Every October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and with domestic violence scandals becoming increasingly public, this month is even more important.
Initially when news came out about former Baltimore Ravens’ running back Rice about him hitting his then girlfriend and current wife Janay Palmer, he was dealt a two-game suspension, but when the video of the incident was leaked, his suspension became indefinite.
In addition, many celebrities have spoken out about their personal experiences with domestic violence. For example, television and film actress Robin Givens recently appeared on the TODAY show to talk about her abusive marriage with Mike Tyson.
In an article in TIME magazine titled “Why I Stayed,” Givens writes about how social media and video have altered the way people view violent relationships.
In Trenton, N.J., two lawmakers, appalled that NFL star Ray Rice was not given prison time for punching his fiancée have proposed creating new courts in New Jersey dedicated entirely to domestic violence cases.
Overall, the issue of domestic violence highlights how partners of victims are usually the ones to hurt them. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “on average, nearly 20 people per minute are victims of physical violence by an intimate partner in the United States.”
However, it is a world-wide phenomenon rather than a domestic issue. One in three women worldwide are affected by domestic violence, according to Stop Violence Against Women.
It can lead to major problems as evident, according to National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, through the high rates of women, specifically more than 90 percent, who reported domestic violence as the reason why they are homeless.
With all of these statistics and all of these cases, the question must be asked what causes such harm? The case surrounding Rice is horrific, although former General Manager of the Chicago Bears said the NFL covered up hundreds of other domestic violence cases. This is an industry where NFL Commission Roger Goodell said should make $25 billion by 2027 compared to the more than $10 billion it made last year.
It is worth noting, according to the World Health Organization, paternalistic views make men believe it is normal for them to beat women. Only educating men about the importance of gender equality can help overcome domestic violence.
October may end soon, but it does not mean the issue of domestic violence should either. There must be ways to address the issue head-on to prevent more tragic cases.