What Do We Do With the Abusers?

Black and white photo of a man standing in a shaft of light

What do we do with the abusers?

Like, really. What do we do with them?

This question kept going through my head as we made Abby and Tabby. As I watched the Oscars. As I think about my past psychologically abusive partner. As I think about my countless female friends who have experienced various kinds of abuse throughout the years.

I think we’re so used to victims shouldering the load, we assume the abusers will go free. Live their own prosperous lives. Become president.

There never seems to be enough justice for abuse.

Maybe if abusers were actually arrested. Prosecuted. Given sentences. Said sorry and meant it.

Or if the victims were taken seriously.

Maybe that would feel like enough.

But nothing ever seems to.

And I don’t know what will.

While researching for Abby and Tabby, I found these statistics about domestic violence from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

  • On average, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.
  • The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%
  • 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the United States has been raped in their lifetime.
  • 19.3 million women and 5.1 million men in the United States have been stalked in their lifetime.
  • Victims of intimate partner violence lose a total of 8.0 million days of paid work each year.

So many victims. So many abusers.

It’s time we stop the cycle of violence.

I just wish I knew how.

If you are in danger, please call 911 immediately. For confidential help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).


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