Posts tagged abuse
Posts tagged abuse
A tea party-affiliated lawmaker in New Hampshire has apologized for remarks he made this week suggesting that people may“like being in abusive relationships.”
State Rep. Mark Warden (R-Manchester) issued a statement Wednesday saying that he hadn’t intended to “demean the victims” of domestic violence, The Concord Monitor reported Thursday morning. He also indicated that he had been talking about the role of state government when he verbally stumbled at a Tuesday committee meeting.
“It was never my intention to minimize the trauma of domestic abuse or in any way demean the victims. I find violence abhorrent,” Warden told the Monitor. “How the state gets involved in people’s personal lives is a topic that requires thoughtful debate and should not be reduced to sound bites. To those whom [sic] may have been offended, I offer my sincere apology.”
Warden had made his original comments during a House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee discussion of a bill to make simple assault just a violation-level offense in some cases. The committee recommended that the full House reject the legislation, while Warden voted to support it.
According to video from Granite State Progress (see below), Warden said Tuesday, “Some people could make the argument that a lot of people like being in abusive relationships. It’s a love-hate relationship. It’s very, very common for people to stick around with somebody they love who also abuses him or her.”
He added, “Is the solution to those kind of dysfunctional relationships going to be more government, another law? I’d say no. People are always free to leave.”
Warden, a second-term lawmaker, chairs the tea party-affiliated New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. He is also involved in the Free State Project, a libertarian effort to move some 20,000 like-minded people to New Hampshire with the aim of influencing state politics. Warden is listed as a recommended real estate agent for project members looking to move to the Granite State.
Feminist Patrick Stewart discusses domestic abuse. This man is amazing in both acting and life.
From Feminist Apostasy.
Tune in to “Anderson Cooper 360°” for the full Marissa Alexander interview tonight at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
(CNN) — Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three, pleaded for her freedom as an inmate in the Duval County Jail in Jacksonville, Florida.
“This is my life I’m fighting for,” she said while wiping away tears. She added, “If you do everything to get on the right side of the law, and it is a law that does not apply to you, where do you go from there?”
Alexander is referring to Florida’s so-called ‘stand your ground’ law, a law that has come under scrutiny since the killing of Trayvon Martin. Unlike the Martin case, which involved one stranger killing another, Alexander’s case involved her gun and her abusive husband.
On August 1, 2010, she said her husband, Rico Gray, read text messages on her phone that she had written to her ex-husband. She said Gray became enraged and accused her of being unfaithful. “That’s when he strangled me. He put his hands around my neck,” Alexander said.
She managed to escape his grip but instead of running out the front door of their home, she ran into the garage, she said, to get into her truck and drive away. Alexander said that in the confusion of the fight, she forgot to get her keys and the garage door wouldn’t open, so she made a fateful decision. “I knew I had to protect myself,” she said, adding, “I could not fight him. He was 100 pounds more than me. I grabbed my weapon at that point.”
She went back inside the house and when Gray saw her pistol at her side, she said he threatened to kill her, so she raised the gun and fired one shot. “I believe when he threatened to kill me, that’s what he was absolutely going to do. That’s what he intended to do. Had I not discharged my weapon at that point, I would not be here.”
Alexander, however, said she did not aim the gun at her husband. She said she fired into the air intending to scare him away and Gray quickly left the house with his two children. No one was hurt in the incident, but Alexander sits in jail facing a 20-year sentence on three charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Gray admitted to a history of physical abuse. In a previous incident, Alexander said he beat her so severely she ended up in the hospital and he ended up in jail. “He pushed me, choked me, pushed me so hard into the closet that I hit my head against the wall and passed out for a second,” Alexander said.
In a deposition for the case against Alexander, Gray backed up much of his wife’s story. “I told her if she ever cheated on me, I would kill her,” he said during the proceeding led by a prosecutor for State Attorney Angela Corey’s office and his wife’s defense attorney.
“If my kids weren’t there, I knew I probably would have tried to take the gun from her,” Gray said, adding, “If my kids wouldn’t have been there, I probably would have put my hand on her.” When Alexander’s defense attorney asked him what he meant by “put my hand on her,” Gray replied, “probably hit her. I got five baby mammas and I put my hands on every last one of them except for one.”
Alexander’s attorney filed a motion for dismissal under the stand your ground law but at that proceeding her husband changed his story. Gray said he lied during his deposition after conspiring with his wife in an effort to protect her. At the hearing, he denied threatening to kill his wife, adding, “I begged and pleaded for my life when she had the gun.” The motion was denied by the judge.
Alexander was offered a plea deal by Corey’s office, but she opted to go to trial. A jury found Alexander guilty in 12 minutes. She is baffled why invoking the stand your ground law wasn’t successful in her case.
“Other defendants have used it. What’s so different about my situation that it doesn’t apply to me?” she asked.
The local NAACP believes race may have played a role.
“There’s a double standard with stand your ground,” said Isaiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville Chapter of the NAACP. “The law is applied differently between African-Americans and whites who are involved in these types of cases,” he added.
Rumlin cited two shooting cases in Florida with white shooters: One had a successful stand your ground defense and the other has yet to be charged with a crime. Online blogs are also raising the question of race. Last week, a spokeswoman for the Rev. Al Sharpton confirmed he, too, was looking into Alexander’s story. When asked about race as a factor in her case, Alexander declined to comment.
CNN requested an interview with Rico Gray for this story. He agreed but later declined through a family friend, saying he was concerned that speaking publicly would put his life in danger. On Sunday, he resumed contact with CNN, offering an interview to “anyone who would like to pay.” Monetary compensation for an interview is against CNN policy.
Through a spokeswoman, State Attorney Angela Corey declined to comment on the case until after the sentencing. Alexander’s attorney, Kevin M. Cobbin, is fighting for a new trial and that hearing is tentatively scheduled for next week. If that motion is denied, Alexander will receive a mandatory 20-year sentence with no possibility of parole.
Gary Tuchman contributed to this report.
Watch Anderson Cooper 360° weeknights 10pm ET. For the latest from AC360° click here.
tw: abuse, rape, domestic violence
A few weeks ago my mom stapled pages of a story in one of her women’s magazines together and handed it to me. She gave it to me pretty much with the tag lines “for your feminist blog” and “something new to consider.” Indeed it was; she knows me well.
The story is titled “I was forced to be pregnant.” With a title like that, reading it was actually not on the top of my to read list. I thought it was about women not exercising their right to choice. I was very, very wrong on that one.
Have you ever heard of Reproductive coercion? It is a term that was quite recently coined by the advocates against domestic violence to describe a certain type of abuse some women face. It occurs when a man pressures their partner to have kids and/or impregnates them against their will. Reproductive coercion comes in three different types:
1. Emotional pressure that turns into verbal and physical abuse.
2. Sabotaging birth control
3. Marital rape
Over 75% of women 19-49 who reported once experiencing domestic violence also endured some type of reproductive control by men. It’s all about control and domination over a woman’s body.
The first story in the magazine is about a woman who got married around 36 years of age. After a few months of dating her boyfriend talked excitedly about having children. After he proposed he began calling her “The Babymaker.” She then confided with him that one of her fallopian tubes was blocked. He in return insisted she see a fertility doctor. She recounts, “I had finally met a great guy who was eager to start a family with me. What woman wouldn’t fall for that?” Soon after her honeymoon he persisted on in an obsessive manner, but his efforts had to be temporarily halted as she had to get emergency back surgery. Alas, 6 months into recovery he was back to pressuring her again. She was in much pain at the time due to her back, but she agreed to In Vitro Fertilization. She then became pregnant, but soon miscarried. In response, her husband grabbed her by the neck, choking her. He apologized, blaming his outburst on his grief and had her sign up for another round of IVF. And then a third round. She tried to put him off with the excuse that she needed to weigh more before she could take treatments, her husband forced her to get on the scale often and filled the fridge with fattening foods. “It hurt that all I was good for was getting pregnant.” She recounts. At the end, he screamed at her, threatening to replace her with a maid if she couldn’t get pregnant and she told him she no longer wanted to have his child. He destroyed bedroom furniture, pushed her down the stairs and threatened her with a gun. She fled to a domestic violence shelter.
The second story was about a woman who faced marital rape. This woman was 40, had a then boyfriend and two children from a previous marriage. After telling her boyfriend she did not want any more children, her boyfriend refused to wear a condom and began to rape her. She then became pregnant with her third child. Birth control was never an option for her because she couldn’t hide pills anywhere for he went through all of her belongings. Three months after giving birth, he raped her again, impregnating her with twins. She lost the twins in a physical fight with him, but soon became pregnant again. During her recovery she begged her obstetrician to remove her ovaries and devise a lie to tell him; that she had cancer. After a decade of sexual abuse and violence she was able to get a job that kept her out of the house and often times traveling.
One in four callers to the National Domestic Abuse hotline said that their partners had tried to force them to become pregnant. Why? As one woman stated, “Its like he wants to own me from the inside out.” Having a baby is the perfect tie that binds. These type of abusers want to create a circumstance in which their partner is dependent on him.
WHAT’S THAT HAVE TO DO WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD?
Many voters never consider how defunding these clinics could hurt victims of domestic violence who turn to them for counseling as well as pregnancy prevention. Abused women will turn to health care providers long before they will turn to domestic abuse hotlines and organizations. Many women in abusive relationships rely on life saving, affordable care programs such as Title X. It is critical that such places are open and operation when women and children need them so desperately.
holy fuck im crying.
I know I’ve told this story before, but my abusive ex refused to let me take birth control. I was on the pill until he found them in my purse.
I went to the Student Health Center—they were completely unhelpful, choosing to lecture me about the importance of safe sex (recommending condoms) instead of actually listening to my problem.
Then I went to Planned Parenthood. The Nurse Practitioner took one look at my fading bruises and stopped the exam. She called in the doctor. The doctor came in and simply asked me: “Are you ready to leave him?” When I denied that I was being abused, she didn’t argue with me. She just asked me what I needed. I said I need a birth control method that my boyfriend couldn’t detect. She recommended a few options and we decided on Depo.
When I told her that my boyfriend read my emails and listened to my phone messages and was known to follow me, she suggested to do the Depo injections at off hours when the clinic was normally closed. She made a note in my chart and instructed the front desk never to leave messages for me—instead, she programmed her personal cell phone number into my phone under the name “Nora”. She told me she would call me to schedule my appointments; she wouldn’t leave a message, but I should call her back when I was able to.
And that was it. No judgment. No lecture. She walked me to the door and told me to call her day or night if I needed anything. That she lived 5 blocks from campus and would come get me. That I wasn’t alone. That she just wanted me to be safe.
I never called her to come to my rescue. But I have no doubt that she would have come if I had called. She kept me on Depo for a year, giving me those monthly injections in secret, helping me prevent a desperately unwanted pregnancy.
I cannot thank Planned Parenthood enough for the work they do.
SUCH an important consideration. Many people don’t understand how you can be FORCED to carry a child. It’s very real and it’s very possible. And thankfully it is nothing that ever happened in my relationship, but who knows what the future could have held (especially because the main drive behind me finally getting out was fear for any potential future children).
I don’t have anything to add because I think it’s all been said, but this is some REAL shit that needs to be reblogged as much as possible.
This is real. The man that ruined men for me tried to do this.
Yet another video of a cop overstepping his bounds.
If you need any further proof that we are in the midst of a full-on patriarchal biblical-religious war on women, a Wisconsin lawmaker is happy to provide it.
According to Yahoo News, Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore helpfully suggests that, rather than divorcing an abusive spouse, you should try to remember the things you love about the guy while he is beating you up.
In Wisconsin — yes, the same state where lawmakers have introduced a bill penalizing single mothers for being unmarried — a Republican state representative has come out against divorce for any reason — even domestic abuse.
Instead of leaving an abusive situation, women should try to remember the things they love about their husbands, Representative Don Pridemore said. “If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” he told a local news station.
Pridemore — who, coincidentally, is a co-sponsor of Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman’s “being single causes child abuse” bill as well as a controversial voter ID bill that was ruled unconstitutional earlier this week.
Grothman now asserts that not only is single parenthood a factor in child abuse, women in particular are to blame for it.
Basically, if you are female, Mr. Grothman and Mr. Pridemore feel you are worthless once you leave the delivery room. According to Yahoo, “while [Pridemore] thinks women are capable of caring for a family “in certain situations,” fathers are the only ones who provide structure and discipline. If they don’t grow up with married biological parents, Pridemore says, “kids tend to go astray.”
And what’s his excuse?
PETA may be crazy, but this is a real problem.
Thank you society for proving once again that you suck. Really? Chris Brown gets a Grammy? Does the fact that he beat the shit out of Rihanna mean nothing to you? No. Fine, douchebags, whatever. Well, at least you have to care about music, right? I mean, come on! They had to shut off his mic AFTER auto tuning him in his Grammy performance. He ended lip syncing THAT’S HOW TERRIBLE HE IS!
Thank you society. Thank you Grammys. You have restored my faith that you both SUCK.
Chauvinistic Asshole Man Who’s Name No Longer Matters,
It is closing on four years since I finally understood who you are and very politely told you to go fuck yourself. There are times I wish I had responded to those text messages. Times I wish I had pretended we were “okay” just so I could verbally unleash my arsenal of rage to your face. More importantly, there are times that I wish you were dead. I still do wish you were dead at times. And if murder were justifiable in this instance I would be the one holding the knife. But it is not…and I have learned to live with that.
However, in learning to live with that I have been forced into a state of self-suppression. I am not only unable to forgive you and myself for this situation, but I am unable to look at another man and see anything but your face and the shattered trust I am left with. With all the lies that have been revealed, how could I possibly believe that there are no ulterior motives present in every man’s words and actions? Years of therapy have been unable to make me think otherwise and such has led e to believe that there is something prohibiting my escape to complete freedom.
I have found it both comforting and easy to blame this cage on the fact that you are still living. You see, if your continued existence is the reason that I remain the victim then I bring none of the blame on myself. I still do not think I deserve the blame. You destroyed me!
You see, you were beneath me and I hold myself to such a high standard that there is no way that any of this could have happened without you tricking me in some way. I want to believe this. I want to continue to be the victim so that I can continue to cling to my safety blanket of faultlessness and blame upon you. So that I can continue to cling to what I have come to know as normal. So that I can continue to harbor a comfortable anger and hatred instead of embarking into a freedom and peace in the unknown realm of recovery and responsibility for my actions.
But after 4 years and an expensive education, I believe that I have matured enough to admit that I deserve to be happy. That I deserve to move on. That I deserve to be free of you. That I deserve forgiveness.
You do not deserve forgiveness, but in the process of forgiving myself I must learn to let go of my grudge against you. Does this mean that I now think you are a good person? That I believe you have changed? That I feel you do not hold blame? Does this mean that I do not think I deserve justice for what you have done? Absolutely not.
Here is what it does mean:
My forgiveness means that I accept that I was naive and blinded by a neediness and thus allowed you to get a hold of me. It means that I accept that I am not perfect. That I made a mistake in trusting you. That I will make mistakes in the future. That I have and will continue to learn.
My forgiveness means that I am no longer going to waste energy wishing I could make your life justifiably miserable. That I will stop hoping for you to learn your lesson. That I will finally wash myself of your filth.
My forgiveness means that I release your negative energy that lingers and let it return to the universe. That I leave it up to the fates to decide what will happen and trust that your soul will be cleansed or judged as the universe intends. That I will accept your purpose as a dark to balance out the light. That I will take a deep breath and know that I no longer have to care about what happens to you. That I no longer have to carry around your memory as a warning against everyone.
My forgiveness means that I am finally walking away without the need to look back. That I will examine myself and feel vindicated by the life that I have lived and the future that awaits me. That I will evolve and leave you behind to make your choice to do the same or stay as you are.
But our time together is officially over.
Our energies can separate and I can shine as bright as I want without fear of a cage. I know now that I have the strength to break free of any cage because I have dismantled yours and broken your strongest chains from around my ankles. I can breathe the free air by my own strength.
So, I forgive you in that I will no longer carry your pain with me.
I forgive myself for imperfections and mistakes.
I forgive us for allowing our own respective self-destruction.
I forgive myself and thank the universe for using you to show me a strength in myself I may never have found.
I forgive you for being an instrument of fate.
So, I forgive you.
I wish you luck in the life you create for yourself.
I thank you for breaking me down.
I thank myself for finding the strength to build back up.
I breathe free air.
I wash my hands and take a road of light.
May the fates be as kind and instructive to you as they were to me.
The Woman Who’s Name You Have Long Forgotten
The Woman Who’s Name She Has Finally Remembered