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No Excuse

September 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Ray Rice Press Conference

There is never an excuse for domestic violence.

No buts, no exceptions, no modifications; there is NEVER an excuse for domestic abuse. It baffles me that this point is even up for debate but the release of the full tape from the elevator in the Atlantic City hotel where Ray Rice stuck his then fiancee unconscious and then dragged her limb body across the floor has, quite understandably sparked new outrage. It’s also brought bizarre and disheartening pushback from those defending Rice for… reasons that are frankly beyond me.

If you’ve read any of my work here you know I speak my mind directly. More than any other topic I’ve discussed, this one has garnered the most negative commentary. That blows my mind but it’s a stark reminder to never underestimate the extent to which hatred of women is normalized and internalized in our society. Let me clear, when I say there’s no excuse for domestic violence I mean that in all of its forms, beyond a simple binary. That obviously includes men being on the receiving end, same sex relationships and transgendered couples, but the current discourse is steeped heavily in trying to find justifications for men to abuse women and maintain that power dynamic. There is absolutely no excuse for it. 

If there were a singular reason we talk about domestic violence in terms predominantly about women, it’s because the exigency of lethal threat is so much greater for them. Of all women murdered in the United States, nearly 40% were killed by a spouse or dating partner. For men that figure is between two and three percent. According to Bureau of Justice Statistics women account for 85% of all victims of intimate partner violence. Domestic violence represents life or death moments for millions, so excuse me if I am out of patience when it comes to false equivalence and strawman arguments.  Read more…