How do we begin to end domestic violence?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Feb 19, 2009
get elephant's newsletter

Updates:Chris Brown denied visa to tour Australia on character grounds (

With Chris Brown in the audience, President Obama gave this stirring message to the Grammys.

Parents Television Council vs. Rihanna vs. Rape, Murder vs. Too-Young Fans.

Here’s some Domestic Violence resources, courtesy MTV (reporting on Rihanna / Chris Brown situation). And here’s a video on how to recognize warning signs of an abusive relationship.

domestic abuse beat up rihanna violence "chris brown"

Update: Chris Brown denied visa to tour Australia on character grounds (

Historically, for generations, dads (and moms) have opened regular cans of whoop-ass on moms, lovers and children.

Problem is, our society treats domestic violence as criminal—which may make sense but contributes to the fact that domestic abuse is too often not reported; and number two we do little to educate the men (and women) who have don’t know how to handle anger, don’t remember to breathe, who lose it…who fall victim to temper tantrums…on how to overcome their anger.

I asked my friends on Facebook to write something up about this, but no one came forward. I know nothing about this, but if anyone out there does, please offer some advice, web sites, video links in the Comments section and I’ll fill this blog out a bit more—with thanks for the many children and mommies, and daddies, who might be spared the horrors, pain and shame that is this underreported, left-in-the-dark ongoing American (they work with domestic abuse quite differently in Britain, for example) tragedy.



About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


12 Responses to “How do we begin to end domestic violence?”

  1. L. says:

    " Problem is, our society treats domestic abuse as criminal, so often it’s not reported" – I suggest you do some homework about the history of domestic violence; pay particular attention to how domestic violence was handled before the early 1970's. I mean no disrespect. I appreciate that you are speaking against violence. It just think it would be helpful fo ryou to have a bit more informed perspective. Thanks!

  2. Thanks, L. I have a very informed perspective, personally-speaking–it's been endemic in my family for generations. I hope to end that! I have a friend who got in a fight with his ex-wife…she was beating on him…he got hauled off. I think we can all agree the system's well-intentioned (I hope, at least) but imperfect). I think we can also all agree that I'm woefully ignorant, so thank you for your patience with me. Just wanted to put the above resources out there, as it is a fact that it's badly underreported, so the web is becoming a useful resource for abused persons.

  3. […] The witnessing of domestic violence teaches children how to deal with anger in a way that must be, and is not always, overcome. Many of us have gone through this same thing. Here’s some domestic violence video resources. […]

  4. Paul M. Clements says:

    What's under-reported is the violence women perpetrate against males and other females. The tendency toward violence is a HUMAN condition, not a gender specific one. The truth is, domestic violence is a profitable industry for feminists, and a potent weapon in their War Against Men. Unfortunately, it's based on false data and a lot of political hype.

  5. elephantjournal says:

    Jenna : The police and law do not enforce nor help us…

    Colin M: Send the men off to Vipassana ..,

  6. […] Rihanna‘s latest, Man Down, bravely depicts rape—the worst crime of crimes, and one that should no longer be hidden from public contemplation. […]

  7. Alvin Moyet says:

    Poor Rihanna she didnt deserve all that. –GAR Labs

  8. […] all keep this issue alive, and learn, together, to begin to find the answer to how to end Domestic Violence. […]

  9. […] relationship and have faced insensitive judgment and criticism from people who say things like, “I would never have stayed,” as if staying was indicative of their strength and wisdom, and my subsequent weakness and […]

  10. Laura says:

    How do they do things differently in Britain?

  11. Paula says:

    I found this post bordering on flippant and very disturbing in its treatment of this issue. If you think criminalising this is contributing to it being underreported then you are in my view sadly mistaken. Rather it is that it is not seen as a crime (historically just a "domestic" matter) and therefore not taken seriously that contributes to society turning a blind eye to it. Violence is violence and that it happens at the hand of a loved one should be an aggravating factor not a mitigating one. Comparing this to a temper tantrum gone wrong? Are you kidding? Please for the sake of your readers get educated about this insidious epidemic and the roots within society that contribute to its expression.

  12. Jen says:

    How do we begin to end domestic violence?

    It is really quite simple. Stop allowing it. Stop excusing it.

    Stop protecting offenders of violence – it doesn't matter if they were drunk, stressed, tired or if the victim "pushed their buttons". If someone chooses to be violent, they and they alone are responsible for their use of violence. Stop protecting the offender – even if it is your brother, father, cousin, best friend, uncle, spouse, colleague – unless under active risk of harm and self defence is the only recourse, If someone chooses to be violent, they and they alone are responsible for their use of violence. Not knowing how to self regulate is not of itself an excuse or license to engage in violence, nor should it be used to minimise nor mitigate the effects. (A victim is no less stabbed just because the offender – after the fact – "didn't mean to")

    Stop blaming the victims. (They are the people incurring physical injuries and death at alarming rates). It remains curious to me that it can be the victim's fault for "making the offender" act violently, or that the offender had a "bad childhood" & so is excused but the victim remains responsible…

    Stop protecting the offenders. (They are the people who decide to use violence on people and situations they take issue with). They choose to be violent. More often than not, they choose not to be violent in any context other than with those they are intimate with, which of itself demonstrates a generally capacity for control & a choice in particular contexts to "have a temper tantrum"

    Two women per week (average) have died this year in Australia at the hands of partners or expartners. There have been countless more serious injuries. Mostly risk of death or serious harm comes when people are trying to exit the relationship & the intensity of violence increases in an effort to gain back control over the victim.

    At its heart, DV is about people exerting power & control over those that at some point "made them happy" – making the responsibility for wellbeing on the other. Violence is the mechanism of control and its intensity is usually only as high as that required to maintain control & effect 'power'.