Recently, Deion Sanders “live tweeted” an incident that occurred between he and his wife. He filed charges against his wife and tweeted a pic of his sons filling out a police report. Twitter wasted no time with jokes and everyone had their opinion on how he should have handled the situation. Domestic violence is a sensitive subject to me because I’ve had personal experience with it and I know how deep the effects of it can run. When I see people make jokes about any domestic violence situation it really pisses me off.

Fights men and women.

Most times when you hear about domestic violence issues you think of a man abusing a woman. This isn’t always the case. Growing up, domestic violence was a two way street in my home. Some of my earliest childhood memories were of my dad abusing my mother and my mother in turn abusing my father. This was a regular occurrence that went back to before I was born. My mother has showed me X-rays of her arm in which she had a compound fracture at the hands of my father while she was pregnant with me. It really got me thinking that things could have got out of control and I easily couldn’t be here today. I can recall another instance where my parents were fighting in the basement of our old house. As my father was coming up the stairs my mom pushed the dishwasher down the steps on top of my father. I have stories upon stories. Honestly, I think I’ve probably mentally blocked out most of it. I do know that I found it funny that no matter who was the aggressor, when the police showed up my father always was the one carted off to jail. My mother could have whooped my dad’s ass and in retaliation he might have pushed her off of him. All she had to do was show a bruise and off to jail he went.

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There’s a strong notion that children who grow up in domestic violence households can turn out either one of two ways. 1) They can grow up and emulate the things they witnessed as children or 2) they can grow and become the complete opposite of what they experienced. I am the latter. I have zero tolerance for physical altercations. This goes for all my relationships, romantic and platonic. I’m determined to end the cycle of abuse. I know about the effects that domestic violence has on young children. They are impressionable and a lot of times adults don’t realize how much they actually internalize.  Before I enter any romantic situation I let my stance known from the very beginning what my views are on domestic violence and it is my number one deal breaker. I place it before cheating, lying or anything else people generally might not deal with.

There's nothing funny about this.

Here are some key statistics about domestic violence in the United States. All statistics can be found on the Future Without Violence website.

  • On average more than three women a day are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends in the United States. In 2005, 1,181 women were murdered by an intimate partner.
  • Nearly one in four women in the United States reports experiencing violence by a current or former spouse or boyfriend at some point in her life.
  • 15.5 million children in the United States live in families in which partner violence occurred at least once in the past year, and seven million children live in families in which severe partner violence occurred.
  • Women who have experienced domestic violence are 80 percent more likely to have a stroke, 70 percent more likely to have heart disease, 60 percent more likely to have asthma and 70 percent more likely to drink heavily than women who have not experienced intimate partner violence.
  • About two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are left battered and bruised

Have you ever had any experiences with domestic violence (physically or emotionally)? What do you think about statistics on men being victims of domestic violence? What is your stance on dealing with domestic violence?