There is no question about it. A picture is worth a thousand words, but a video raises awareness of a million voices. What is now the infamous Ray and Janay Elevator video has done more for victims of domestic violence than tens of thousand of articles and testimonies.
As a domestic violence awareness advocate I am both ambiguous but vigilant, encouraged and yet concerned for the renewed flame of awareness dying out and then were back to business as usual.
On the one hand the national resurgence of outrage, commentary and awareness has galvanized new blood and troops in this war against abusers. On the other hand it has taken the veil off to reveal the scourge of domestic abusers existing within the very heroes of athletes millions of us have cheered every week in the NFL, and exposed this as only symptomatic of a much larger problem in our society.
In my upcoming book “Real Men Don’t Hit Women: 12 Principles of Effective Change Against Intimate Partner Violence…” I advocate that good men provide the best solution against the worst of men who practice intimate partner violence.
Ironically or perhaps by a twist of fate the most macho of all sports has now served as the lightning rod to wake up real men everywhere to stand united and speak up against domestic abusers.
To expose these abusers for the cowards they are and perhaps for the first time in their lives it has also provided and opportunity of real empowerment for their victims to get out of a violent and abusive marriage/relationship. It provides society the opportunity for another look at itself to address with more seriousness this plague of domestic violence.
For example, why are their more animal shelters in this country than shelters for battered and abused women and their children? Why isn’t this a priority for FEMA since domestic violence is now classified as a national crisis?
I am hopeful for real and lasting change by recent events and praying that lighting doesn’t have to strike twice in order to wake us up again.