Sports Illustrated 2013
If you’re anything like me, your eyes were glued to both the TV screen and newspaper headlines this week for the latest developments in the Oscar Pistorius murder case. It’s still hard to believe that the man shivering and weeping in a small court room in South Africa is the same guy I was cheering for five months ago at the London Olympics as the first double amputee to compete with able-bodied runners in the 400M race. Despite his last place finish, I admired his courage and stamina for making Olympic history, and living up to the nickname ‘Blade Runner’ with his carbon fiber blades that pierced the track. Fast forward to today where I imagined he would be prepping for his Olympic comeback in 2016, not a court case where he is suspected of premeditated murder charges against his girlfriend.
Nor could I envision the stoic, yet focused CBS 2 anchorman Rob Morrison having a history of domestic violence that dates back to 2003. The New York Daily News reports today that Morrison’s wife made repeated calls to cops to complain about her husband’s drunken abuse that involved choking her until she became unconscious.
And the list goes on and on and on. Yet, the shock and surprise remain the same. Violence against women has always been an issue whispered about with a shake of the head, but never publicly scrutinized or condemned by the media or within the abuser’s community. However, no one could turn a blind eye towards wild child Rihanna’s rekindled romance with former abuser Chris Brown. Rihanna explained her reasoning in Rolling Stone:
I decided it was more important for me to be happy. I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of that. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake.
I think everyone gave the pop diva the side eye for that comment. Not just because she chose to go back with her abuser, but, at her naivety to think her actions wouldn”t have ripple affects on the millions of fans that worship her. Which is surprising considering her 2009 interview with Diane Sawyer; Rihanna admitted she couldn’t live with the fact that someone in a similar situation getting killed because they chose to follow her example of reuniting with their abuser.
A mistake that resulted in 1,336 domestic violence deaths in 2010, 82 percent of those deaths were women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Domestic Violence is an ongoing cycle that we hear about nearly, on a daily basis but very few calls for action are being made. The re-authorization of The Violence Against Women Act (landmark legislation that is a buffer against domestic assault) is still locked in limbo waiting for the House’s approval, which was ordinarily supported by both parties in Washington.
House Speaker John Boehner says the House “will act in a timely fashion in some way.”
R & B superstars Monica, Kelly Rowland and rap legend MC Lyte saw the need to get involved and will participate in a PSA that helps young girls coping with abusive relationships. The PSA is part of the Yell Campaign Initiative hosted by Saving Our Daughters. In an MTV interview Kelly said it was important to address this issue head on.
I wanted to use my voice to save young girls. This domestic violence thing has gotten so out of control. As I travel around the world for IHMG (I Heart My Girlfriends, an empowerment group Kelly founded), I meet so many young girls who openly admit to being abused and they are so young…my heart breaks. We have to take a stand against this and let young girls know that this is wrong and try to break some of the silence about domestic violence.
Even Ms. NeNe “I”m Rich, Bitch” Leakes wanted to support the cause by participating in a Celebrity Price is Right Match held this week. Leakes was a victim of domestic violence and is also a supporter of Saving Our Daughters that aims to develop programs that aim to empower women against bullying, date abuse, hate crimes and violence.