“I don’ t need that — I don’t hit my wife.”
Not long ago, I tabled for Start Out Fresh Intervention Advocates at a farmer’s market. It was pretty quiet, with some people walking by uncomfortably, and a few cracking jokes, like the one above. I also had one or two people strike up conversations that began as seemingly sincere questions and turned into jokes about wives taking away credit cards or playful spankings. And I get it. Domestic Violence is not an easy topic to discuss.
On the other hand, I was also able to talk with and share resources with a woman who shared her abuse from almost two decades ago. She’d never sought help or support, and she was clearly still traumatized. I also spoke with a man who listened and then teared up as he shook my hand and said, “Thank you so much just for being here.”
Those people make the jokers easy to humor. And sometimes the jokers are covering up pain as well.
Because domestic violence is a sticky topic, it doesn’t have the same public exposure other issues receive — yes it affects someone you know. Probably more than just one someone.
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