Domestic abuse is not a comedy, and many women die at the hands of abusers every day. Some women endure it for years before telling anyone. According to reports by TMZ.com late Wednesday night, the actor Mel Gibson will seek a plea bargain to a charge of misdemeanor battery against the mother of his child, his ex-lover, Ms. Oksana Grigorieva. The plea will be entered at the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office and does not contemplate the custody battle currently going on between the two parents.
In a personal interview with a woman who wishes to remain anonymous we learned that her abuse continued for close to 12 years. “It started with brief fits.” She stated. “He would drink, get angry, and break a glass, or vase.” According to this woman, her husband moved on to belittling her and using verbal abuse frequently. “Sometimes he would call me a bitch, and other times he would insult my friends and family.” She went on to explain that the insults got more and more obscene, until she threatened to leave him. At that point the physical abuse got worse. “Because it wasn’t constant, and happened only every other month or so, I thought I could handle it. We had children, and I didn’t want my children to go through a divorce.” She explained. “Once he punched me while I had my baby in my arms.” She continued. “It wasn’t until I realized that my children were witnessing too much for their young age, that I felt I needed to get out.” In her case, she had family to turn to, and left before the abuse continued or escalated. But what about other women who do not have the money that Ms. Grigorieva has, or don’t have family or friends to seek out for help?
Whether one believes one side or another in the Gibson-Grigorieva case is not the issue. Domestic abuse against women has a long history that spans back to the beginning of time. In the United States it wasn’t until 1994 that the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act became legislation. It is also documented that in a small percentage of cases charges are filed against the woman as the perpetrator. However, in the majority of the cases, the woman is still the victim. In either case, domestic violence is a serious problem which frequently leaves families which choose to flee, homeless. Here in the southland we have various organizations, such as Beyond Shelter.org, which helps families in transition. In the Inland Empire there is Hospitality House, a shelter available for both men and women.
For more information on resources for families please write to [email protected]