Pride and sadness fill my heart. After reading BlogHer blogger Liz Henry‘s post, Domestic Violence: I called the cops. Where were my neighbors?, I couldn’t help but feel a strange combination of pride and sadness. Pride for the blogger and her partner who risked their safety to intervene when they saw someone else’s safety in danger. Sadness that this kind of violence is allowed to go on. Oh, and I feel fear, for both the woman being attacked and for the couple who stood up for her even as they were threatened with violence and assaulted by racial slurs. After letting all of this set in, I also feel anger. Not the anger that leads to violence, but the anger that yields a desire to do something, to bring about change. And now, a feeling of hopelessness and desolation. How can I/we change something that generations of women have been fighting against with little result? I’m not certain how correct this is statistically. I studied violence against women for some time, but I’m unfamiliar with any studies that provide empirical evidence of the connection between anti-violence movements and lower rates of domestic violence. Of course given the low reporting rate for violence against women, this may tell us very little. I suppose the best way to make a difference is one person at a time, the way that Liz Henry and her partner did. The outcome wasn’t ideal. The woman refused to press charges and left with her violent “partner,” but she left knowing (or if not, at least having someone show her) that there are people who care about her. People who care when anyone, even people that they don’t know, are being threatened and abused. People who care enough to risk their safety to intervene. People like Liz Henry and her partner. Maybe this knowledge will bolster her strength, remind her that she is important and that:
Last night, my mother told me about the SC woman, Tisha Cason, who went to court twice to get a restraining order against her husband only to be turned down both times and then murdered by the husband that she feared enough to seek help from a justice system that did not take her concerns, her life, seriously. [The linked article does not foreground the denial of the protection order, so I am quoting that segment here:
court records show Tisha spent her final days trying to get the court to protect her from her estranged husband. Nine days ago a judge denied Tisha’s request for an emergency hearing, and two days ago, another judge said no to a protective order against Charlie Cason
This cannot continue. What can we do to protect the men and women of the world from the people who claim to love them but who express that “love” (read: control, possessiveness, hatred for self and others) through violence? I guess we must do what Liz Henry and her partner did: help and protect as much as we can, one person at a time.