Why do we, as feminists (collectively), and as anti-violence activists in general, typically ignore the largest group of victims when we talk about domestic violence?
The group that can’t get away under their own steam, no way, no how? The group that can’t defend itself effectively? The group that has no self-advocates who are listened to?
The group that it is not just tolerated, but outright legal to hit? The group that is told that hitting is their own damn fault, not only by the hitters but by bystanders and society? The group that is instructed that being hit is the only way they will ever learn? The group that is told that freedom from violence would make them into terrible people?
The group who are victims of family violence at rates upward of 80%, maybe even 90%, in this country? (Figures are hard to find.)
When we talk about the ways in which family violence is tolerated and ignored and excused, about power structures reinforcing our violent culture, about victim-blaming, about victims being disbelieved and dismissed – why are we quietly ignoring so many victims?
From now on, I’m committing to noticing this. Every time “domestic violence” or “family violence” is mentioned in the mainstream media, on blogs, in other places, I’m going to try to notice whether the writer has considered violence against children. And possibly point it out, here and there.
Note: No pro-violence or apologist comments will be tolerated here.