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Editorial: Stop Tolerating the Violence

Linda A Osmundson, Executive Director CASA

It is about time that the NFL finally took appropriate action when a player cold cocked his fiancée. Why did it take so long? Without the video, it might have been swept under the rug just like the domestic violence committed by other athletes.

In the comments after the news articles, we re-victimize the victim by questioning her behavior. Why did she marry him? Is she a gold digger? Why did she stand by her man in her public statement? Quite frankly, who cares? Focus on the abuser. He has the problem. Why did he hit her?

Why did he scoot her comatose body out of the elevator with his feet?

This wasn’t the first time. Maybe it was the first time he got caught. Why was this hulking man entitled to hit anyone off of the football field? Why did he hit someone he professes to love? Why did this man choose to pick up his fist that was connected to his arm and knock out his girlfriend like she was an opposing prize fighter? Why did he ask her to marry him? Why didn’t he just leave?

Until we find answers, until the community stops blaming the victim, until our children stop witnessing violence, until we begin to take domestic violence as the serious problem it is, until we stop allowing entitled men to control their partners, until we stop preaching this from the pulpits and looking the other way in our school yards and our workplaces, we will suffer the effects of domestic violence in our communities. This problem has a fix. It isn’t a disease or an addiction. It requires a change in attitude individually and collectively as a community. It isn’t hard to fix or even expensive. It is a fix that we as a community have to reinforce. We have to stop tolerating violence at home or in our neighbor’s home.

No excuses.

Linda A, Osmundson has worked at CASA St. Petersburg (Community Action Stops Abuse) for 25 years. She may be reached at 727-895-4912 or losmunds@casa-stpete.org.

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