This afternoon while struggling on what television show to catch up on I decided to choose Oprah. As everyone knows, Oprah is in her 25th and final series of her highly successful talk show. Today’s show was all about updates on favorite guests from the past 25 years. She started off the show by talking about a lady who was in a domestic violence relationship and six years ago her boyfriend shot both her and her mother. Her mother didn’t survive the attack and the lady being interviewed had her face blown off. Oprah shouted out to the audience (in true Oprah fashion) the following statistic: in her 25 years she has interviewed over 30,000 guests and out of those guests taped over 120 episodes on domestic violence.
This had me very disturbed.
Out of 25 years with a majority female following, Oprah has only taped 120 episodes? Shouldn’t domestic violence be much more of a focus for both women and men?
In doing much research over the years and contacting people who work with domestic violence issues, I would like to share something with you: Domestic Violence is not only physical abuse.
According to The National Domestic Abuse Hotline website:
WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?
Domestic Violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Abuse is physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.
This includes things like sexual abuse (even if you’re married) and economic abuse. If you have a partner that dominates your money in a frightening or intimidating way, you are in a domestic violence situation.
Oprah’s next story was of a father who verbally abused his daughter for years about being fat. The daughter has since gotten gastric bypass and lost almost 200 pounds. In her interview she had made the comment that she probably would have never met and married her husband had she not gotten the surgery and lost the weight. This statement alone made it obvious that years of her fathers verbal abuse was still affecting her life in so many ways.
Partners can verbally abuse their mates; parents can verbally abuse their children. Some might say this is the worse abuse there is. Some physical scars can be removed, but emotional scars can last forever. Remember our children are so fragile and words can hurt…forever. Please remember that someday these children will be leaders. Let’s teach them to lead right.
Oprah was right when she stated that she has provided over 120 shows about domestic violence, but in reality has done many more than 120 episodes because domestic violence does not only mean hitting.
Although you might not be in a domestic violence situation, you might know someone or someday run into someone who is in one. Please never allow this information to leave your mind because you might be able to help someone who doesn’t believe they are in a domestic violence relationship…but you know they are.
Oprah: I’ve been a viewer for many years. What you have done throughout the years has been remarkable, but please correct these facts to encompass all facets of domestic violence.
If you or anyone you know needs help or more information about domestic violence, please visit The Hotline online, or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).