Dallas Mayor: violence is men’s fault

KERA News reports a statement by Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings on violence against women and children:

Rawlings urged Dallas to get off the sidelines and let it be known that family violence will not be tolerated. The city’s Domestic Violence Task Force, headed by council member Delia Jasso, got four new goals from the mayor:

Create an education program for students in the Dallas Independent School District.

Improve outreach to victims of domestic violence, making sure they know what resources are there for them.

Provide counseling and resources for family members of domestic violence victims.

Increase capacity at local shelters.

And Rawlings said he’s trying something different. He says he wants to talk to the city’s men, with plans for a big rally in the spring.

“This violence is our fault. It’s not the women’s fault,” he said. “We have been the violent gender over the centuries, and we must own up to it. Tradition has enabled the action we see around us, and we’ve created those traditions. The culture of male violence has only been perpetuated by locker room talk, radio talk shows, video games, how fathers talk to sons, and our inability to deal with anger living deep inside.”

ACES TOO HIGH (Adverse Childhood Experiences) picks up this quote and gives the statistics and looks for how to move into a violence free future for families:

I fully recognize that women are capable of committing violence and do. And men are often victims of violence. However, there’s no denying that men carry out most of the gun violence, the rapes, and the assaults on women and children, who are usually members of their own family. This post, however, isn’t about blame. It’s actually about moving on from blame.

What’s most significant about Rawlings’ statement is that — for a brief moment — someone swung the spotlight 180 degrees in talking about violence against women and children. Why is that a big deal?

Well, as we say in the South, let’s take a f’rinstance…..Let’s say that the media reported — and the community talked about — convenience store robberies and assaults the same way we talk about family violence. First, the local media wouldn’t report each robbery. We’d do a series every year during Convenience Store Robbery Awareness Month. The story package would focus only on the convenience store clerks: “Over the last year, 56 convenience store clerks were robbed and assaulted in OurFairCity. Half were beaten so badly that they were hospitalized. Because they could not return to work right after the robbery, they lost their jobs and could not pay the rent. There are not enough shelters in the city to house them and their children.”

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