Sunday, April 5, 2009

What lies behind a smile?

The above woman abuse advert made me think of an ex-friend of mine.

When I witness domestic violence in the media, I can predict how people who have never been exposed to abuse would react. I can also predict how the victims of abuse would react. But, I wonder what an abusive person thinks about, when he or she watches the above ad? Does this ad validate him? Does it remind him that there are other men out there who are living by his barbaric code? Or does he think that his situation is different, in his case the object of his abuse actually deserves the beatings?

My really good high school friend, unbeknownst to me, turned out to be abusive. It is ironic when I saw this ad, a couple of days ago, it made me think of him, and today I actually ran into him after not seeing him for more than 5 years.

He was a good kid. He got the highest average in school. He was excellent in sports. He helped everyone, and volunteered at a hospital. In grade 12, he started seeing someone, and by the second semester their relationship got a bit strange. They started skipping classes, and only hung out with each other. We witnessed them fighting in school hallways. I went to a very small high school so the word travelled really fast. His girlfriend was held responsible of their public outbursts. After all, he was the apple of everyone's eye.

High school ended, and we all went our separate ways. Those two stayed together for another year, until she reported him to the police, and got a restraining order. He tried getting help, but repeated the same cycle of abuse with his next girlfriend. At this point we had stopped talking so I don't know what happened next. I really hope he is better now.

The reason I am writing this post is because domestic violence exists in our so-called liberal society. These men may appear pleasant on the outside, but nobody knows what lies behind a smile. Majority of the women end up going back to their abusive partners. It really takes a lot of courage to break this vicious cycle of abuse, and put all the missing pieces together.


changetheworld360 said...

I think people exert so much time and effort in creating a good first impression, and yet it ultimately does not matter. A person can appear pleasant and caring, but you never know what's underneath that facade.
*sigh* It always saddens me that you can never fully trust people. :(

C. Louis Wolfe said...

Hey Z- NOTHING zany about that vid. I'd never seen it before & am glad a star of her caliber would be involved. It's very well done & thought provoking!

Sadly, in my almost 25 year career in LE, I have witnessed a HUGE amount of domestic violence situations. Some of which I'll never forget!

It's devastatingly sad for ALL involved. I suppose part of the reason I'm still single at my age. It's amazing what people who love/loved each other are capable of inflicting upon another.

To be fair however, & not because I'm male, to a lesser degree there are situations where the female is the abuser.

Whose to say how all this comes about. Some of it's learned behavior, some bad wiring.

While I always have sympathy/empathy for the abused, I still feel sorrow for the abuser. I'd like to think people aren't born that way- I don't know. :-(

Zany said...


I agree with you about people trying to keep up false pretences. I think the greatest life lesson is that one cannot let a single event, or a single person determine the rest of their life.

C. Louis Wolfe,

Thank you for sharing your views. I think you have a very holistic perspective regarding domestic violence. I really appreciate your comment.

Maria Sondule said...

That's really sad about your friend!
I don't think anyone can really get better from being an abusive person. It's sort of like an alcoholic- they can be sober for a really really long time, but if they take a few drinks one night, it all starts again. Sadly.

Zany said...


Not to contradict you, but I like to believe that people can change :).

golublog said...

That video gave me terrible chills.

Zany said...


I am sorry about the chills. I think the video is very well done.

Btw, thanks for your comment. It's always a pleasure to see new readers comment :).