Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong gave an interview about the domestic violence she experienced last night, and she said that she "ended up in this situation because of [her] own flaws and [her] own insecurities." We want to say to Taylor, her viewers, and the rest of the world, that this is patently false.
No one deserves to have violence used against them and there is literally nothing in the world I can do to cause you to hit me. We each have individual responsibility to control our anger and to control our bodies, and each time we get angry, we have a choice to make. We can choose to hit another person, to scream, to walk away, to dig a hole, or to do whatever we need to do to channel our emotions and our adrenaline. However, it is our choice, and ours alone.
Whether a person is weak or strong, it doesn't make it their fault if they are hit. If a person is well-educated or not, it doesn't make it their fault if they are hit. If a person is confident or self-conscious, rich or poor, gay or straight, well, you get the picture.
Many women blame themselves for the violence used against them. It's not surprising. As a society, we blame her, too. We just couldn't believe that boy-next-door Chris Brown would possibly hit Rihanna. She must have done something to cause it. And even when her bloodied, broken face was plastered throughout the media, some people still blamed her while others acknowledged that the crime was committed, but pressed us to hurry up and forgive.
Isn't this tragic? We blame survivors so much that they internalize the blame and put it on themselves. Not only that, they go on national television and spread that blame to all women who have been victimized. There is a poison in our culture that allows this to happen, and it is going to take all of us standing up to this type of victim-blaming to find a cure.
Check out this follow-up article: 5 Domestic Violence Myths I Learned Still Exist From Watching ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’