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This isn’t going to be one of the funny ones.According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, “On average, 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.Hitting someone, slapping someone, beating someone up are things I have never done. I didn’t get that gobbet of testosterone at the factory.Once again, I don’t have any answers. I sometimes wonder about my gender, and what is inside that leads to a belief in domination that exhibits itself in physical abuse.There is more abuse coming from men than there is coming from women.“To the moon, Alice.” It’s never, “To the moon, Ralph.”I know that clobbering someone entertains millions of people — always has, always will.I never followed what Muhammad Ali did in the ring. Outside the ring, I listened.What Ronda Rousey does for a living is of no interest to me.“Punch and Judy” isn’t funny, at least not to me.My sister and I used to wrestle, and maybe it’s natural to tussle when you are kids or puppies or cubs.But later on, it can turn into something else, especially when macho-macho-man gets whatever it is into his head.Smacking a woman is about as low as it gets. There is no better word for a man who strikes a woman than “jerk.”“One in three women and one in four men have been victims of (some form of) physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime” (NCADV).Children — and babies — get into the ring with dad, a boyfriend, or a babysitter too. Sometimes it’s the mother.People line up to see violence-based dramas, a whole gaudy panoply, featuring nifty-cool Jawa ionization blasters, wrist rockets and flame projectors.World history was packed with destructive human behavior long before films (and arcade games). Films now just do a very vivid job of making it spectacularly realistic.Good vs. evil is one thing. It’s the premise of just about everything. Whether it’s biblical or your favorite team’s arch-rival, there has to be a protagonist and there has to be an antagonist.It makes for good theater. It makes for a bad home.Counseling, therapy, protective orders, arrests, imprisonments, but over and over nothing stands in the way if someone has it in for their “intimate partner.”Sometimes it’s the heat of the moment, but often it’s a pattern of behavior.There’s a video of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancee out of an elevator. She’s now his wife.Alcohol was blamed.At other times, drugs are blamed.Good excuses aren’t good reasons.We’re not alone.Then-Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan said (2006), “Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.”It cannot help that some world leaders, like our own, resort to bullying.It cannot help that some world leaders, like our own, threaten violence as a solution to differences.There are many things that I wish I could reverse. That I wish I could improve.This is one.Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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