A friend posted a photo of a girl with a nasty looking black eye. The caption reads, “IRISH SUNGLASSES Free pair when you forget dinner!”
My friend’s comment is “Haha :)”.
Now, I know in my heart my friend is not one in actual favor of domestic violence. This image is clearly intended as a joke. In fact, we have no real idea from what this photo was originally from. Could’ve been from a car accident, or any other kind of accident, and not remotely related to the caption.
However, that aside and taking the image as it is presented, it’s a very mixed message. What this photo is also saying is that the stereotype of a “fighting Irishman” and domestic violence are something we can laugh at. It mocks a painful reality for millions of people.
Having been one of those on the receiving end of some extreme domestic violence and currently helping a dear friend who is dealing with domestic abuse and violence, this “joke” image truly upset me.
Will we as a society ever get to the point where this is no longer funny because of the reality on which it’s based? Will we, on whole, ever condemn domestic abuse and violence rather than just sections of our society? Will we ever get to a point when we can’t believe this behaviour was ever common/acceptable/practice?
Some facts about Domestic Violence from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)
- One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. 
- An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. 
- 85% of domestic violence victims are women. 
- Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew. 
- Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. 
- Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police. 
For more information or to get help, please call:
The National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233
The National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673
The National Teen Dating Abuse Hotline 1-866-331-9474
1 Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).
2 Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.
3 Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.
4 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Criminal Victimization, 2005,” September 2006.
5 U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States,” December 2006.
6 Frieze, I.H., Browne, A. (1989) Violence in Marriage. In L.E. Ohlin & M. H. Tonry (eds.) Family Violence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.