The Paua Palace

My royal blog, life, opinions and me, it’s all about ME.. Right?

Questions about Family Violence

Posted by pauaprincess on September 24, 2007

I was involved in a discussion on Family Violence today talking about the Pumpkin case.  We got to a point that we just couldn’t really come to a conclusion.  Where do you draw the line? When does an argument between a couple, become family/domestic violence?

For the record, our definition of family violence includes relationships bound by; blood, sex and co habitation, current or previous.  It’s mental abuse, verbal and physical abuse.

Now, the Prince and I have had the occasional ding dong argument.  They aren’t a regular occurrence, in fact they are few and far between but they’ve involved raised voices, a little name calling, a slammed door or two and once, the throwing of a non lethal object, a magazine to be exact.  While we don’t as a rule argue in front of the children (if they sense any dissent, they might take over) I’ve no doubt that on occasion over the past 11 years, they’ve heard us or even seen us have a spat.  I don’t believe that children should never know their parents argue, we are human, children can learn from the experience, they can see their parents are angry, they express it, they control it and they deal with their issues and solve them.  In short, children can see conflict handled in good ways and learn better to handle their own conflicts.  After all everyone gets angry sometimes.

So, when does the occasional ding dong become family violence?  When it’s more than occasional? When it’s out of control? When it’s physical? When it’s witnessed by someone with a mobile phone?

By the definitions we use, when one spouse gives the other the silent treatment, it’s mental abuse.  An argument is verbal abuse, intimidating behavior and throwing things…. well that’s physical.  Kick the wall in frustration, slam a door and it’s physical abuse, intimidating behavior and mental abuse.  In short, any sort of disagreement between a couple, has the potential to be seen as family violence of one sort or another, depending upon who is viewing it.  Any conflict within the confines of a relationship, could bring the Police to your door.

Family Violence aka Domestic Violence has come to the fore, with cases of children being killed eg Nia Glassie, spouses being killed like Annie Liu.  These are extremes and most definitely should not be tolerated, ignored or glossed over.  We want the Police and other agencies to step in before these extremes are reached, but at what point should that happen?  It’s not that long ago that Police viewed domestic violence as something between a Man and his Wife, none of their business.  It’s only a century or so ago, it was quite legal to beat your wife and in some cultures, it’s still acceptable.

We can’t just pretend that conflict doesn’t happen and it isn’t healthy to make it all go away or pretend it doesn’t happen, that is the opposite extreme and nobody is perfect, nobody.  I’d defy anyone to say they’ve never argued with their partner, never felt hurt or angry because of their action or inaction.  I don’t believe anyone who says they’ve never had a disagreement of any type.  So, where do you draw the line and when should Police become involved?  Where is the middle ground?  When does an argument between a couple, become a criminal act when by strict definition, any argument could be construed as criminal?  How do we prevent the statistics?  How do we apply the law?

I don’t mind admitting, I have a temper, it’s usually well controlled but just occasionally, every once in a while, it gets the better of me, because I am human.  But I don’t want the Police bashing down the door and taking the Prince away because he yelled at me during a disagreement and I yelled back.  Perhaps it’s because I know, in spite of our very odd spats, he’d never willingly hurt me, he’d certainly never intentionally raise a finger to me and neither would I to him, perhaps it’s because the spats are so few and far between and perhaps because the good times certainly outweigh any bad times we’ve ever had.

I’m still no closer to an answer. 


11 Responses to “Questions about Family Violence”

  1. panoramia said

    PP, Hi
    Coincidence—I just earlier copied this poem (I pulled it in from the blog of an Iranian woman, written in English but the poem itself is translated from Russian). Then I read your post, thought poem may be of some value:


    Someone is beating a woman.
    In the car that is dark and hot
    Only the whites of her eyes shine.
    Her legs thrash against the roof
    Like berserk searchlight beams.

    Someone is beating a woman.
    This is the way slaves are beaten.
    Frantic, she wrenches open the door
    and plunges out—onto the road.

    Brakes scream.
    Someone runs up to her,
    Strikes her and drags her, face down,
    In the grass lashing with nettles.

    Scum, how meticulously he beats her,
    Stilyága, bastard, big hero,
    His smart flatiron-pointed shoe
    Stabbing into her ribs.

    Such are the pleasures of enemy soldiers
    And the brute refinements of peasants.
    Trampling underfoot the moonlit grass.
    Someone is beating a woman.

    Someone is beating a woman.
    Century on century, no end to this.
    It’s the young that are beaten. Somberly
    Our wedding bells start up the alarm.
    Someone is beating a woman.

    What about the flaming weals
    In the braziers of their cheeks?
    That’s life, you say. Are you telling me?
    Someone is beating a woman.

    But her light is unfaltering
    There are no religions,
    no revelations,
    There are women.

    Lying there pale as water
    Her eyes tear-closed and still,
    She doesn’t belong to him
    Any more than a meadow deep in a wood.

    And the stars? Rattling in the sky
    Like raindrops against black glass,
    Plunging down,
    they cool
    Her grief-fevered forehead.

    — translated by Jean Garrigue


    If not of interest, please say …

  2. I love it, which sounds odd but it’s the kind of poetry I like. I will repost it by itself, as with the meth poem. Thank you.

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