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Media and Entertainment holds heavy influences in the way we view certain topics in the real world. With powerful movements such as #metoo, we can see many women taking control of the power dynamic and call out those who have sexual harassed or abused them. This leads to many women feeling empowered and enabling them to call out people who have assaulted them. The movement helped lead to many of these abusers getting fired, a consequence they deserved. But, these results seem to be lacking for victims of domestic violence.

With social issues such as domestic violence, which is normally concealed behind closed doors, the way the media portrays them is extremely important. Many people are aware that domestic violence can occur in romantic and intimate relationships. How come if people know this, then why isn’t the conversation blowing up like conversations against sexual assault?  In public cases, such as professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, who has been accused of and served jail time for domestic abuse, has yet to face any career push back from employers and still has many supporters. When out in the public eye, Mayweather presents a charismatic, fascinating, and likeable personality that attracts many people. Though, his infamous past with domestic violence against women is well-known, people still seem to have a hard time acknowledging these facts.

Mayweather’s main defense against these allegations has been that there is no video or photographic evidence of his crimes. Playing on a big role that the media has when condemning people for there actions. Seeing is believing and the media plays on this quite extensively. The NFL suspended Baltimore Raven’s, Ray Rice, for only two games after reports of him hitting his now-wife came out. The NFL only started taking the event more seriously when TMZ released a video of Rice knocking Janay Palmer unconscious and dragging her body out an elevator. After the publication of this video got around, Rice was suspended from the league indefinitely and no team has signed him since.

But why do we need to see digital evidence of domestic violence to re-think our stance on the perpetrator? On-Screen we can see the abuse happen, therefore, we know the character is a “bad guy”. When it comes to reality, we are presented with complex people who we find likable making it hard to process accusations.

With cases of sexual assault and harassment, we tend to believe the accusations more when there is a multitude of people claiming the same thing. However, when it comes to intimate partner abuse, the acts of abuse typically fall outside of the public eye, and when abusers are out in public they take on more acceptable personas making it more difficult to see the abuser within. This also makes it easier for people to exercise victim blaming and putting the responsibility on the abused, For example, “if your partner really treats you so badly then, why are you still with them?”

People try to justify abuse and blame it on them having a difficult past or being overwhelmed by stress. Marking abusers as victims as well. But no matter the excuse or reasoning behind such actions, domestic abuse is not okay. If you are a victim or know someone who is a victim of domestic abuse please contact the hotlines below.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline:

(1-800) 799-SAFE or (1-800) 799-7233

(1-800) 787-3224

Deaf/hard of hearing can call: (1-855) 812-1011

Online chat here

Regina Jones

La Salle '21

Regina is a psychology major at La Salle University.
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