After the Ray Rice case went public, (in a nutshell, this athlete assaulted his wife in an elevator which caused her to hit her head and pass out,) I was part of an online discussion about the case wherein multiple people insisted Rice was a great guy and not an abuser. I argued that he is indeed an abuser, and I don’t believe this was a one-time event. I explained that there is often non-physical abuse that leads up to physical violence, and after one violent episode, the problem is likely to escalate. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to believe that about an athlete who is their hero.
After the discussion, one of my online-only friends on Facebook sent me a private message insisting I was wrong and that what Rice did was not abuse and did not mean he was an abuser. I shared my opinion and statistics to explain why I strongly believe that Rice will continue to abuse. The person I was chatting with, (let’s call him Lee,) became more and more irate and started typing in all capitals to tell me how wrong I was. He then began insisting that normal couples hit each other and there is nothing wrong with that.
Let’s stop right here to say that no, normal healthy couples do NOT hit each other and yes there is something wrong with that.
This person, someone I’d always had fun joking with, continued to escalate, type in caps, make more and more angry statements and insist that he and his long-term live-in girlfriend often got into physical fights and hit each other when they got mad. I stayed calm and stood my ground. Nope, that is still not normal or healthy. This chat continued on for about an hour with my trying to explain all the ways this was wrong and Lee insisting that I was exaggerating to say that hitting your partner is abuse. It was a really bizarre conversation! Are there really people out there who think it is okay to hit on your spouse when you get mad?!?
All I can figure is Lee and his girlfriend are really messed up, but for him to admit that there is something wrong with their physically violent relationship, he would have to swallow his pride. So, it’s easier for him to claim that hitting your partner is normal and non-abusive. Denial! He kept telling me I was biased and said the following which I found quite disturbing:
No, but sometimes you want to inflict pain on people
You’re talking from a position of bias. You presume adults don’t hit because your bias says they shouldn’t. You have no supporting evidence that loving couples don;t occasionally hit with the purpose of inflicting pain but only on very rare occasions.
When I said that couples who hit each other need help and therapy, he told me I was wrong and biased. And he escalated:
YOU HAVE NO PROOF THAT RICE FALLS UNDER THE GENERAL CASE. BY THE MERE FACT THAT HE IS A SUPERIOR ATHLETE SHOWS HE IS NOT OF THE GENERAL POPULATION
DON”T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE FACT THAT A COUNSELOR WOULD AGREE WITH YOU. THE COUNSELOR WOULD BE JUST AS WRONG AS YOU ARE AND HAS THE SAME (SAME) BIAS
By the end of this conversation, I realized that this person had serious problems and I de-friended him. He is now friends with my chronically violent and aggressive ex-narcopath, and they trash me together because both believe that there is nothing wrong with physical violence. Both are wrong. Who needs a friend like that? Not I.