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Take Back the Night March and Rally

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A woman is abused every fifteen seconds in the United States. To raise awareness of that staggering statistic, and domestic violence in general, a group gathered Thursday night in downtown Wilmington to take back the night. Holly and Gerry Naujoks traveled from Ohio for the Take Back the Night March and Rally. Their 22-year-old daughter, Christen, was a UNCW student when her ex-boyfriend murdered her in 2004. "She broke up with him. He did not like that and he wanted the power over her," said Holly. Now the Naujoks’ are dedicated to spreading the word about domestic violence and its prevalence in society. This is their fifth year traveling to Wilmington for the event. Holly said, "It's to honor all the women that are in the situation that Christen was in. It's important for people to know that this goes on over and over and over and the terror that these women go though." In recent months, the New Hanover County District Attorney's Office has seen an increase in domestic violence cases. Felony domestic violence prosecutor Joy Alford-Brand said, “I've seen a few more cases come through in the last two months, particularly at the felony level." This was a night of reflection, and hope for the future. ”You don't have to lose your life. You can fight back and you can learn to live your life differently and get out of a situation," added Holly. This was Wilmington's 19th Annual Take Back the Night March and Rally. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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Meanwhile

as Andrew and Commonsence exchange barbs, here is another opportunity for the local NAACP marchers to do some modern day marching for a worthy cause. Let's see -- abuse knows no racial bounds. Let's see -- probably too cold that night. Let's see -- publicity sharing Guess it is better to march over some century old issue that has no modern day relevance than to "empower" the movement by taking to the streets on an issue which has no racial discriminations. Better to focus on a safe old issue than to focus on a modern day issue. Wonder what Dr MLK would think about that?

And not just gender or race

A recent Anti-Abuse law, better known as the Anti-Bullying law, failed because a religious group felt it was their legal and moral Right to verbally, mentally, physically, and/or sexually abuse children based on their sexuality. The law contained general references to groups that could become victims of abuse in school. Some of the general references were race, gender, sexual orientation, physcial characteristics, and others. But the religious hate group claimed it violated their Freedom of Speech by denying them the Right to abuse children based on sexuality. And unfortunately, there were many politicians who agreed with that stance. It should be noted that the list did not include all possible groups to be victimized but it is also true that the list exists in many other laws, including employment and housing. However, removal of the list leads to the "Founding Fathers" argument. That is, if a group isn't listed or there is no group, and the issue of abuse comes up, the attackers and their supporters could claim that the group being abused was not meant to be protected by the law, much in the same way some individuals claim that the Founding Fathers didn't mean certain types of speech to be protected under the First Amendment. So there are plenty of groups who take avantage to segregate various issues by race, gender, sexuality, and other factors when those issues can and do affect anyone and everyone, both directly and indirectly. Andrew

If you were making a point

you failed

More of the same.

I look at this story about abuse being horrible only when committed against women then I seen another recent story: http://www.wwaytv3.com/domestic_violence_affecting_both_men_and_women/10... and I say "what a crock!" Few will notice in that other article that the 5 percent is a stat based on REPORTED abuse. They will ignore the part about the stigma, created and perpetrated by society, that prevents many male victims of abuse, which includes verbal, mental, physical, and even sexual abuse, from reporting the abuse. Even the more recent article about dating violence focuses on female victims. Once someone like myself brings this up, then someone comes forward and spouts "oh, but we help men too!", but look at this article. Look at the article about dating violence. And let's see the upcoming article about date rape. Really? You're helping men? More like you and others are helping to keep men as abuse victims. The truth is that every result of abuse one can list that can happen to a woman can happen to a man as well. Death as the result of abuse? Yes. Low self-esteem? Yes. Striking back at the abuser? Yes. Suicide? Yes. But it is society's preceptions of gender as to how to react to those results. Man killed by his female abuser? HE must have been HER abuser and she was killing him to stop it. Suicide? He must have been doing something bad to her and felt depressed. Ah well, no big loss. Low self-esteem? Wimp. Comedy skit. I've seen the stories of the fake public stings of men yelling at or becoming aggressive to women to see how witnesses react. Let's see the other way too. Let's show how society REALLY views a male victim of abuse. The fact is, abuse is wrong, no matter who the victim is and no matter who the attacker is. Anyone who downplays it, ignores it, justifies it, or makes fun of the victim based on the victim's gender, race, sexuality, or other factor is as much an advocate for abusive acts as the abuser themselves. Andrwe

Andrew, most men....

...have nothing binding them to an abusive relationship. A wife/mother may stick around because she believes in her and the family's dependence upon the abuser. The male is often the breadwinner. The male is rarely the stay-at-home parent who gave up a career. The male, however, can usually leave at will. I can't comment on a male who has such low self-esteem and is so dependent that he simply can't leave, as I have no frame of reference. I'm in my mid-fifties, and I've never known any male that weak. I have unfortunately met far too many women who thought they couldn't leave and needed the abusive SOB.... ...but anyone, regardless of gender, who sticks around once the abuse starts is asking for trouble. The second time you see that look in his (or her) eyes, GET OUT AND NEVER GO BACK.

Thank you for proving my point.

"...nothing binding them to an abusive relationship. " "...she believes in her and the family's dependence upon the abuser." "The male is often the breadwinner. " "The male is rarely the stay-at-home parent who gave up a career." "The male, however, can usually leave at will." "...male who has such low self-esteem... " "...so dependent that he simply can't leave,..." Your comment is filled with so much stereotyping and evidence of my statements that I wonder if you really realized it. Society follows those stereotypes closely. And if a man doesn't fall into the stereotype? "...I've never known any male that weak." Congratulations! You've just supported society's continuing efforts to keep men viewed as expendable victims of abuse! Have you passed on that attitude to children as well, making certain that they grow up to be lifelong victims of abuse? Or are you working to make certain that the future victims of abuse don't grow up? After all, no matter what their age, many abuse victims succumb to suicide. Andrew

Stereotype or cold, hard reality?

Andrew, even Rip Van Winkle had enough backbone to get his dog and gun and go squirrel hunting when the boat anchor really started riding him. In my book, anyone who sticks around and tolerates abuse is weak, regardless of gender. It's simply a fact, however, that married women often have many financial impediments to being strong and getting away from the abuser. You choose to view that as stereotypical, I choose to view it as statistical reality, because it is a statistical reality. BTW, I doubt that either of my children will be "lifelong victims of abuse." My older daughter is a deputy sherriff who stands 5'11" and weighs in around 170 or so, while my younger daughter is a career Army medical officer. No guy in his right mind would dare try to abuse the first, and the second has the financial stability that means she need not deal with any crap at all. Knowing them as I do, my money says that they'll never be abused by anyone. They both have more cajones than most men. Andrew, I'm sorry if reality conflicts with the gender-neutral world you desire, but the simple fact is that in the absence of some physical handicap that prevents independence, most men can leave easily. If a man is so emotionally dependent to the relationship that he just can't walk out that door and prefers to sit alone in the dark crying, then yes, I view him as weak. To put it bluntly, he needs to "be a man," and stand up for himself. That doesn't mean tit-for-tat, returning an equal amount of the abuse he receives. It means getting out of a relationship that has turned bad.

More proving my point.

While you have two daughters and no son to speak of, you've just proven my point that your "statisitics" are nothing more than stereotypical mumbo-jumbo. Even YOU admit that your own daughters don't live up to the stereotypes society in general puts on them. In addition, by making such statements about men being weak if they are victims of abuse and cannot, for WHATEVER reason, get out of it, then you've just insured that any male victim of abuse who reads your comment will know what to expect if they DO report it. After all, you admit that one of your own daughters is an authority figure who a victim of abuse would have to go to. The abuse victim sees your own statements, and would expect that you have taught your daughters the same thing. And it's highly probably if they followed in your footsteps, that male victims will receive NO fair, honorable, and/or ethcial treatment. I'd also like to point out the inconsistant remarks you made: You refer to your first daughter by physical attributes, implying a physical response to any attempt at abuse against her. Yet, you imply that it would be wrong for a man to physically stand up to an abusive woman. And, as well, you continue to compare them to men in general, "They both have more cajones than most men." An implied statement that you, at the least if not them, segregate character and capability by gender. Again, not a very honorable or ethcial attitude to have when one is an authority figure, such as a deputy sheriff, who should be protecting the Rights of ALL citizens, no matter who they are. Frankly, such brings more and more concern about the honor and ethics of the sheriff's department. So long as you struggle to keep stereotypes and abuse acceptable, it will continue to be alive and well. Andrew

What went so horribly wrong in your life?

Where did you ever latch onto this asolutely crazy notion that men and women are supposed to grow up devoid of any influences from physiology, psychology, or sociology? My God! You're actually attacking the honor and ethics of a sheriff's department in another state because they hired a woman you have never met, simply because you have a disagreement with ME! Are you a mental case? I'm sure that if my daughter gets a domestic disturbance call and comes across some guy who has been beaten bloody or is crying his eyes out because his wife/girlfriend is so mean to him, she'll treat him with the same respect that any male officer would show him. Let me be blunt, Andrew. Men are supposed to be men and while you may have some problem defining exactly what that means, most men AND WOMEN don't. If a man is so emotionally weak, physically weak, or downright stupid that he cannot extricate himself from an abusive relationship, the species will likely be stronger without him. Here's a good rule of thumb to follow: If John Wayne didn't wear it, say it, or do it, it's best to avoid it.

You continue to prove my argument for me.

Actually, it appears that you are so bent into the ideals of bigotry and ignorance that you are in fact the one twisting what was said to mislead others with false information. Nowhere did I say they should be devoid of anything other than bigotry, stereotyping, dishonor, and unethical conduct. One does not have to segregate based on gender, race, sexuality, or any other factor to push the idea that abuse is wrong in any way, shape, or form, no matter who the victim is and no matter who the attacker is. Apparently, it hurts YOUR sensibilities to treat everyone as an individual rather than to treat them as superior or inferior to someone else based on segregated groups. At NO point whatsoever did I question the honor and ethics of a department for hiring anyone based on gender, race, or ANY such factor. What I questioned was the honor and ethics of a department which may very well have hired someone who was raised to follow an ideal of bigotry and hate based on gender. If she, in fact, follows your own clear and obvious discriminatory ideals of treating a whole groups of indiviuals as inferior based on gender, then, yes, she truly is incompetent to serve the general public in an authoritative position. This would be true no matter who the deputy was and no matter who they treated as inferior based on gender, race, sexuality, or other such factor. And once again, you play the stereotype card. Men are supposed to be men? Everyone is an individual and clearly it is your opinion that if anyone steps out of a stereotypical role, then they must be abnormal, no matter what the reason. And you question MY sanity? You're the one who seems to feel that it's perfectly justifiable for someone to be an abuse victim based on the gender of the victim and the gender of the attacker. That, in fact, is the sign of a sociopath, in case you weren't aware. Andrew

I'm sorry Andrew

The only group of people I consider inferior are those who have a miserable life, but won't do anything to change it. I have no idea how long you've been so abused that you can only muster the rage to post here, but please get help now. Be a man about it.

How about stop advocating abuse?

Instead of aiding and abeiting abusers by tearing down abuse victims further, how about acutally working to end abuse, no matter who the victim is and no matter who the attacker is? Simple fact is, your very comment makes YOU and abuser and a trainer of abusers and your very comments about your daughters and how it's acceptable for them to physically respond to an attack but not acceptable for male victims to phsyically respond to attacks shows a potential biased raising of your daughters, making them incapable to honorably and ethically work in positions of authority. No, I'm not in an abusive situation. But I do have a child who could feasibly end up in an abusive situation in his future and with bigoted guttertrash out there who work so hard and diligently to make certain that he feels he has no Rights based solely on his gender, I have to work extra hard to counter that obscene, perverse, immoral training of the bigots. While I try to teach my child "You do not have the Right to attack anyone and No one has the Right to attack you", whether that attack is verbal, mental, physical, and/or sexually, I have a massive number of bigoted guttertrash telling him "don't be a tattle tale" or "ignore them and they'll stop" or "boys don't hit girls" (while at the same time telling him that it's ok for them to hit him and if he defends himself, then HE must be the attacker). Now, I could have EASILY argued "gee, if you think abuse against males is acceptable and funny, maybe I'll just say the same is true in reverse and THEN see if anything changes for the better". But instead, I follow an INTELLIGENT path and try to reinforce that abuse, no matter who the victim is and no matter who the attacker is, is wrong. And anyone who ignores it, trivializes it, advocates it, and/or finds it humorous based on race, gender, or any other factor is just as much an unethical, abusive piece of guttertrash the same as the direct abuser is. So, let's make it clear: YOU are tearing down abuse victims based on their gender and their inability, in some cases, of getting out of their situation based on preconceived bigotted stereotypes. You tell me how that is honorable, ethical, or intelligent? Andrew

Sorry this took so long

I only now saw your bleati....um....reply. Why in the world would you think that your child might be in an abusive situation one day? If he is being raised in an environment where he developes in accordance with the basic underlying sociological framework that has served us so well for so many years, you're worrying for no reason. Try these approaches - they worked for me. * Never hit anyone. If someone hits you, clean their clock. * Never bully anyone. If someone bullies you, stand up to them and if necessary clean their clock. * If you think you're in love but find that the object of your desire doesn't feel the same way about you, leave. Turn around, walk away, don't look back. Women (or men) are like buses - there's another one coming along in fifteen minutes. Here's the most importantant one! * If your life stinks, only you can improve it. So let me state this once again and for the last time Andrew - if a man is so emotionally screwed up that he can't walk away from an abusive woman, then I'm not the best person to come to for advice. I'm not a coddler. I'm not a gentle, kind soul who has a dry shoulder for him to cry on. I would most likely grab him, shake him by the shoulders and scream at him to "be a man," a la Don Corleone. You think that I'm a bigot toward "sensitive guys," I think you fail to balance the practical with the intellectual. There are a lot of problems in life that don't lend themselves to the politically correct, school-book solution. Many require us to call upon our gut instinct and inherent nature. Men are simply not supposed to be weak, blubbering jellyfish. We live in two different worlds, Andrew. You live in some sterile version of a life that you want to see come to fruition, I accept life for the unscripted, random sequence of events that it is. My entire life has been a balance of intellectual and physical. For example, less than a month after I received my master's degree I was assigned to an anti-terrorist unit where an ability to lead men in difficult situations and shoot straight counted far more than any advanced degree. A good education is important...but so is the ability to control every aspect of your life, and be prepared for anything that comes along. Whether a male or female, there is NEVER an occasion when it's okay to check your backbone at the door. And when your spouse starts thumping on you, or stepping out on you, you aren't going to find a good course of action by trying to take "the intellectual approach.". Intellect has nothing to do with it. The instinct for survival does. You do what you can to get out of the situation and come out unscathed. If I have an acquaintance who can't get out of an abusive relationship because of the financial situation, I'm more than willing to help out financially. If however, that person can't get out because of "emotions," I have a size ten to apply to his or her butt. I sincerely hope your son enjoys a wonderful life free of any abuse. Only you can make sure that happens, and frankly I'm not sure that all your gender-neutral mumbo-jumbo is going to aid him in reaching that end. If you tell a boy that it's "okay to cry," he'll be crying for the rest of his life.