Two steps forward. One step back. Are we evolving as a species or just plain covering up our problems?
There's an ancient Chinese proverb that states, "May you live in interesting times." To some, the meaning suggests that there are good things to come; to others, it's a curse. Indeed, we do live in interesting times. We're witnessing unprecedented progress in the rights of human beings, significant improvement in life expectancy and record advancements for women across the globe.
Yet, there's an alarming increase in stories that are making the headlines and plaguing our society. "15 Year-Old Gang Rape: 5 Arrested ... But Why Did No One Lift a Finger to Help ...?", "30% of Teens Report Abuse in Relationships", Chris Brown & Rihanna: A Fairy-Tale Romance Gone Awry."
These headlines are undoubtedly disturbing, but the backline statistics are even more unsettling ... 1.3 million, that's ONE POINT THREE MILLION, women a year are victims of some form of physical assault by an "intimate party." By any stretch of the imagination, these are considerable numbers. However, these numbers don't even include the victims of un-reported domestic violence crimes.
Some say that domestic violence increases during times of economic distress. We are clearly in the middle of one heck of a financial mess. But, I say that domestic violence has NO place in a "civilized" society. When is it right for a man, like Chris Brown, to beat a woman, like Rihanna, to the point of unconsciousness? Over the keys to his car? Is this what we call a "civilized" society?
It's a sad truth that in the U.S. victims of domestic violence are often treated as if they were the cause of the problem. Words like "She asked for it" or "She had it coming" are often bravado spouted off by the perpetrators, as well as the uninformed. By echoing these sentiments, too many of these transgressions go un-reported for fear of reprisal or downright shame.
In the appalling case of the 15 year old Richmond girl, several reports highlighted the large amount of alcohol that the teenager drank before the assault. What is the relevance of a statement like this? They only cloud the insidious act of violence perpetrated against a child ... a young woman who will be scarred for life!
Katie Couric just reported on the alarming increase in abusive relationships among teens. According to her frightening report, the National Teen Dating Violence Hotline saw their number of calls and emails rise by 600 percent between periods of March 2007 to March 2009.
I'm very close to a few young women ... young artists that I've been mentoring to develop as professional singers, yes, but also to become strong independent, individuals. In this time of tremendous social advancement; the first African American President, the 20 year celebration of the fall of the Berlin wall, and the historical number of women in the workforce and earning college degrees, isn't it time for America and the world to stand in solidarity against domestic violence? And, while we're at it, let's just put an end to violence, in general.