Why joking about domestic violence just isn’t funny

For the second time in seven months, a Texas bar  faces criticism on social media for posting a sign that many people find offensive.

In both cases the sign read, ““I like my beer like I like my violence — domestic.”

The most recent incident happened Saturday night at Scruffy Duffies bar in Plano when, according to a May 26 blog post by the Dallas Morning News,  a waitress apparently wrote the phrase on a chalkboard sign without the owner’s or manager’s knowledge and then refused to erase it when a customer named Courtney Williams took offense and complained.

A similar situation occurred at Minibar in Austin this past October after which the bar not only removed the sign the following morning and fired the employee responsible, but donated $1 for every domestic beer sold after getting national media attention for its lapse in judgement.

One in four women will be injured by her boyfriend, date or husband in her lifetime.  That means for every dozen women sitting at Scruffy Duffies’ bar on Saturday night, three have been or will be abused by someone who professed to care about them.

Her partner replaces respect with fear and blames her for the resulting injuries.  He degrades her and and makes her believe something is wrong with her.  His threats paralyze her and as he repeats this pattern, it gives him complete power over her.  Victims feels ashamed and embarrassed which only strengthens his grip on her life.

Every time we joke about domestic violence, we add to those feelings of shame and embarrassment.  We empower abusers by discouraging victims.

The hurdles victims face when leaving an abusive relationship are already immense.  As a society let’s do everything we can to remove obstacles, not add to them. Especially not for something as cheap as a laugh.

If you or someone you know is being abused, call 1-877-701-SAFE.

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Mary Lee Hafley
SafeHaven of Tarrant County
CEO