Monday, September 28, 2009

Taking a Look at Domestic Violence

The Domestic Violence Center was kind enough to open their doors to myself and a few other staff members for a condensed training and orientation on domestic violence. It was a great refresher for me and I took away a lot of things that will be useful as we continue to deal with this topic in volunteer training.

In particular, I wanted to share with all of you a powerful clip from 20/20 that the DVC regularly uses in their training. This is disturbing video of a woman being emotionally and physically abused by her husband - her 13 year old son is actually operating the video camera and her 8 year old son witnesses the assault.

Like I said, it is disturbing so please view at your own discretion and only if you're comfortable.

I personally can't believe the woman on the tape is actually the same one being interviewed - the difference is striking. After reviewing this I had some questions and concerns about the effects of the children involved and I'm clearly not the only one. Tim Boehnlein made reference to interviews with Oprah the woman's two youngest boys gave approximately 2 years after the incident. I tracked them down and you can watch the interview with the older boy who shot the videotape as well as the interview with the younger child who witnessed this particular assault as well as almost daily abuse.

Not discussed in these examples but what we see all too often are cases of domestic violence where sex is used as a weapon and where victims are forced to have sex when they don't want to, in ways they don't consent to and sometimes with partners they don't agree to.

Both the CRCC and DVC are dealing with very upsetting and overwhelming issues but I find comfort in the fact that we're both working so hard and that we're both so willing to work together. My thanks to them for all they do!

Please share your thoughts, comments, reactions, questions ...

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