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Domestic Abuse

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

We have all heard the stories of people in abusive relationships. Whether physical, emotional, or mental anguish, people across this country have either experienced these things for themselves or know someone who has. My own mother has related stories of abuse she endured during previous relationships, which would make any grown man furious.

The stories vary, but often include details like restrictions on movement, spending, relationships, phone usage, and many other, much more nebulous actions. During the early part of the 2010s, I served as a board member of our local domestic violence non-profit and heard horror stories from women who were abused for years under the actions of a controlling man.

One woman’s story was particularly heartbreaking, as she related what she endured under her husband for the better part of a decade. Her husband worked during the day but required that she send updates via text and pictures with the work she accomplished during the day. She had to log her caloric intake, as well as any working out she did. He put an odometer on her exercise bike, so he could log how much she had been on it. He had access to her iCloud, so he reviewed every single text message and picture she sent. If there was something she deleted or couldn’t account for, watch out, because he was headed out on the warpath.

He gave her an allowance, and she had to keep the receipts associated with every purchase and return any unused money at the end of every week. Her vehicle had trackers, her bedroom had cameras, and her phone had a GPS app that he could track her position anywhere in the world. One day, she agreed to take another child home from school. As she stood out front of the home in casual conversation with the mother of the child, her husband’s truck came flying down the block. He jumped out, demanding to know why she had deviated from her designated course home and why she didn’t first ask for his permission before taking the other child home. Later that night, he beat her so badly, she needed to be hospitalized. It was then she was put in touch with the domestic violence resources to get her to safety. Needless to say, her situation was the thing of which nightmares are made.

Of course, during the process, we heard all of the same excuses.  “He was just trying to keep her safe.”  “He was doing it for her good.”  “If she didn’t make him angry or break his rules, he wouldn’t have hit her.” “Her disobedience is what triggered his violence.” The excuses are the same in many of the other situations which we have all previously heard.

I bet while reading that, many of you were getting angry. I bet some of you even made comments out loud to yourself about the absolute tyranny that this woman lived under. You probably were questioning, “Why did she stay so long?”  “Why didn’t she just leave?”  “Why didn’t she fight back?”

How many of you would have endured that abuse? I bet a lot of you are vehemently saying right now, “NOT ME!”

Yet, if you wouldn’t endure this abuse from a significant other, why would you ever endure this abuse from your government?

Think about it. Over the course of the last year, we have been gas-lit into this belief that the government is protecting us from something, ironically, that they are doing. For more than a year we were told where we could go, what we could buy, whom we could associate with, when we could do certain activities, and how we were allowed to do those activities.

This doesn’t intend to demean the horrible abuse victims of domestic violence endure. You cannot, however, ignore the similarities.

For instance, if you went out without a mask to a place that the government had determined, for your protection, of course, that you were required to wear a mask, you could face the penalty of being arrested. If you decided to keep your business open, you could have it forcibly closed. If you wanted to buy a gun, in many municipalities, you could not. If you wanted to travel, you were told not to even to the point that the government eliminated many of your opportunities to do so.

Our children were told they couldn’t go to the park, and they couldn’t fraternize with their friends. Even worse, in some states, nursing homes were forced to take COVID positive patients, which subjected the patients of the nursing home to horrible physical and mental anguish, through having to fight the COVID infection or from dying alone, or tragically, both. Again, Government did it all for “our protection.” They did it for us because they “care about us.” Any of the horrible things that happened were always because we didn’t do “as we were told.” Had we just listened, we’d be just fine, right?

What has happened here domestically (thus the title Domestic Abuse) was an absolute shame, considering our Constitutional rights. But yet, many of us cowered at home, wondering when the government was going to help save us from, what turned out to be, the unintended consequences of government. In fact, as time has gone on, the top 4 states for worst COVID cases to date, are all states that locked down first and had some of the most restrictive mandates.

Yet despite these facts of the abuse we have endured at the hands of government over the course of the last year, many still choose to “stay with” government. Why? All the same, reasons you hear from those who face habitual abuse.

First, many still believe they have no one else to whom they could turn. They believe there are no alternatives to government, yet forget, the government is likely the reason they are in the position in the first place. For so long, we have subjected ourselves to government control because we have allowed the government to alienate us from other potentials.

Second, they believe that government truly has our safety at heart. Intentions aside, the methods the government employs are inherently controlling and violent.  Remember, mandates require force.

Lastly, for the purpose of this piece, is that the government “cares.” If the hypocritical Marie Antoinette-esque actions of “leaders” like Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo don’t speak of just how much they “care,” I don’t know what does.

We need to start looking towards liberty-building alternatives, and making more plans to “leave Government.” Of course, Government will promise change and that they will do better, but we know those promises are empty because they will only work toward using any power we give them to consolidate more power.

Of course, they will then threaten us, by telling us that if we leave, there’s no coming back. They will talk about all the horrible things that will happen to us as a result of losing their protection. Let’s be honest: there is the potential that government could have protected us from something bad that might come, but the cost associated with that protection is higher than any benefit we could have seen from that protection.

Lastly, they will tell us that we are tearing apart our (American) family by leaving. Yet, deep down, we all know our potential, as an American family, is so much better when the government isn’t in the picture.

It’s time we leave this abusive relationship.