One area of town is predominantly marked by low incomes, underperforming schools, limited job opportunity and high crime. Another features tidy mini-mansions, Ph.D.’s galore, six-figure incomes and college-prep schools.
Which of those neighborhoods would you regard as more likely to have a problematic level of domestic violence?
Here’s a caveat: Take a moment here, and be extremely careful with your answer.
A family violence expert penning a recent national article on the troubling scope and dimensions of domestic abuse in the United States makes a number of studied observations about that scourge that underscore its mythical nature.
And one of the first things that Susan R. Paisner points to is the common misconception that domestic violence is a problem that predominantly plagues poorer and comparatively uneducated Americans.
Paisner notes an actual remark from a professional advocate counseling a violence victim that, “Lawyers, doctors and professors do not beat their wives and children.”
It is hard to regard that statement as being anything other than Neanderthal in its tone and utterance. So too a recent comment from a would-be governor in one state that a woman with “great education and training and a great job” simply does not become a violence victim.
Reality speaks otherwise, with seemingly endless media stories surfacing these days to reflect what is really the case.
And that is this: Family abuse is egalitarian in nature. That is, it sadly plays out daily in every neighborhood across Illinois and the country, without regard to occupational status, income or education level or the sex of the victim (men, too, are abused).
Paisner makes a number of notable points concerning family violence that are fundamentally important. We’ll examine them in our next blog post.