At a domestic violence conference, the crowd sat engrossed in the speaker’s 30-year history of abuse. When she called him the “scum of the earth,” heads nodded.
She ended saying that her daughter had grown up to be a victim, too, and that her son had become a perpetrator. I wrestled with that thought and asked, “You mentioned your son had become a perpetrator. Do you think your son is the scum of the earth, too? Or was he just unlucky to have been raised in a family and cultural dynamic where he was taught to manage his emotions through violence?” Silence.
Now we are watching the story of NFL player Ray Rice. Rejecting Rice will not make this problem go away. This is a national tragedy for men and our culture. It works itself out on college campuses through rape, in gun violence on the streets and in a third of all our homes where domestic violence runs rampant.
Let’s not reject Rice and his wife, let’s embrace. Let’s talk about how we’ve become overwhelmed with solving problems through violence in the vacuum of teaching boys how to grow up and manage their feelings. Let’s break this cycle.
Ann G. Kramer, Apex