Recently NFL player Ray Rice has been causing quite a stir. HIs domestic violence altercation he is said to have been in with his wife, Janay Palmer, has a lot of people discussing the sensitive issue. One of several voices in the discussion, Stephen A. Smith verbalized his opinion on the issue, which landed him a professional suspension at ESPN. Smith shared the same sentiment as Bravo TV’s ‘Blood, Sweat, & Heels’ star Melyssa Ford. Each suggest that women should indeed consider their actions in domestic violence disputes. Melyssa gave a first hand account of a domestic dispute she found her self in on the podcast ‘The Brilliant Idiots’.
“While I was shaking my hand in his face, I smashed him in the face with the CD Walkman. He didn’t even blink, and punched me right in my face. Lip exploded. It was like (gasp)”.
By no means does Melyssa condone violence or abuse, however in hindsight she is able to accept that her actions provoked someone into an extreme response. She accepts responsibility for her role in the escalation of the situation, and because of this she learned quickly not to put her hands on men.
Like Ford, I believe Mr. Smith was not blaming the victims of these circumstance but merely calling women to be more responsible in their behavior. Men are humans with feelings, and they have breaking points like the rest of us. It is unfortunate that there are some men who truly have issues of, anger, rage and hatred toward women causing them to repeatedly act in violent ways toward women. However, if we are honest ladies some of us run our mouths a little too much. We continually test our boundaries, and push the lines that have been drawn before us. Running our mouths, talking all that mess, using every trigger we know. Even getting in a man’s face and daring him to do something about it. Then comes the blow, and we are stunned, but how much is one supposed to take?
“He is not the kind of man that would solve conflict with men or even women. That’s not how he would solve conflict by fighting. If it comes down to it, yeah. He’s going to defend himself. To a certain extent, this was a defense mechanism. It was a mechanism and my behavior activated it. It took me a while to learn to stop putting my hands on men.”
It is always unfortunate that these situations ever occur. No human being ever deserves to be physically assaulted. We do however need to hold ourselves accountable for the role we play in the circumstance we often find ourselves in. If a heated argument arises between you and your significant other, here a few ways to diffuse the situation:
1. Step away from the conversation. Leave things where they are and agree to return to the discussion when the two of you have calmed down.
2. Separate. Give each other personal space, and time to cool off. Go for a run, or go to the gym. Working out is a great way to release tension and frustration, and clear your mind.
3. Try to be objective. Ask yourself if you are truly being reasonable. Consider some ways to compromise that may not have occurred to you before.
4. When revisiting the conversation, check your pride and ego at the door. It is so much easier to communicate when everyone’s defenses are down.
Conversely, if you find yourself in an extremely severe domestic violence situation, KONTROL wants you to know you can get help! No matter what your abuser tells you, you DON’T deserve it, and it’s NOT YOUR FAULT. If you feel you are in a situation you need help out of please call 18007997233.
Check out the full interview here and let us know what you think!