Domestic Abuse Awareness…Awareness Isn’t Enough

As some of you might have noticed from Mimi’s comic earlier in the month…October, which is almost over now, is Domestic Abuse Awareness Month (among other awarenesses).

I come from a family that sees a lot of domestic abuse. Many of my aunts go from one drunken ‘provider’ to another. I know of relatives who have quit jobs because they were too ashamed to go to work with the black eye, so they just claimed they wanted to spend more time at home and called into work to put in their “I’m not coming in, ever again” notice.

So this article about a woman who was fired by Chipotle because she had missed work, due to her boyfriend beating the living shit out of her, hit close to home. It wasn’t so much her particular story, as infuriating as it may be, because many of my relatives voluntarily either go back to their abusers because they refuse to listen to reason, they just like the ‘bad boy’ image of the guy who beats the hell out of the them, or some other stupid reason.

They get abused because they won’t stop the abuse, no matter how hard anyone tries to help, not because they can’t. That’s an issue of itself, but that’s something that has to be changed within the person in question and perhaps within society, itself. I know too many people who stay in bad relationships for stupid reasons and won’t listen when you point out how stupid their reason is or how bad their relationship is.

The wife and I had a friend who was in an emotionally toxic relationship. We still can’t explain why he was still with her. She was an 18-year-old and was going through her first sexual peak. They’d been dating for three years and hadn’t gone past the fondling stage.

Hell they didn’t even do that, to be honest. Their sexual activities basically came down to them finding some private time and her either giving him a hand job or a blowjob and then them listening to music or him leaving.

One night, they had the entire house to themselves. She put on a sexy outfit and they started making out. She was very shy and had low self-esteem, but she presented herself to him like a lioness in heat. She pulled out her breasts and started kissing down his neck.

He pulled out his dick and starting jacking it while she suckled on his neck. He didn’t grab a handful of boob, he didn’t even look at her boobs, he just beat off. It was over in five minutes and then he decided to go play video games at his neighbor’s house while she sat in a dark room and cried. Just another Friday night.

Did I mention the part where they were together for three years? When they did finally have sex he refused to do it vaginally and made her roll over so he could screw her in the butt. She was so sex-craved she agreed and she managed to get close from it. He came in about two minutes and when she asked him to finish her off his excuse was, “I’m too tired. I think I’m gonna go home and play some games before I go to bed.”

Still pointing out that she stayed with him for over three years. That is until he finally dumped her for another woman and admitted that he’d cheated on her a few times while they were dating.

Did I mention the part where he was a 19-year-old with no job and she was a full-time student, also working a full-time job, and she paid for everything that his parents didn’t already pay for. If they went on a date, she paid. If they hit the movies, she paid. Wanna go to a concert? She paid for their tickets and travel expenses/lodging. If he was hungry and his parents weren’t home to cook for him, he’d call her up and ask her to go on a date; and she paid.

This is something that I have no idea how to fix. She would complain about how he mistreated her every time we got together and hung out. To the point that it was 80-90% of our conversations with her, the rest being either how much she hated her university or how much she hated her coworkers.

Like I said, something I don’t know to fix. These people need to be empowered, but you can’t empower those who refuse to seize power.

You know what I do have a solution for, though? A really easy one, at that! People being fired for getting the shit kicked out of them by a spouse/suitor.

The article I linked to says that only 7 states in the U.S. have laws that protect abuse victims from being fired because they were abused. Only 18 of the remaining 43 states allow an abuse victim to collect unemployment if they are fired.

Only about half the states in the country even have laws to protect abuse victims from being evicted by their landlords for calling the police. Imagine that, losing your home because you had to call the police to protect you from a nutjob who wants to hurt you? Happens every day.

Abuse victims are already in a vulnerable state, they can’t afford to lose their jobs, their benefits, and their homes on top of the abuse. I’ve heard of cases where a woman left her abusive husband because he finally took a swing at the kids and that was too much for her. But with no education, no credit, no job, and no home, they took her kids away and gave them over to the father.

The laws need to change. We protect hate speech as a constitutional right, but we don’t protect people from getting the shit beat out of them by someone they trusted? Next time you see a man or a woman with a busted lip, shuddering every time their spouse looks at them remember that it wasn’t really that victim who let that happen most times…it was the busted country we live in that let that happen.

~RCS

 

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