Domestic violence is real. It is so pervasive and widespread. There is not a specific prototype of an abuser. There is not a specific type of community where it happens. For those who have personally not experienced it or do not know people involved in domestic violence, we all have the idea in the back of our minds that it happens. But do we know how often it actually happens? I think there are two things that might help the rates of domestic abuse to decrease in America…
1. Don’t just reference it. Address it.
2. Victims be bold enough to voice it.
It needs to be addressed. But how?
To lighten the mood slightly, my mind went straight to a particular reality television show: The Real Housewives. I won’t lie. Real Housewives (all cities) is my guilty pleasure because it is such good/crazy/unfathomable entertainment. But, one thing that came from the Beverly Hills season was a housewife experiencing domestic violence. And the issue wasn’t just a one-episode thing. It was the center of numerous episodes. I know I am not the only person who watches that show. In fact, I would bet there are tens of thousands of televisions playing that show, maybe more. Even though the women of the show are not characteristic of the average American female, what was brought to light was the issue of domestic violence and it was brought to the attention of many, many people.
As a churchgoer and future leader in ministry, I challenge myself and others to speak on it. But not just once. For the church leader, maybe instead make it into a sermon series. I immediately think about megachurches, specifically North Point because I am a regular viewer, and the amazing number of people that make up the congregation, including TV and Internet viewers. The reality of domestic violence would reach tens of thousands of homes. Even if my home church spoke on it, it would reach thousands of homes. As leaders of our communities and communities of faith and as people living in a society rooted upon justice and liberty, I believe we all have an unwritten obligation to protect and care for others.
Victims need to be bold enough to voice it.
I understand it’s not that easy. But if our communities take on the responsibility of caring instead of ignoring or even disbelieving, victims might see more benefits than risks when considering telling someone about the domestic violence they are experiencing or experienced in the past.
Most of you probably know that I like to keep my blog posts fairly short. Therefore, I’m not going to say much more on this subject matter. Hopefully this at the least makes you think on domestic violence for even just a few minutes when you finish reading this.
Love one another.