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The Sting: Reprise

Posted by Rick · December 21st, 2003 · 1 Comment

Thanks to Mark King, who was instrumental in getting me to take the part of Scoopy the Bee recently (see previous post “The Sting“), I have new photographs of my night with the kids. I’ve added them to the album titled “The Bee All & The End All“) in my Gallery.

I also neglected to point out several lessons that I learned from this experience. Two of the things I learned are easily stated. The third took some research.

First, every Bee needs a fly.

Think about it. Then read the full article to see what else I’ve learned.

Scoopy Tells Santa What He Wants
Scoopy Tells Santa What He Wants

The second thing I learned is that I will never be a transvestite. Sorry folks, but as wonderful as some people have said my legs are in tights, they didn’t enjoy being there! How in the world women can stand those things is completely beyond me. I suppose if you lived in Alaska, the excessive efficiency they provide in the retention of lower body heat might justify the constricting feeling. Thank goodness the person who gave me advice on these suggested I not get the control top version!

On a more serious note, the third thing I discovered also has to do with control and/or the lack thereof. The abuse of women in the United States (no doubt throughout the world) is an abominable epidemic.

Every day in the United States, four women die at the hands of husbands or boyfriends and estimates are that between two and four million women are battered in the United States each year. This number has to be estimated because most abuse is not reported. In fact, those of you who are horrified at this number and wish not to recognize the horror being perpetrated may find some solace in hearing that the actual number of reported domestic violence attacks is “only” 572,000.[1] Why, that’s barely enough women to constitute two-thirds of the population of the city of San Francisco!

One hesitates to use “facts” put forth by President George Bush without checking them first, but in a speech given in October to proclaim that month “Domestic Violence Awareness Month”, he stated,

Domestic violence cuts across every line of geography and income. Abuse is found in every community in our country — every community — and it must be fought in every community. Hundreds of thousands of incidents of domestic violence are reported every year. The sad news is, many go unreported. About a third of women murdered each year in America are killed by this type of violence. And nearly half the households where domestic violence occurs also has a child under 12 years old. There’s more than one victim.

When victims of domestic violence make the decision to escape their tormentors, their sub-human spouses seldom take the hint. A 1998 survey by the U.S. Department of Justice revealed that 59% of all stalking victims were stalked by an intimate partner. [2]

Scoopy & Tammi pose with a friend
Scoopy & Tammi pose with a friend

When I recently dressed up as Scoopy to entertain the children of families who had fled their abusers, I was told that we could not get pictures of the children’s faces. No doubt one reason was to avoid embarrassment. After all, one reason so many of the animals who do these things aren’t reported is embarrassment. Another reason — both for the lack of reporting and for our shielding the children’s identity — is that the abusers oftentimes don’t stop when their victims escape them. In fact, it can drive them towards ever more desperate efforts at control. Ultimately, they may kill them, even after any kind of “relationship” has ended. A 1988 study by Stark and Flitcraft revealed that seventy-five percent of all emergency room visits by battered women occur after separation. A study by Barbara Hart that same year showed a 75% greater likelihood of serious injury or death after leaving. (Both pieces of information came from the AARDVARC.ORG, an Abuse, Rape, and Domestic Violence Aid and Resource Collection.) This points up the need for shelters where women can get help and be hidden from their abusers.

Every nine seconds — that’s right, count to nine and you’ll know it happened again — a woman is beaten by an intimate or former partner. [Information taken from AARDVARC.ORG. And this blog entry, by the way, only covers domestic abuse in the United States. But this isn’t the only country with such a problem. The small country of Scotland reported 36,000 instances of domestic abuse in 2002.]

Santa Greets Some of the Kids
Santa Greets Some of the Kids

Women, of course, aren’t the only victims in this situation. The impetus for this blog entry, after all, was my night interacting with children of such families. According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services,

A significant percentage of children who witness domestic violence eventually become abusers or victims of abuse. In addition, children who witness domestic violence are more likely to exhibit behavioral and physical health problems including depression, anxiety and violence towards peers. Adolescents are also more likely to attempt suicide, abuse drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution and commit sexual assault crimes.

More information on the effects of domestic abuse on children is available at the website of the Family Violence Prevention Fund.

More information regarding domestic abuse against women is available at the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women website.

If you are a victim of domestic violence, help is available! Contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline online. You can also call them at 1-800-799-SAFE (that’s 1-800-799-7233). Hearing-impaired individuals may contact them via TTY at 1-800-787-3224.

The Department of Justice also maintains a list of Domestic Violence Coalitions of States and Territories which may be able to help you.

Categories: Personal Life


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  • 1 Merry Christmas 2004 // Sep 17, 2008 at 8:43 am

    […] example, last year, I participated in the San Joaquin College of Law Alumni Association — I’m not yet an […]

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