The Wrong Choices

It never ceases to amaze me how society refuses to make batterers accountable for their actions. Instead of asking, why doesn’t she just leave him? shouldn’t we be asking, why doesn’t he stop hitting her? Do we even bother to think that once she leaves him, he’ll find another punching bag? Wouldn’t it be smarter, then, to stop HIS behavior rather than HERS? (Since we never ask, why doesn’t he just leave her, I’m purposely choosing to use these gender pronouns.) 

If our current approach worked, that is, women left their abuser *safely* (because the most dangerous time for a woman is when she leaves), what would all these batterers do with their time? Would they abuse their boss, their bartender, their friends? I don’t think so. What would society do with these men who’ve lost their punching bags? I think they’ll always find women…even if they have to pay for it, so the problem would never go away.  

Instead of asking her to leave (and think she’ s “stupid” if she doesn’t), why don’t we start asking, why does he abuse her and what can we do to prevent or stop his behavior?

Well, that, to me, sounds like the most rational approach, however, the judge in this article, Lexington Mother of 6 gets 5 years for killing husband, believes the woman is to blame for all her wrong choices in life:

There was rarely a day when Sandra G. Lubben’s family saw her without a black eye.

She endured physical and mental abuse from her husband, David Lubben, because she was scared of what would happen if she reported the violence.

The Lexington mother of six was trapped in an abusive relationship from which she could not escape, her defense attorney said Thursday.

But a circuit court judge said Lubben, 40, made poor choices and would have to face consequences for the final decision she made in her marriage.

And finally:

Goodwine said Lubben made some bad choices, the first being to marry David Lubben after he had shown a history of violence toward her.

“I think other choices should have been made that day. If not that day, the day before,” Goodwine said.

So the judge berates this battered woman for the choices she made in marrying this guy and ignores the choices he made of abusing her on an almost daily basis.  I suppose violent men come with a sign on their foreheads, then? The only telltale signs that we know of are jealousy and controlling behavior. These are traits that are easily confused by many people with love, insecurity and inflexibility. Surely, we don’t believe someone we can be attracted to, someone who has a few “flaws,” would be capable of punching, kicking or throwing a woman down the stairs, do we? If we had a glass ball or a sixth sense for sniffing out potentially abusive men, perhaps we would make better choices, but since we don’t come with such super powers, I think we’d better stick to the abusive behavior, shall we?  

Violence is a CHOICE, afterall, that people make, so let’s blame batterers for choicing violence. Batterers are virtually ignored by the justice system (he seems like a charming man, to me), the media (he was a “nice guy” that “snapped”) and society (“she deserved it”). Until we see violence as a choice and women as an easy target, we will continue on our present track: women are blamed for their “choices,” women are punished for “failure to protect” their children, batterers are not held accountable, men’s homicide rate is declining and women’s remains the same or increases. 

Put the blame where it belongs:  on those that CHOOSE violence not on those who are victims to it.