Interval House in Toronto is Canada’s oldest centre for abused women and children. It recently contributed efforts to produce a video that tackles the issue of domestic violence. I hope that the video will inspire you and also generate constructive conversation toward ending domestic violence.
Recently, Interval House partnered with KBS Toronto to create the “Alternative Ending” video after the media storm and public outcry of the video in which NFL’s Ray Rice knocked out his partner Janay Parker. The domestic violence in the Ray Rice video was difficult for me to watch but more than that I was not impressed with public comments about why did she stay with him. Having been in an abusive relationship myself, I know it’s not a choice. Often the victim is scared to leave due to verbal threats from the abuser or is brainwashed into believing that the abusive actions are done out of love.
In the new video “Alternative Ending,” a couple is in an argument behind closed elevator doors. I thought to myself as I watched it that the elevator doors could easily be swapped for the front door of a house or a bedroom door. Much violence occurs secretly behind closed doors. It’s obvious that in the other video of Ray Rice he assumed the elevator incident was private and not caught on tape.
In “Alternative Ending,” the elevator doors open and a second woman walks in. She leaves with the initial woman in the video. The initial woman is not abused as she leaves the situation before that can happen. The video offers a strong message that there are solutions for domestic violence, and it’s important to educate people about them. Rather than saying, “Why did she stay?” let’s instead say “Why did he hit her?” OR better yet, for those currently in domestic violence situations, “How can she get out of there NOW?” And that help that the woman needs NOW can come from you, me or someone else who steps into that elevator and reaches out hand to assist her.
NOTE: Of course, I realize that men are victims of abuse too. I recently met one and he opened up to me about it. I am focusing here on women being abused because the post centers around the Interval House, which is for abused women and children.
©2014 Christy Birmingham