This just popped up in my facebook feed (as does most news nowadays if I’m honest): http://politicalscrapbook.net/2012/09/councillor-claims-some-see-benefits-of-domestic-violence-columba-blango-lib-dem-simon-hughes/ and although there’s always some doubts about the veracity of slurs such as this on the internet, a quick browse seems to substantiate the fact that an ex-mayor of Southwark feels that domestic violence is on a par with smacking, and as such won’t apologise for what he said because some people “see the benefits” in smacking your child.
One of the many things that infuriates me about this: hitting your partner is never excusable or adviasable or even beneficial. If someone in power says that it’s ok to hit your partner, then where does that lead to? That leads down the road that says corporal punishment is perfectly acceptable. I was brought up in a house where my wrist was slapped for misbehaving, but only after the count of three. My dad did things slightly differently, and while I don’t blame him for what he did, I am never going to do that to my children.
How is it ok to slap your partner in the heat of the moment? And if it starts there, when will it start to seep into the rest of your life until you have an abusive relationship and the other person is living in terror of putting a foot wrong and upsetting you? This councillor has suggested that “bullying” can also be applied as a better term to domestic violence – were you bullied as a child? Surely if you were, you felt the same anxiety that a person living in an abusive relationship would do, except this time around there are no dinner ladies to run to and you can’t go home at 3pm to get away from it. If it is bullying, it’s a far worse form of bullying because you’re supposed to be in a loving relationship with this person and you’re probably still in love with them. So you just put up with it until you’re pushed to breaking point and something snaps and you hit back. Maybe with more than just a fist.
Domestic violence and abusive relationships are horrific things that shouldn’t be demoted to “bullying” or acceptable levels of “discipline” like a light tap on the wrist to remind you that you shouldn’t be pulling your sister’s hair (or whatever). It’s that ridiculous reasoning that gets applied to rapists – “they just couldn’t control themselves”. That reduces them to a sub human level, and I don’t agree with that. People are people and I want to believe that everyone is inherently good. It’s unthinking, privileged and downright insensitive. And as for the female councillor who suggested he should apologise and got called “emotional” for her troubles? Yay for anti-women slurs!
Peace out. I’m off to drown my anger in rum.