Yesterday I was on the treadmill watching The View (my daily ritual) and they were talking about this whole Mel Gibson thing. They were criticizing the wife, Oksana, for going to the media with the tapes, and some of them were painting her as the problem. Okay, HELLLOOOO? Did you listen to those tapes? She is the victim, not the problem, that much is clear.
Whoopi was saying Oksana should have gone to the police instead of the media. Gee Whoopi, you must really have a lot of experience in this arena…because let me tell you what happens when you go to the police after you’ve been threatened with violence. NOTHING. I know this from first-hand experience. I’ve also seen this happen with friends who were threatened by exes. The police do NOTHING to protect you. So then you get a restraining order (which Oksana did) and let me tell you what that does to protect you. NOTHING.
In 2001 I worked with Denise Brown (sister of Nicole Brown Simpson) on a Domestic Violence awareness project. Believe me, she would have been all too happy if Nicole’s 911 tapes and photos of her bruised face had gotten out BEFORE the incident. If the whole world was watching, OJ may not have felt so brazen that he could get away with murder. If the whole world was watching, maybe the neighbors in Brentwood would have come outside to investigate when the dog was barking like crazy. Maybe they would have peeked out their windows more often, kept an eye on her, walked her to her car at night. If only the world had been watching….
One of Gibson’s threats to Oksana was that he would bury her in the rose garden. That is not a statement to be taken lightly.
Of all the women who are murdered every year, 75% are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Every nine seconds in America a woman is beaten. How many have fallen victim just in the short time you’ve been reading this blog? Hell yes, go to the media. And if you’re not a big star with media access, tell everyone you know. Tell your neighbors, your family, the police, the courts. Tell everyone. Do not let these sick sociopaths operate in secrecy.
It makes me angry when women don’t support one another. You may not agree with Oksana’s decision to release those tapes to the media, but have you walked in her shoes? Can you even begin to imagine how scary it is to be married to a man like that? Who’s going to protect you? Who’s got your back? She’s doing what she has to do to protect herself and her child. In my opinion, it may have just saved her life.
For more information on Domestic Violence, see www.nicolebrown.org