A couple of months ago, Next Door’s Executive Director Kathleen wrote a blog about Mel Gibson’s abusive telephone recordings that had been released to the media. The disturbing calls, made to his partner Oksana, were frightening. The calls indicated stalking – calling repeatedly, in this case, allegedly 30 times in one day, including in the middle of the night; attempts at sleep deprivation through phone calls; physical violence and threats of physical violence; access to weapons; degradation; and, finally, not-so-subtle threats of death and/or suicide. At the time, nobody knew for certain if these calls were real (except Mel & Oksana, of course). Many believed the calls were doctored but either way, they brought the issue of domestic violence into full view.
Here we are a couple of months later. Not only has this situation not been resolved, but it has grown even more explosive. Just last week, a confession was made by Mel Gibson that he did, in fact, slap Oksana but according to Gibson, he slapped her for her own good…I’m not making this up, folks. He really did say that.
Mel Gibson wants to assure everyone that he did not hit his girlfriend. Contrary to popular belief, he didn’t punch her while she was holding their baby. No, he just slapped her is all. In court papers released just this week, Gibson describes an argument with his estranged girlfriend Oksana. He admits to slapping Oksana “one time with an open hand in an attempt to bring her back to reality” while she held their 2 month old child in her arms. He goes on to explain that there was no blood on her and none of her teeth were broken so he couldn’t have possibly hit her that hard.
This type of behavior is typical of abusers. They regularly deny that the abuse ever took place or in the case of Gibson, attempt to rationalize their abusive behaviors. When confronted by his victims, most abusers tend to shift the blame or avoid the topic altogether. Not only does denial allow the abuser to look at himself in the mirror with a clear conscience, but it is also a way for him to exert control over the victim by claiming his actions were justified. Mel did exactly that when he claimed he slapped Oksana for her own good.
I don’t imagine this story is going to go away anytime soon but for the sake of their little girl, I hope this is resolved quickly. As are all children of domestic violence victims, she is an innocent bystander in all of this. I hope she is able to lead a happy, safe, and healthy life despite the craziness surrounding her.