Monday, August 13, 2007

The Blame Game

  • Tumi MCCallum, strangled in Manhattan. The suspect: her boyfriend.
  • Yvonne Rivera, shot dead in Staten Island. The suspect: her estranged boyfriend.
  • Brenda Jones, a former domestic violence counselor, found dead in
    her Brooklyn home. The suspect: her husband.
  • Guiatree Hardat, shot dead in Queens by her police officer boyfriend.
  • Claudette Marcellus, and her son Brian, knifed on a Brooklyn street. The suspect: her boyfriend, despite an existing order of protection against him.

That’s (at least) five women in the last three months murdered by their boyfriend or husband. I don’t know if this is statistically high or statistically low, but I do know that it’s five women too many. Andrea Peyser, in today’s NY Post, essentially slams the women for staying with the men. I suggest that we should be slamming the men for killing the women.

People tend to ask “Why did she stay?” And while studies and interviews show that there are a host of reasons why women, once in an abusive relationship, stay in abusive relationships, the most cost compelling is that she is more likely to be killed if she leaves or tries to leaves.

I suggest that is the wrong question. The question we need to ask -- and answer -- is why did he ever think it was ok to be violent?

If you are in a violent relationship, you are not alone. Organizations, such as Safe Horizon, can help you. For more information, click here or call 1-800-621-HOPE.

1 comment:

Brycenyc said...

The people who ask "Why didn't she leave?" are the same who ask why homeless people don't "just get a job?" These questions like to brush aside the complex psychological financial conditions that trap people in these sorts of situations. These questions assume that the woman has lead the exact same life as the questioner, when in fact she has lead a very different life and being in an abusive relationship isn't as black and white as whether or not you stay with the man who hurts you.