Domestic violence, domestic abuse, murder, gendered violence
Touched by Murder: When domestic violence gets too close to home
Why we need to treat every victim as if they are “one of our own”
Trigger warning: Domestic violence, murder
As I write this I am waiting for the news to break that someone I knew has been murdered by her husband.
I never knew that there were any issues in the marriage and I would never have suspected from the way she carried herself that there could be anything wrong, but I would not have expected to know because domestic violence is often hidden. I spent a mostly sleepless night since finding out, watching the news articles for when she is named, irrationally staring at old text messages from her in my phone as though they hold the answers for why she had to die, and I wonder about her child. The injustice and senselessness of it all feels intolerable.
I learned about it shortly after I had published this story about Depp vs Heard and I considered for a moment, if it has changed my perspective, which is sympathetic to Amber, now that I know about this murder. Although, I accept that the person I knew would probably be viewed as a more “sympathetic” victim, I feel strongly that you cannot compare one victim to the other. No one person’s story is the same, and no one person will react in the same way as the next person to the same set of circumstances. Likewise, no perpetrator of domestic violence is the same either.
I took a moment to think about all victims (myself included, as I have experienced two abusive relationships) and reflected on the fact that when it is you or someone you know, they feel somehow “more” of a victim but it is not a competition, no one is “less than”, and we should not be seeking to find the most virtuous face of domestic violence/abuse. Put simply, no one deserves it more or less than someone else.