Author Amber Skyze reminded me. See her post here: TGIF
Here’s the link to her poignant personal blog.
Amber and I have somewhat similar backgrounds. We both managed to escape violent, dangerous men. I won’t speak for Amber, but in my case if my ex thought he could get away with it, he’d still be coming after me and my son. He is one of the reasons we always have a German shepherd dog.
I think my personal experience is why I’m having a very tough time with the current obsession with extreme BDSM in romantic/erotic literature.
Ladies, there is a fine line between a little pleasure/pain traded between two loving partners and bullying, domestic violence, rape… and well, you can see where I’m heading.
“Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors–including physical, sexual, and psychological attacks as well as economic coercion–used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship. Batterers use of a range of tactics to frighten, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, often injure, and sometimes kill a current or former intimate partner.”
A few statistics on Domestic Violence in the United States (from a report to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee):
1. Domestic Violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44, higher than car accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
2. In the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten every 9 seconds.
3. 1 in 5 girls who has been in a relationship said a boyfriend has threatened violence or self-harm when faced with a breakup.
4. At least 3 women are murdered every day by a spouse or boyfriend in the United States.
5. Worldwide, 1 in every 3 women has been assaulted, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime, often by a male relative or intimate partner.
6. Men, who as children witnessed their parents’ acts of domestic violence, are more than twice as likely to abuse their wives.
7. The costs of intimate partner violence in the United States alone exceed $5.8 billion per year, $4.1 billion are for medical and healthcare services, while productivity losses account for $1.8 billion.
These statistics, while staggering, don’t surprise me. If you reread the above definition of Domestic Violence, you’ll see why some of us might find the line between the current fascination with BDSM and acts of Domestic Violence blurred.