My shock at his words spewed out automatically. I looked at him and asked, "Did you just say he was beat by a girl?" Immediately my friend recanted. He himself didn't know where that comment came from. He felt badly and that was that. But days and weeks later, I couldn't forget it. Something truly bothered me.
In our abuser education groups, we like to describe empathy as a muscle that grows stronger with use. Those who do well in our program commit themselves to working their empathy muscles. Some also learn that sometimes their partners and children do not want them to "solve their problems" but to listen to them.