Sunday, October 27, 2013

Abuse By Any Name Is Still Abuse

Click here to listen to Dorothy Goins interview October 26, 2013

My guest on The Reading Circle with Marc Medley on Saturday, October 26, 2013 was author Dorothy Goins. She has penned three novels to her credit, MARRIED MAN, A WOMAN SCORN'D, and her latest release, NO GRACE WITHOUT MERCY.    The reason for this post is Ms. Goins is not only an author, she is an advocate for domestic abuse and violence. She became an advocate after her sister-in-law was murdered as a result of domestic violence and abuse and in fact her stand against domestic violence and abuse is interwoven into her stories.  After our conversation yesterday, Ms. Goins was off to a Domestic Abuse Walk and she was walking in remembrance of her slain sister-in-law and the countless other victims of  abuse who are both dead and alive. 

We discussed in our interview (Click link above or here to hear the interview in its entirety) how there are friends and family members who may be suffering from domestic abuse and we may or may not know about it as usually the victim is silent or defends the abuser. It is for this reason that I am writing this post to join Dorothy in raising awareness of domestic violence and abuse. The website lists the classic signs of an abuser that we need to be aware of and they are as follows:

Abuser Tricks 
The following is a list of behaviors that may indicate a potential batterer. It is not the purpose of the listing to imply that every person with some of these attributes is a batterer or potential batterer. 
At the start of the relationship, an abuser will equate jealously with love. The abuser will question the victim about who the victim talks to, accuse the victim of flirting, or become jealous of time spent with others. The abuser may call the victim frequently during the day, drop by unexpectedly, refuse to let the victim work, check the car mileage, or ask friends to watch the victim. 
Controlling behavior
In the beginning an abuser will attribute controlling behavior to concern for the victim (for example, the victim's safety or decision-making skills). As this behavior progresses the situation will worsen, and the abuser may assume all control of finances or prevent the victim from coming and going freely. 
Quick involvement
A victim often has known or dated the abuser for a brief period of time before getting engaged or living together. The abuser will pressure the victim to commit to the relationship. A victim may be made to feel guilty for wanting to slow the pace or end the relationship. 
Unrealistic expectations
An abuser expects the victim to meet all of the abuser's needs, to take care of everything emotionally and domestically. 
An abuser will attempt to isolate the victim by severing the victim's ties to outside support and resources. The batterer will accuse the victim's friends and family of being "trouble makers." The abuser may block the victim's access to use of a vehicle, work, or telephone service in the home. 
Blames others for problems
An abuser will blame others for all problems or for the abuser's own shortcomings. Someone is always out to get the abuser or is an obstacle to the abuser's achievements. The victim or potential victim will be blamed for almost anything. 
Blames others for feelings
An abuser will use feelings to manipulate the victim. Common phrases to look for: "You're hurting me by not doing what I want." "You control how I feel." 
An abusive person is easily insulted, perceiving the slightest setbacks as personal attacks.
Cruelty to animals or children
This is a person who punishes animals brutally or is insensitive to their pain. The abuser may expect children to perform beyond their capability (for example whipping a two-year-old for wetting a diaper or teasing children or siblings until they cry).
"Playful" use of force in sex
This behavior includes restraining partners against their will during sex, acting out fantasies in which the partner is helpless, initiating sex when the partner is asleep, or demanding sex when the partner is ill or tired. The abuser may show little concern for his partner's wishes and will use sulking and anger to manipulate compliance. 
Verbal abuse
This behavior involves saying things that are intended to be cruel and hurtful, cursing or degrading the victim, or putting down the victim's accomplishments.
Rigid sex roles
The victim, almost always a woman, will be expected to serve. For instance, a male abuser will see women as inferior to men, responsible for menial tasks, stupid, and unable to be a whole person without a relationship. 
Dual personality "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"
Explosive behavior and moodiness, which can shift quickly to congeniality, are typical of people who beat their partners. 
Past battering
An abuser will beat any partner if the individual is involved with the abuser long enough for the cycle of abuse to begin. Circumstances do not make a person an abusive personality. 
Threats of violence
This consists of any threat of physical force meant to control the partner. Most people do not threaten their mates but an abuser will excuse this behavior by claiming "everyone talks like that." 
Breaking or striking objects
This behavior is used as punishment (breaking sentimental possessions) or to terrorize the victim into submission. 
Any force during an argument
This may involve an abuser holding down his the victim, physically restraining the victim from leaving, or pushing or shoving. Holding someone back in order to make demands, such as "You will listen to me!" is also a show of force.

If you are a witness to or think that a loved one is being abused, encourage them to call the National Domestic Abuse hotline or call it yourself for them.  The hotline is  24/7 PHONE SUPPORT where
trained advocates are available to take your calls through our toll free, 24/7 hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Something to critically think about. I welcome your commentary in the comment section of the blog and you are invited to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Ensuring That Popular Entertainment is Available to One and All"

Good Day Critical Thinkers!  This critical thinker (me) is reading two fascinating and outstanding books simultaneously about Jesus. Both books are filled with thought provoking history and are excellent reads. The first is The Politics of Jesus: Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of Jesus' Teachings and How They Have Been Corrupted by Obery Hendricks with the second being Killing Jesus by authors Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.

As I was reading this morning I came across the following excerpt in Killing Jesus that I thought I would share in this post; in fact the excerpt is the post. At this juncture in the book Killing Jesus, O'Reilly and Dugard are providing an historical view of Julius Caesar.

"The citizens of Rome have enjoyed a republic ever since Lucius Tarquinius Superbus was overthrown in 509 B.C., and they are so averse to the idea of an absolute ruler that the Latin word for "king," rex, is considered repugnant. But as Caesar draws closer and closer to his meeting with the Senate, he is sure that the people feel differently about him. He has long been devoted to keeping the masses happy. One way to do this is by ensuring that popular entertainment is available to one and all, distracting them from any issues they might have about their government."

What leaped off of the page at me was the last line of the passage,  "One way to do this is by ensuring that popular entertainment is available to one and all, distracting them from any issues they might have about their government."  Sound familiar?   Something to critically to think about. I invite you to share your thoughts in the commentary section of the blog and to follow The Critical Thinker on Twitter @thinkcritical01.