By Any Other Name…
I no longer like the name Domestic Violence. It’s become just another phrase about what’s wrong with our society. Doesn’t grab you anymore. Just like so many other issues that are being paraded before us constantly on the 24 hr news cycle. There it is, squeezed between how there is a resurgence of heroin addiction amongst women, and Hillary Clinton’s latest quest for gun control. Too frequently it’s greeted with placating smiles of semi-concern, and gets filed in the, “don’t bother me, I don’t want to think about it” file we all have.
So, it’s Domestic Violence no longer. From now on, it’ll be “Your daughter’s husband beat her last night” violence, or “Your sister is too stupid to have any money of her own” violence, or “your niece is so incompetent she can’t live without her boyfriend” violence, or “If your daughter tries to leave him, he’ll kill her, or the grandkids, or both” violence. There we go. Those are a little catchier. Nope, won’t file those in the “don’t go there” file. Maybe they’ll get put into the….”Not gonna happen to my daughter, no way!” or “Not to my mother, no sir” files. Hopefully, they won’t get filed at all. They’ll get action instead.
It’s amazing what is in a name. It can really change things up. Of course, marketing people know this and use it all the time to get you to part with your money, or change your perceptions, or choices. It’s a reality, so we need to be real about it. When it’s “She has been living for years, completely stressed, walking on egg shells, never knowing what to expect, demoralized, insulted, weakened emotionally, putting on a good face for family and friends, if she’s allowed to see them at all, afraid to leave because she is no longer sure she can make it without him or his money, or that he will harm her or the children or both if she does” violence, do you think we will have our perceptions changed, will we make different choices, part with our money? Maybe, but only if it’s become something important to us.
I hope it is important to us, as the community of Okeechobee. I hope so. None of us really want our girls beaten, afraid, demoralized, unable to live their own lives, do we. Do we?
But marketing won’t let me use a 50 word exclamation as a name. It’s too long. So I’ll have to pick a couple of words to name it. Well, it is violent. And it happens in family relationships, mostly at home out of sight; that’d be domestic. So, ha, Domestic Violence! Maybe it isn’t a bad name after all. Just needed a little freshening up.
Freshen up your perspective this October, call Domestic Violence what it is: An Inexcusable and Intolerable Brutality.
If you need help or information all 24hrs, Martha’s House 863 763 0202.
Jonathan Bean, Executive Director.