As some of you may already know I work at the Women's Center on campus. Some of our top goals are; to spread awareness around not only around the RIC community but the outside community as well about inequalities between men and women, providing a safe haven for anybody that wants to talk, and proving informational pamphlets on Sojourner House, Breast Cancer facilities and workshops at the hospitals. I have enclosed a link https://www.facebook.com/RICWomensCenter to our Facebook page if anybody wants to see the events we have put on in the last year.
This brings me to an event hosted by the Providence Community Library November 26th, 2015. The PCL was screening a documentary entitled Private Violence. It centered around two women: a domestic violence advocate Kit Gruelle and Deana Walters, a woman who was consistently beaten by her husband, kidnapped, and had her daughter taken away from her by child services as a result. She leaves him after realizing that he was never going to change and files a lawsuit against her already incarcerated husband for kidnapping and felony assault. I will include another link so you can see for yourself how much she suffered at the hands of her husband. However,I do have to warn you. The pictures are graphic and might trigger something. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Jf_zvbMwhHo&feature=player_embedded&list=UUbKo3HsaBOPhdRpgzqtRnqA
Throughout the documentary, I came across a lot of victim blaming. Deana was asked by many people even members of her family,” Why didn't you just leave, this would have never happened if you had just packed up your things, your daughter and moved back in here with us”. The women were blamed for the situation they were in. Their family and “friends” essentially blamed them for the violence that was directed at them.
I believe male privilege was also an underlying effect displayed. It felt as though these women who were fighting for their rights were constantly fighting a lose lose battle against the system. The system being 90% male. One of the judges actually said, “There is nothing I can do for her because she hasn't been beaten bad enough for any judge to help her retain a restraining order”. When I heard that statement I could not believe this man, who sits on the judicial board had the nerve to say something so entrapping. If the system can't help someone who is being abused by their husband or wife, I have to include men because they can be victims of domestic violence, then they are going to feel as though they are less than in the eyes of the law.
|Deanna and Kitt|
Kitt Gruelle wants to see change. She could have given two or three days out of her week and volunteered at a shelter, not that there is anything wrong with that but that wasn't what she wanted to do. She wanted and still wants to fight for the rights for every victim of domestic violence. She does not want to do it part time, she wants to do it every single day for the rest of her life.
Some people may say, why don't you just leave but they do not know how hard it is to do that. When you are told 100 times a day that you are nothing and that you are to blame for everything that has happened to you, you start to actually believe it. People should remember that before they start to pass judgement.
Below are some resources:
Below are some resources: