DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Assault in the name of Young Love
The face of non-family domestic violence and abuse in the volatile relationships of young men and women is staggering. Kids barely old enough to vote and barely old enough to buy liquor beat and batter, love and hate.
One missed step or sour note and a dance of romance becomes a day or night of domestic violence assaulting any budding romance. Passion’s compelling desire transforms into intense control over emotion and logic.
Young love, young love
A teenage love,
A teenage love,
Young love, young love, everything I need, I got my young love.
A teenage love,
Chris Brown, Singer
2009 Sentenced 5 years probation,
1400 hrs. community service for
Assault on girlfriend, Rihanna.
Senator Joe Biden drafted a bill that later became the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994. It brought unprecedented attention to a society that preferred to turn a blind eye to bruised, battered and abused women. But, in doing so resources, awareness and education were diverted away from victims so deserving of attention. It came at a cost for abused men, young adults and gay/lesbian Americans.
What is domestic violence and non family domestic abuse? Every state has its own definition but in Colorado domestic violence is defined as:
(1) “Domestic violence” means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. “Domestic violence” also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.
(2) “Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
Signs and signals of verbal and emotional abuse are not easily recognized by this young crowd. Our children don’t have the maturity to enter into serious relationships yet. Nor do they have the ability to spot the red flags of abuse. What appears to be a flirty little nudge the first time becomes a slap and kick the next.
“NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER does a man have the right to raise his hand to a woman—–except in self defense.
In response, actress, show host Whoopi Goldberg asked him “And will you also remind people, remind the women that the way to get a man attention is NOT to hit him? Do not hit him…. Teach kids not to perpetrate on each other. No? ”
No answer from Mr. Biden.
Not all kids come from homes of emotional and physical abuse. Society has provided young people with more than enough exposure to hostile and negative influences. Facebook and Twitter are hot beds for bullying. The internet, television, MTV, and video games are filled with violence. Drugs and alcohol are used illegally and excessively.
Mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder or schizophrenia often begin to surface in the early twenties. Mood disorders and unstable behavior may present as manipulative demands or angry explosive events. These disorders are very treatable with psychiatric intervention and medications.
Domestic violence among your adults can be situational, too. For instance,
Johnny doesn’t drink, smoke or do drugs. Sally does, a lot. She fell down drunk in the bar and broke her arm one night. She got kicked out and he drove her home because she was too drunk to drink. In a rage she hits him, chokes him and kicks him out of her car. He is sober, she is not.
A month later a bench warrant has Johnny’s name on it. Sally told police a different story. She fails to include or explain the bruises on Johnny’s neck or how those scratch marks got on his face. Self defense or abuse? Who is the victim?
Sitting in a cold and crowded jail cell overnight for something you did not do doesn’t make sense. Johnny defended himself. He did not touch Sally. Cuts, blood and bruises around his neck may not be enough to convince even the fairest prosecutor that it was self defense. Joe Public has already convicted Jonny well before he sees a judge. Men beat their girlfriends, wives and partners, not the other way around.
The falsely accused have an uphill battle. They are up against something stronger than the truth. The stigma of domestic violence is permanent. Domestic violence laws are very rigid often including criminal charges of assault, harassment, disorderly conduct, kidnapping and even obstruction of phone use.
Frequently the person filing the police report wants to recant once they realize the gravity of the legal mess their ex partner is in. Prosecutors and defense lawyers have heard every version of every dispute imaginable. Domestic violence cases are rarely dismissed in an effort to protect the “victim”.
Turning a blind eye to unpleasant and inconvenient truths of domestic violence won’t stop the music or the dance. Addressing the needs of this unique group of non family abused and abusers is the very least we can do for our children.
Colorado Revised Statutes 2012 18-6-800.3 Definitions
Whoopi Goldberg http://vimeo.com/30787987