Last night, my husband and I were sitting on the opposite sides of the Ray Rice situation. Shortly after, I found myself sitting in the judgement chair of my own trial of past, volatile mistakes. My husband became the prosecutor, throwing damaging evidence out against me. My defense team sat there in silence scrambling to pull something out of its ass.
Before I go any further with my post I want to make a few things clear. I have never been the victim of domestic violence. With the exception of one sexual partner who got the wrong idea and decided to put his hands around my throat assuming that is what I wanted, I have never suffered the pains of being struck by a boyfriend or my husband.
Now with all that being said, what does one usually think of when they think of domestic violence? I think it would be safe to say, often the first thing you think of is a woman being abused by her husband or boyfriend.
According to The Boston Globe, "An estimated 1 in 6 women who have been victimized by domestic violence experienced being hit with a fist, and 29.7 percent said they’d been slapped, pushed, or shoved."
While the statistics for domestic violence against women seem to be relatively consistent amongst surveys, the numbers for domestic abuse against males seem to be more inconsistent. I have found surveys stating that 4% of domestic violence reports are men and stretch all the way to 40%.
As I looked over various sites and surveys about domestic violence against men and women by their "intimate partners," I couldn't help but think about the disagreement between my husband and I that inspired me to write this.
I would be lying if I said I fully stood behind the belief, "A man should never hit a woman." After reading some of the abuse stories online of woman against their male partners, I couldn't help but think, "What a pussy. Why didn't you fight back against her?!"
When my husband seemed to get annoyed by the fact that I said Ray Rice was wrong, I was a little thrown off. While my defense team started off strong in our different views, they were somewhat silenced when the prosecution (my husband) held a figurative mirror to my face.
Photo by Alex Baker PhotographyHe asked if I ever made a mistake and had I never been so mad that I made a impulsive reaction that was wrong. Then he called me physically abusive. While I tried to argue my point, the look on his face told me that I had already lost my case in his eyes.
Now don't get it wrong, my husband doesn't condone Ray Rice's actions and I am not beating on my husband like a crazed woman. But I have had my child like moments where my response was to hit as opposed to use my words. But in my mind I never intended any true harm. It is one particular incident that he mentioned that solidified his case and later on made me think about my own actions.
One of my cousins once said that there is something about your family and your partner that they just know how to push the button that no one else can. The button that depletes you of your sanity and sense of right and wrong. My husband found that button and it has left a literal and physical permanent mark in our relationship.
With all of this being said, I still think Ray Rice is wrong. I have been wrong. Laying your hands on a loved one is wrong and isn't gender exclusive. My issue with Ray Rice is how he handled his wife after the punch and even to this day he has apologized to everyone publicly but his wife which I find to be odd. But what Janay Rice and my husband have taught me, it is none of my business and despite the camera in her situation......we don't really know what is going on behind closed doors. A victim shouldn't be blamed, but sometimes a story is not always as one sided as we want to envision.