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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Love the Way You Lie

For those of you who don’t know, “Love the Way You Lie” is the title of Eminem’s new song (featuring Rihanna as well). If you are interested, here are the lyrics and the video. In recent weeks this song, as well as the video, have caused a lot of controversy; some feel that the video glamorizes domestic violence while others feel that it brings attention to the issue.

Personally, I applaud Eminem (and Rihanna) for shedding light on this very real problem because silence doesn’t fix a thing! Together, they paint a very honest picture of the abusive relationship cycle. They even show that women can be the abuser, a subject that is hardly ever discussed because so few men report the abuse; fewer than the number of women who report their own abuse.

According to the Canadian Women’s Foundation:

• 51% of Canadian women have experienced at least one incident of physical or sexual violence since the age of 16.

• 36% of female victims of spousal violence and less than 10% of victims of sexual assault reported these crimes to the police in 2004.

• One to two women are murdered by a current or former partner each week in Canada.

At first, I couldn’t understand how someone could think that this song and video glamorized the subject but I guess that, for some, the situation seems exaggerated, impossible, and unreal. Maybe they don’t realize that these relationships can go on and on for years or how hard the cycle is to break. Maybe they just felt that there was some Hollywood spin put on it. These people have obviously never been in or around something like this (thankfully), but they should know that these relationships are very real and they happen around us all the time!

Whichever side you are on regarding this video, I think we can all agree that something positive definitely came from it. Megan Fox, who appeared in the video, donated the money she earned from this video to Sojourn, a Los Angeles shelter for battered women and their families. They provide housing, legal assistance, support groups and community outreach programs, among many other things.

Countless people live through this type of violence and abuse day after day. They think that they are alone and that they have nowhere to turn to. I can say with certainty that each and every one of you reading this knows someone who was on one side or the other of a similar story at one point in their lives… possibly even right now… possibly that person is YOU. If you or someone you know needs help, there are plenty of resources out there; please do not be afraid to use them.

Silence kills – break the silence.