At a domestic violence conference, the crowd sat engrossed in the keynote speaker’s 30 year story of abuse. Not until she lay in the hospital with practically every bone in her body broken was she finally able to leave him. As she told her story, the disgust towards her ex-husband was palpable and when she called him the ‘scum of the earth’, heads nodded.
But then she ended her talk with saying that her greatest grief was that her daughter had grown up to also be a victim of a domestic violent relationship and her son had become a perpetrator. And it flashed in my head “Is he the scum of the earth too?”
As we moved into the q & a portion, I wrestled with that thought until I stood and simply had to ask her; “You mentioned your son had become a perpetrator and as you described your ex-husband as the scum of the earth, I wonder—do you think your son is the scum of the earth too? Or was he just unlucky enough to have been raised in a family dynamic where he was taught to manage his emotions through violence?” Continue reading