Saturday, 22 June 2013

Abuse Victim Comes Forth with Her Past

Nations are working hard to prevent domestic violence. There are a myriad of organizations, hotlines, and support groups available to those that are victims of this abuse. There are also many state and federal laws and regulations that have been created to aid women. With all of that said, there is still the question of how those apart from these supporting institutions see and treat domestic abuse victims.

It is encouraged for women to leave these awful situations, but how can we keep encouraging this, in order for these victims to lead better lives, when there is still discrimination and ignorance that lies within our society? Recently in American news, a story surfaced of a teacher in San Diego who was
recently fired for the “crime” of being a domestic abuse victim. Her abusive husband, who was at the time under a retraining order, had visited her school in January, which prompted a lockdown of the premises. The teacher came forth with her history of abuse and harassment, with unsavory results. The incident that occurred in January of 2013 resulted in the discontinuation of her contract in April. It was claimed by the school board that her presence at the school put the safety of her students in jeopardy.

The teacher Carie Charlesworth has since taken legal action, which is now getting the attention of the state of California as well as the nation. There is the question of the legality of her firing. There is currently a law going up before the state of California to protect domestic abuse survivors from losing their jobs, when their personal life becomes apparent to their employer. There is the feeling that these abuse survivors are being further victimized for something they are unable to prevent. How are we to promote a life after abuse, and encourage women in bad situations to leave, when they are fearful of coming forth about their mistreatment?

It is important not only in the United States, but also worldwide, that women are never made to feel less of a person for being victims of abuse. Those who leave abusive relationships should not be mistreated more.  We must be supportive as a society in aiding those back to a normal state of life, rather than making an unstable post-abusive situation even worse with the loss of employment.

We are already seeing an increasing amount of violence against women in the mainstream media. It is not isolated to newspapers and online resources, but we are also seeing it in forms of entertainment as well. Movies, video games, and music are all ways in which this serious issue is slowly numbing the affect on our society. 

As we are trying to battle the negative influence of violence against women, we must never lose focus of those who are victims. It’s time to not only focus on those committing the crime, and the environment that influenced it, but to focus on those who live with these memories and fears every day.

By Megan Bird

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