I would wonder when I walked the streets after a day at work, is he one? The one with the striped oxford shirt, or maybe the guy in the seersucker shirt and flip-flops. Is he an abuser? Does he hit his wife? Does he scream obscenities at her and tell her how stupid she is? The guy in the expensive car who smiles when I roll up beside him, is he one too? Does he grab his wife by the hair and force himself on her? Does he control all of the money? Does he tell her when to come and go, does he time it when she leaves the house or check the odometer on her car?
10 years as a 9-1-1 operator told me the answer to all of those questions is yes. Abusers are rich and poor and middle class or somewhere in between. One trait they all share is that the abuser usually come across as arrogant, however they actually feel very inadequate and want to remain in control. One thing I know for sure is that domestic violence happens in every strata of society. I’ve taken calls from the wives of celebrities and police officers. No race or socio-economic class is immune.
As a 9-1-1 operator, most of the calls I took that required the police involved domestic violence. And according to the American Bar Association (ABA):
- Approximately 1.3 million women and 835,000 men are physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually in the United States.
- In 2000, 1,247 women and 440 men were killed by an intimate partner. In recent years, an intimate partner killed approximately 33% of female murder victims and 4% of male murder victims.
Those statistics are appalling.
What’s wrong with us? What do we need to do and say to our young boys so they don’t feel inadequate and powerless? What safeguards can we put in our educational system to let young me know that it is never okay to hit a woman?
– Aunt B