“Eighty percent of respondents said they believe domestic violence is a problem, but only 15 percent think it is a problem among their friends, according to the NO MORE Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Survey commissioned by the Avon Foundation for Women.” from Long Island Newsday 9-30-13
What poeple often fail to see is the subtle condescension and veiled intimidation among intimate partners that occurs right under our noses. What can the average person do? The research on bullying – often considered a developmental precursor to domestic violence suggests that someone needs to “speak out against the bully” and take a stand. Does this mean we all must be our neighbor’s keeper when it comes to marital harmony and family cohesion? Some might say yes – as uncomfortable as this makes us feel. It is a myth among those in law enforcement that “what happens behind closed doors is not our business”. And it is a myth when neighbors believe “they will work it out”.
There seems to be a disconnect when it comes to people we know and those with whom we have regular contact. In truth, it is those connections that may respond best to someone saying threats and intimidation have no place in a relationship. The best marriages share control, decision making and negotiate the rules.