If It’s True…

At this point we really don’t know what happened.

 

A lot of details have been leaking out about the arrest (though no charges have been laid, yet) for allegedly beating up his girlfriend the night before the Grammy Awards.

 

I don’t know what precipitated the alleged attack but if it is true, there is absolutely no excuse. Full Stop.

 

Apparently some people who are suggesting that she brought this on herself in some way.

 

Unbelievable! And yet not…There are a lot of stupid people out there.

 

The media is citing an interview where he talks about seeing his mother beaten by his stepfather and how this traumatized him. I don’t doubt that seeing that kind of violence would scar you for life but that is not an excuse.

 

I understand wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt because he seemed like one of the decent ones but it is not looking good.

 

His ad campaigns with different companies have been suspended pending investigate but the court of public opinion has largely condemned his actions. I was in the check-out line at the drug store when my friend brought up the gossip swirling around what may have happened. A complete stranger even joined us in conversation while we waited our turn. Something that usually doesn’t happen in Toronto where people are generally considered reserved.

 

I condemn the violence. Some may want to paint him as a victim and maybe he is but this does not absolve him of his personal responsibility. He had a choice. We all have choices and he chose wrong.

 

He is a public figure and though he didn’t ask for it, he is a role model- up until now, he was a pretty good one. I don’t want to write him off but people have to be made aware that domestic violence should not be tolerated- ever. The sad truth is that the abused will often become abusers.

 

It is tough to talk about the people involved. Whether or not you have a personal relationship with them, they are people. This is especially the case since there is a lot of speculation and it is tough to separate fact from fiction.

 

Dialogue about the issue itself is important. Domestic violence is a hard issue to talk about in “polite company.” Long after I moved to the city, I found out that the county I grew up in had the highest alcohol sales per capita in Canada and apparently, also the highest incidents of spousal abuse in the country.

 

I often joked that there wasn’t much to do in small town Ontario other than drink. Not so funny considering the apparent correlation with a not so wonderful statistic. I don’t even know if this was true but the thought that it could be and I never noticed anything is disconcerting.

 

Well, people are aware of it now, for now, at least. If it can happen to young, beautiful, successful and highly regarded individuals, it can happen to anyone. Hopefully, people who have been in similar situations (whether they are the abuser or the abused) will seek help.

 

The rest of us shouldn’t be so smug. One train of thought is that the commission of any crime is the fault of society as a whole. We are all responsible in some way. People who resort to violence, break the laws, whatever the crime, do so because society failed them. This may be a tough concept to grasp since our justice system tends to lock them up and throw away the key. It is easy to point the finger at someone else but maybe we should be point that finger at ourselves.

 

How did society fail these two kids (and they are kids) and what can we do to prevent this from happening again? There are no easy answers but we have to keep asking the questions.

 

How did we fail?

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~ by angryegg on February 11, 2009.

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