In Other News: Domestic Violence

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

Isolating. Shaming. Controlling. Blaming. Intimidating. Threatening. Pulling. Pushing. Slapping. Choking. Hitting. Kicking. Raping. Killing. It’s all bad.

The conversation of domestic violence, the role of the victim, and the responsibility of an employer to respond has been thrust (back) into the spotlight this week as a video emerged of (now former) Baltimore Raven Ray Rice punching his then fiance twice, knocking her unconscious, and then unceremoniously dragging her into the hallway. You also that before the first punch, Janay seems to slap him with the back of her hand. You see them get into the elevator. You see him hit her, and her step forward. You then see Ray hit her so hard she falls, hitting her face on the handrail, and collapse, unconscious, on the floor. She is unresponsive for over a minute. After another minute, someone else helps her up and hugs her.

Before the release of the elevator video, Rice was given a two-game suspension. He apologized to the team, to the fans, to his wife (interestingly, she also apologized). After the release of the video, he’s been released from the team and banned from the NFL for life. Throughout this time, there has been a large debate about the role of an employer in handling crimes not related to work. The point has been made several times that until this week, the penalty in the NFL was greater for smoking marijuana than hitting a woman. Sufficed to say, at least 44% of the NFL’s fans (the women) were not happy to hear that.

This latest move by the NFL, to fire someone immediately and ban them for life, is in line with the NBA’s recent fining & lifetime ban of former LA Clipper’s owner, Donald Sterling, following the release of recorded racist comments he made.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence**, in the last year victims of domestic violence (better classified as “intimate partner violence”) spent $4.1 BILLION on more than 18.5 million medical and mental health services; lost nearly 8 million days of paid work (time equal to 32,000 full time jobs!). Nearly 17,000 people are killed each year by their abuser.

Here are five titles that look at domestic violence from different perspectives:

Encyclopedia of Social Deviance, 1st Edition. Sage Publications, 2014. 

“Social Deviance” is defined as anything which occurs outside of what the general population thinks of as ‘normal.’ Normal is a loaded word, full of conjecture and exception, circumstance and environment. A comprehensive look at the history of this multifaceted issue can be found here.

Encyclopedia of American Indian Issues Today, 1st Edition. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2012.

Are some groups more prone to domestic violence than others? In a culture which particularly values women and children, it’s baffling to see a pervasive and well-documented history of domestic abuse. As recently as the mid-1990s, abuse against American Indian women and children was still on the rise — one of only two cultural groups to see an increase during that time. Explore the history, complexity, cultural acceptance and continued battle of Native Americans.

Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, 3rd Edition. Gale, 2010.

In 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was passed, making domestic violence a federal crime. Still other laws exist on the state level. See the evolution and history of the legal system’s protections for victims and perpetrators.

Women, Gender, and Sexuality, 1st Edition. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008.

“Each year in the United States, approximately 1.5 million women are targets of violence by an intimate partner, roughly the same number of people who have heart attacks annually.” This title has some very interesting perspectives on Intimate Partner Violence. Beyond statistics like the above, you will find practical scenarios to review, pointing out common missteps and ways to improve communication with children and teens. An interesting sidebar also calls attention to pitfalls of favorite fairytales. The section on the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship — when the victim leaves — is also included.

Encyclopedia of Business Ethics and Society, 1st Edition. Sage Publications, 2007.

How do companies manage what is or is not their business in employee’s off-time? Are legal matters always terms for action at work? Should they be? Explore the importance of ethics and morality as they relate to business in this title.

Information regarding the drug policy of the NFL was found here.

**If you or anyone you know is being affected by intimate partner violence, visit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence website or call any of the numbers below:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
The National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673
The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline: 866-331-9474



photoAbout the Author

Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.



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