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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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Ray Rice and Domestic Violence

Uploaded: Sep 9, 2014
There has been a great outrage and shock for people to see the video of Ray Rice slugging his then fiancé, now wife. We heard about it, but actually seeing it has been powerful to many people, changing their perspectives.

We see so much violence and destruction on TV and movies that we know is not real, and so it can be hard to imagine domestic violence.

Domestic violence happens everywhere, in every ethnicity, in every class. Men hit women and women hit men. Children are harmed.

People need help. Here's a list by county from Nextdoor Solutions where they can get it.

There is a very good, thorough article by Allison Bressler about the cycle and progression of spousal abuse in called "Love and Murder in Suburbia: A True Story" in the September/October 2014 issue of Scientific American Mind. You will need to buy or have a subscription to read the whole article.

The abuse and murder took place in an upscale suburban area. "No amount of wealth or privilege could protect her . . . the upscale town in which she lived made her situation particularly problematic," writes Bressler.

One detail: one in four women aged 18 to 49 and one in seven men have at some point experienced severe violence (by their partner), according to a 2010 survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Comments

 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sean, a resident of Midtown,
on Sep 9, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Chandrama,

I am a man who was taught, by both my parents, to never ever hit a woman...even if she hits you. I never have, nor do I even have the urge within in me...I know that I have the physical power to cover up and be defensive.

Now I want to discuss the other side of issue...a woman who verbally abuses her man, sometimes endlessly. If he becomes depressed and goes to drink or commits suicide, is she a contributor? It's not my situation, but I have male friends for whom it is. Yes, one of them did resort to physical abuse on his wife, but others did not. Men are not, by nature, like women, in that we don't like to verbalize as much or express our deepest feelings on a regular basis. My wife and I get along, because we recognize our differences, and laugh about them, with neither of us caving in, just to get along. It is a dance, sometimes an edgy one, not a war.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Sep 9, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Did people really need to see the video to know that domestic violence is a real thing? There's no way I am going to watch a video of two people at what is probably one of the lowest moments in their lives. I wish that videos like these weren't publicized and used as entertainment and sensationalistic journalism. I mean, TMZ released it. Their intentions are to entertain and shock. The police need to see a video like this, the public does not.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Stop the Trolls, a resident of Mountain View,
on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

@RW: And if that video had not been made public, Ray Rice would have been reinstated after his two-game suspension, and he would have been free to make a living without having suffered any real consequences for his actions (remember, the authorities in Atlantic County gave him nothing more than a slap on the wrist).

This whole situation smells like "business as usual."


 +  Like this comment
Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Sep 9, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Stop the Trolls.
I "get" domestic violence and that's why I choose not to watch videos of domestic violence. It sounds like a lot of people did watch the video. Am I in the minority for not wanting to watch a guy beat the crap out of the woman he says he loves?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Sep 10, 2014 at 8:16 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Sean,
I have seen and heard both men and women verbally abuse their partner, almost endlessly. I do think it contributes to depression and anxiety, and at times, suicide. Many times these individuals and couples can work through the issues and change their brain. They need to do the work it takes.

Sounds like you and your wife have found ways to make your marriage work for you and be heard by the other. Glad to hear you've found your way to make the edgy dance work.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Steve, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:10 pm

@RW

"Did people really need to see the video to know that domestic violence is a real thing?"

Before the video surfaced, he had a two-game suspension. After the video surfaced, he got a life-time ban.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by RW, a resident of another community,
on Sep 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Steve,
"Before the video surfaced, he had a two-game suspension. After the video surfaced, he got a life-time ban."

Yes, and after the video surfaced, his wife, the survivor of the abuse, has been vilified for staying with him. Called a gold digger and worse. As the victim of a violent crime, where is her right to privacy?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Sep 10, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Please, let's not pick on each other, or escalate this conversation. Once a point is made, let's not repeat ourselves, even if we feel others have misunderstood or not listened to.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by No Football League, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Sep 10, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Yes, like that would ever happen.

This is why I can't stand pro sports any longer. It's only about the sport, nothing else matters. Take our own local team for instance. The only thing that matters is the game. Forget about the fact that someone was arrested (I'm sorry, you are not arrested w/o cause), they can help the team win. Doesn't matter what they do off the field. If they can play, that's it. Look at what they are saying about Rice, (paraphrasing), "we can't say he will never play again."

Do you need any further proof?!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Sep 11, 2014 at 6:00 pm

I appreciate Sean's comment above ... it takes a lot of guts to ask that question these days.

The thing that makes this subject so edgy is that no one knows what the truth of what people say is. Like religion, a lot of the most holier than thou people are often found to have the most problems.

We do not know the frequency or circumstances of abuse.

In no way do I mean to condone or defend this elevator knock-out punch thing, and this woman went on to marry this guy, so is there another parallel dynamic going on here that causes people to, for wont of a better term, "prostitute" themselves for what they think is a better life than they can get on their own, even if it means taking the chance of getting beat up?

This woman can play for the victim for years if she wants, and if she can goad this obviously moronic out of control neanderthal into punching her again, she can sue him for millions and get a divorce and take any kids ... in short she can use the law to set herself up, assuming she doesn't get killed.

Violence is a fact of life that we come down on in the few limited circumstances we see in public, but there is never a drill down to understand what it is all about, we just say anyone who is weak enough to lose control, no matter what is wrong because we subscribe to the idea that there is no other way to handle this trespass?

So now with kids we sometimes see parents threatened by the law for disciplinary failures. We probably never see the fights and thing that happen in schools between kids. I went through our public school system and saw quite a bit of violence in both word and deed.

We are not managing this problem by the silly way we handle it in the media and in public.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Sep 11, 2014 at 6:18 pm

I like "No Football League" comments about sports.
I have never liked professional sports and have gotten a hard time as a
man for it. It was clear that these people who --comment deleted -- involved in all kinds of things, and it is such a huge
institution in our culture that it has to say something powerful about
American culture.

I would like to see some way to remove undesirable people from sports
competition, the stereotype example of course would be Mike Tyson.

We seem to leave good behavior for the average people, which makes
behaving badly a kind of status symbol that over time corrupts our
society.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Sep 12, 2014 at 7:53 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

CrescentParkAnon, You ask some interesting, thoughtful questions in your first, long post. We have to remember that we have the tiniest slice of information about the external circumstances of a situation, and even less of the person's inner life.

In your second, shorter post, I think it is fair to consider that there are a percentage of "thugs, liars, abusers, and criminals" in every field, in every culture, every ethnicity, every class.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by boscoli, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Sep 12, 2014 at 11:56 am

If videos and still photos taken with soldiers' cell phones weren't taken at Abu Ghraib, w might not know have found out of what was going on there. TMZ probably wanted to shock and profit, but in the grand scheme of things we have all benefitted from that shocking video.

Even more importantly than the Ray Rice incident itself, there is perhaps a minuscule chance that at last we as a nation will begin to realize what a horrible, damaging, corrupting and nihilistic a sport American football is, and maybe this incident will be the first yard in a thousand mile journey of phasing out this gladiator sport and eventually eliminate it. From the adoration, cuddling and sheltering of jocks, beginning in high school, through college, shaping young men who enter the NFL believing they are masters of the universe, above the law and shouldn't abide by any societal standard others are expected to abide by, especially in their behavior toward women. The sport itself is extremely violent, and it's naive to think that men who are taught every day for many years to be so violent, can just leave it on the playing or training field and not take that those violent instincts and mentality with them to their real life.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sea-Seelam REDDY, a resident of College Terrace,
on Sep 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Unfortunately violent behavior is some what comes with the person.

It is always hurtful to both parties and children

Each family is different; we need to handle sensitively, with concern towards the victim and children and elderly family members.

The ugly truth is it is an addictive, it goes away and comes back. Like cigarette smoking addiction.

Medical cure? may be; but help the victim and their close family as much as we can.

respecctfull

respectfully


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Sep 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Yes, we do need to help the family, children, elders, and the victim, as much as we can.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Sep 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Comment deleted


 +  Like this comment
Posted by My thoughts, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Sep 20, 2014 at 10:59 am

Crescentparkanon you do realize mike Tyson is no longer relevant in sports right? And hasn't been for like 15 years. Use Floyd may weather as an example. Also do all of you realize it is the sponsers who pay hundreds of millions to name stadiums and advertise that pay these crazy salaries? That's why when someone does something stupid and makes a team look bad, sponsers pull out. They do not want there products associated with dog fighting, gangs, domestic violence. May weather just made 30 million last week, and guess what????? He has NO sponsers!!!! He is his own promote and he generates 100's of millions in pay per view money. He can't read ...fact. He beat his wife to a pulp and got off clean with a plea..fact. He is worth hundreds of millions and doesn't give a crap. Who needs to read when you can pay someone to do it for you. These guys will play again weather it's in the NFL, afl (arena) cfl (Canadian) .

[Comment deleted]


1 more thing that hopefully make all you think...


Brandi chaste in recently pleaded guilty to domestic violence and received no punishment and played against Mexico yesterday! She is a bigger role model to girls then Ray rice is to boys. Sexist world we live in huh.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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