When I first heard Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie”, I was impressed. The lyrics of the song, which depict the cyclical nature of domestic violence, were gripping, raw, and touched me in a way that few songs rarely do. Each verse cycles through the violent argument, the apologetic pleas for forgiveness, and the promises given to the victim to keep her from leaving. I was pleased to see attention brought to the issue of domestic violence and saw the song as a strong teaching tool… but all that changed once I saw the music video.
I have worked with the issue of domestic violence for 25 years and thought I was immune from the heart-wrenching ache when seeing what one human being can do to another. I learned I’m not. Like many, I was drawn to yet sickened by the alleged tape recordings of Mel Gibson’s raging statements to his former partner and mother of his child. Unfortunately, as distressing as the calls were, I found that nothing he allegedly said or did is unusual for a batterer.
It seemed as though Adrienne Basciano was doing everything right. Adrienne, who found herself in a volatile relationship with boyfriend Robert Reza, found the courage to end the relationship about a year ago. Having told her close friends and family that she was “scared of him”, she must have felt a sense of relief once he moved out of their shared home and away from their twin 5 year old boys. Adrienne, trying to protect her children, found herself in a bitter custody battle with Reza, a fight that recently turned deadly.
Approximately 80 Americans die from guns EVERY DAY. And EVERY DAY 3 to 4 of these people are women shot and killed by current or former husbands or boyfriends. While the Supreme Court still upholds the laws that prohibit gun ownership to the men that kill these women, there are those who believe that a woman’s life is not as important as her abuser’s access to the gun that can take her life.
For every case of partner abuse and domestic violence, there usually is a pattern of control placed on the victim to prevent her from leaving. Whether it is financial, emotional, or physical, abusers find many ways to trick their partners into staying. Leaving an abusive partner is difficult enough under such circumstances, but immigrant victims have the added threat of deportation and the loss of their children as well. However, by providing immigrant victims with information about their rights and their legal options, we can give them alternatives to violence, abuse, and torment.
With the recent passage of the most extreme state immigration law in the country, immigration advocates are speaking up about why the Arizona law is a women’s health and rights issue as much as anything else.
A day after Republicans decided to declare their own week of half-days at work and to stall as much as possible all Senate business, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) took to the floor of the Senate to reiterate some of the most important elements of health reform for women.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a growing public health concern in the United States, which has increased discussion about routine screening for IPV. But, are we really ready to implement this measure?
The evidence is mounting that NY Governor David Paterson interfered in the case of a woman seeking an order of protection against one of his closest aides. Calls for his resignation are mounting.
Violence and abuse are more closely associated with unintended pregnancy than with pregnancies that are intended. Forced sex, fear of violence if she refuses sex, and difficulties negotiating contraception and condom use in the context of an abusive
relationship all contribute to increased risk for unintended pregnancy as well as for sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Newer research now also points to the influences of male control of contraception and pregnancy pressure on unintended pregnancy.