The epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault has got to stop – and the taboos that drive victims underground and silence them have simply got to be broken, no matter the cost that some of us will pay to make things change.
I just got the news that a close friend of a high school classmate just lost her daughter to an abusive husband who stabbed her to death and then turned a shotgun on his own self in Hurricane, West Virgina, reported in their local paper.
And another friend, seriously injured and then dumped by her ex who refused to take responsibility for fracturing her hyoid bone and causing a thyroglossal duct tumor complication that subsequently resulted in extensive surgery that removed, among other structures, a chunk of her tongue, is now having to deal with this self-same ex nonconsensually trumpeting his innocence all over the Fetlife airwaves – and exposing all kinds of private personal and professional information about her. The injury was caused by nonconsensual garotting of her until she was unconscious – and she’s got plenty of medical and other documentation. She says he has also threatened to out her with compromising pictures to her employer – which would undoubtedly result in her losing her job.
Speaking out against domestic violence, whether vanilla or kinky, and whether your own or that of another, has a price. Any price at all is too high, but we have got to stand together and make whatever sacrifices we must to ensure the safety of all, especially women, whose voices have far too often been silenced about too many things, especially our rights to control our own bodies and be free from this sort of threat and coercion.
I am at least encouraged to see the increasing number of people posting online about their experiences, coming out of the closet, if you will, refusing to let their abusers cowe them into silence any more, refusing to continue to protect them the way the silence and taboos have done for as long as I can remember.
The problem survives at least in part because of the silence. Perpetrators know they can get away with whatever they do because their victims are often too afraid of them to even report their own assaults, and because they are so seldom prosecuted when they do come to light.
Speak up, speak out – and listen to understand when someone you know tells you they are a victim of domestic violence, even when it’s cloaked in the armor of D/s. Help the person get help – do not judge them.
Other than yourself, if you are a victim, the person you save might be your own best friend. She will certainly be the best friend (and daughter, mother, etc.) of someone else.