Trigger warning for spousal and child abuse
According to Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore, a woman being abused by her husband should not divorce him. For the kids.
I don’t want to turn this into a news blog, so I’ll leave the reporting to local news. From the article:
Senator Grothman is getting most of the attention, but Representative Don Pridemore is a co-sponsor of the bill…
…Specifically, it [the bill] cites non-marital parenthood as a contributing factor in child abuse. The bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Don Pridemore, told TODAY’S TMJ4 he thinks even in abusive relationships, there are other options than divorce.
“If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” said Representative Don Pridemore.
There is more wrong with this than I can possibly fit in one blog post, but I’ll try. Abuse is not some kind of disagreement that can be resolved through better communication: If a pattern of abuse has started, the abuser has made it very clear that they are not interested in communicating. They are interested in maintaining control over their partner through intimidation or emotional manipulation. The best thing anyone can do in such a situation is get themselves and any children out of it.
Let’s follow Rep. Pridemore’s logic. My spouse is abusing me, so the best thing I can do for my kids is…keep myself and them with my abuser? Right, because people who abuse their spouses never abuse their children. Even if the kids are never touched, watching abuse growing up can cause a kid to think it is normal: children may grow up to be abusers themselves, or may be at higher risk of being abused themselves.
Also, Grotham and Pridemore? If you’re serious about single motherhood being a problem, maybe you should work to repeal some Wisconsin’s overly-strict abortion laws. Just saying, that would lead to fewer single mothers.
If anyone thinks that feminism/gender egalitarianism is no longer necessary, I point you to these elected officials who seem to think that divorce is so bad that one should endure lasting physical and/or emotional harm and put one’s kids in a dangerous situation to avoid it. This is what we are fighting against. As long as people like these two continue to be in positions of power, activism is not just necessary, but vital.
If you or someone you know even might be in an abusive relationship, please, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. It’s anonymous and confidential and they will not call the cops; they won’t even tell you to leave your relationship. They will not care if you’re a man, a women, gay, straight, anywhere in between, or something else entirely. All they will do is help you recognize if what you are experiencing or seeing is abuse, and provide you with the tools to leave if that is what you decide to do.