This piece is not about Ray Rice.
Shit. Until today, I didn’t know who the fuck Ray Rice was.
I’m not a DV survivor. But I know people who are.
I did survive emotional abuse from a partner. I have witnessed people be punched by their parents, or by their spouse. I have called the cops on a neighbor. I have felt the chill on my back when a friend relates their home situation to me in vague references. I know that there has been abuse in my family tree.
My stomach hasn’t stopped churning since I turned on my computer on Monday morning.
This piece isn’t about Ray Rice, because to me, he doesn’t matter. His actions are what matters. He could be any abuser. I hate all of them.
This piece is about you. About how you talk about DV. About who you blame, and why you do so.
Stop cracking jokes at the expense of those who are being abused. I couldn’t bring myself to actually watch the video of Fox News anchors making wisecracks about avoiding abuse.
There is no reason for the world that we live in to extend the kind of cruelty to people who are already suffering.
I was once told by a teacher to never write while angry, but I’m not sure that will be possible today. Or even tomorrow. Not about this.
Stop. Blaming. Survivors.
Just stop. Stop blaming wives for not leaving their husbands because they are afraid. Stop blaming mothers. Stop blaming those who suffer at the hands of their parents. Stop blaming people who are raped by friends, by partners, or by strangers.
Just. Stop. You’re not helping. You’re digging the hole deeper. You’re piling the dirt into the grave that their abuser has dug.
By throwing about blame, by making jokes, you ensure that no one will come to you. No one will ask you for your hand to help them up. No one will confide, and no one will see your words as proof that they can escape the reality of their abusers.
But it’s not just how you talk about it – it’s what you do.
Please stop sharing that video. You’re not spreading “awareness” about domestic violence. You aren’t “proving” it. If you didn’t believe that women get beaten by their husbands without proof, then I don’t want to know you.
You’re exploiting pain.
If you’re a DV survivor, a survivor of abuse of any kind, feel free to use the comments as a way to vent about how you feel.
If you need to talk, feel free to contact me on twitter @snarkbat.
If you need help getting out, there are resources, like Safe Horizon. 1800 621 HOPE.
If you need someone to virtually or in person hold your hand while you get help, I’m here. I’m sure others are too.