Abuse within a relationship sees no gender

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Oct. 1 2014

Royal Purple Editorial Staff Opinion

It’s been a problem in our country for plenty of years now, but one that’s not getting addressed as often as it should:
Domestic violence.

Both men and women alike are victims to this — capable of immersing themselves in a situation that could lead to serious injuries or, in the worst of cases, death. And families all across the United States have to deal with it. Every single person is at some sort of risk.

Unfortunately, it appears as though a case of domestic violence isn’t important unless a celebrity is either the victim or the one beating on their significant other. America’s eyes are only opened wide when a well-known star gets him– or herself– in a situation that could be happening frequently in a “regular” person’s life.

Which isn’t at all right and shouldn’t be tolerated.

The specific case getting the most attention lately is the one involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice. Video evidence shows the football player throwing a punch at his fiancée in an elevator, which quickly hit the news and spread like a wildfire to all corners of the country upon release.

A football star beating on his significant other is big news. But what about everyone else? What about the people who aren’t big time stars but are still going through the same thing—perhaps even worse? Shouldn’t they be cared about just as much?

It’s as if domestic violence isn’t a big deal until a celebrity deals with it.

On another note, there seems to be a common misconception that only women are the victims of abuse. Men are seen as the stronger beings, and therefore it is assumed that only men are the ones beating on their spouses. A woman can’t possibly be strong enough to abuse her man.

This viewpoint is sickeningly false.

In several cases, a woman is praised when she slaps a man across the face. She gets cheers, shouts of support for “standing up for herself” even if the situation didn’t require it, which sometimes makes it look OK for a woman to abuse a man.

A woman can slap a man. Hit him upside the head with her purse. But the moment a man lays a finger on a woman, chaos ensues.

The point is that men are just as likely to be abused as women are. If it’s not OK for a man to treat a woman like a subordinate — like someone who has to obey his every whim — then it most certainly is just as bad for a woman to do the same to a man. There is no excuse for either gender to be beating on the other.

The scenario reeks of as much unfairness as ignoring domestic abuse cases that aren’t involved with celebrities.

So, where does Whitewater stand with cases of domestic violence? Assaults—both sexual and nonsexual—have increased in the past year, according to Whitewater police reports. Whether these are domestic violence cases is unknown, but the general increase can be attributed to violence between significant others.

While this number has increased in the community, the only thing that is touched on is the case involving Ray Rice. It’s as if there’s no point to care unless a celebrity gets involved.

Most everyone on UW-Whitewater’s campus probably doesn’t even have a clue of what sort of domestic violence happens only a block away. The moment someone famous gets tangled up in it, though, everyone and their mother knows and has an opinion.

People need to be more aware of what is going on around them. Get educated, learn to recognize an unhealthy relationship, keep the numbers handy and look at your friends and family too.

And if anger gets the best of you walk away; don’t raise a hand, except in class.