$16.3 million in total—for domestic violence programs from the 2009-10 state budget. State Assembly members say many shelters rely on that funding for a substantial part of their support. [The San Bernadino Sun] — We understand CA’s in a budget crisis, but why are the neediest people shouldering the burden?
- The IUD is the best form of birth control, according to one health writer. It’s 99 percent effective, has a one-time cost for implantation, and requires no upkeep. [Slate] — Too bad they sound so retro.
- The horrifying gang rape of an eight-year-old Liberian girl in Phoenix by four adolescent boys has shed light on how sexual assault has been used in that African nation’s culture during the country’s civil war. It has also shown how Liberian culture still stigmatizes rape, because the girl’s family disowned her once they heard about the crime. A human rights researcher from Amnesty International, who spoke to CNN, speculated that the boys who raped her, who were all also Liberian, may have been exposed to sexual assault at some point in their young lives and had “normalized” it. [CNN] — It’s an awful story, but it’s not something we can ignore in a melting-pot country.
Unlike the other YouTube video he put out in May, where he plugs his new album and tells his fans, “I ain’t a monster,” this video is a clearly scripted and exactly two minutes long. He looks remorseful. He pleads for sympathy. He apologizes to Rihanna, his fans, and everyone else he disappointed when he assaulted her earlier this year. He even says he hopes to be worthy of the phrase “role model” some day. It’s the PR-iest of PR scripts a PR person could dream up.
Maybe you ain’t a monster, Chris, but you could have done a lot better. Keep reading »
Foreign victims of domestic violence may finally be able to escape their abuse; the Obama administration has instated a new policy that may grant some of these victims asylum in the United States. The policy would reverse a Bush administration stance that did not allow foreign abuse victims entry into the U.S. Keep reading »
For some 20 years, campaigners have argued that courtrooms don’t treat men and woman equally when it comes to domestic violence homicides. According to them, “Judges have been known to express sympathy for men who claim they were nagged or cheated on by female partners, but often appear to have little for women who kill after being raped by their partners or experiencing domestic violence.”
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Finally, an advertisement that doesn’t offend us! Amnesty International has installed a new anti-domestic-abuse ad at a bus stop in Hamburg, Germany that uses cutting edge technology to make its point. A small camera embedded in the ad makes it so the couple in the poster appears happy and smiling when someone is looking at it; when the viewer turns away, the image changes to one where the man is beating the woman. The text reads, “It happens when nobody is watching.” The camera responds after only a brief delay — like if someone looks away quickly — so that observers are able to catch the two different images and understand what’s going on and the message it’s conveying. Powerful, and smart, stuff. Click here to see a larger image of the ad. [Gizmodo] Keep reading »
For the first time in its history, the European Court of Rights has ruled against a state for overlooking a domestic violence case, reported The Wall Street Journal. The court said that Turkey failed to sufficiently prosecute a man who abused his wife, and murdered his mother-in-law. Nahide Opuz, the murdered woman’s daughter, has tried to get her case noticed ever since 1995, when her stepfather and husband began to beat her and threaten her mother.
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