Media Contact
Rich Batten
Colorado Department of Human Services
303.866.3808
Maggie Spain
The Bawmann Group
303.320.7790

April 14, 2009

That wasn't in the script

As a towel is thrown in her face by her significant other, Keira Knightley’s character looks to the producer and says, “We didn’t agree to that . . . that wasn’t in the script.” Next we see her being hit, knocked down and kicked over and over again as the camera pulls back to reveal a set and “Isn’t it time someone called cut?” fades onto the screen. It’s a powerful statement by the Women’s Aid Federation of England that has generated discussion of the appropriateness of such graphic violence in a PSA. It’s also a sad commentary when a PSA turns more stomachs than the violence that prompted the need for it.

Over the past few weeks in our State: a Firestone man shot and killed his former wife, a friend of hers and then himself; an Aurora man shot and killed himself in front of his two young daughters hours after apparently killing their mother; a woman was chased off the road and then killed by her ex-boyfriend in Wheat Ridge; a Boulder man killed his estranged wife and himself; and the Colorado Springs Police are now investigating an Easter afternoon shooting that left a man and a woman dead. The initial call came from a woman who said her mother and father were in the home and she suspected her father had a gun.

“Isn’t it time someone called cut?”

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 1.3 million women are victims of assault by an intimate partner each year. That breaks down to nearly five women assaulted during each airing of the Women’s Aid PSA if it were shown in an endless loop for an entire year. Most shake their head and wonder, “Why does she stay?” The better question is “Why does he hit?”

Yes, men can also be victims of domestic assault, but national studies point out that most instances involve the woman as victim and the male as batterer. It is obvious then, that domestic violence against women is a men’s issue and prevention remains the best solution. Men need to join the conversations about male violence and refuse to silently stand by while too many wives, daughters, sisters and grandmothers live in the constant fear and pain of domestic violence.

Hundreds of Colorado men and numerous local organizations have recognized this responsibility and are now calling on men across the State to proactively stand against domestic violence and promote healthy relationships.

To paraphrase Danny Glover’s character in Grand Canyon, “The world ain’t s’pposed to work like this. . . this ain’t the way it’s s’pposed to be.” An intimate relationship and family should be a place of security, love and peace not fear, hate and violence. It is time we all called “Cut.” Go to www.coloradomenagainstdv.com and make your voice heard by signing a pledge to stand against domestic violence and join the dialogue to re-write the script.

Rich Batten
Chair, Colorado Men Against Domestic Violence