Domestic violence not a joking matter

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2014 | Domestic Violence

A recent story from Plano has given rise to a fair amount of outrage and raised some serious questions regarding societal views of domestic abuse.

The story involves a bar in Plano. Purportedly, on the night of May 24, there was a chalkboard sign up at the bar that had an offensive joke regarding domestic violence on it. This was the joke: “I like my beer like I like my violence. Domestic.”

A woman who was a patron of the bar that night said that she talked to employees and managers at the bar to try to have the joke removed from the sign, but that her requests were not heeded. After the woman left the bar, she posted a picture of the sign and a description of what happened on Facebook.

Purportedly, the joke was removed sometime after the woman left the bar.

Since the incident, the bar has:

  • Put the individual who was the on-duty manager at the time of the incident on suspension without pay.
  • Pledged to donate money to a Plano women’s shelter.
  • Expressed interest in having a shelter-representative-run sensitivity training session for its employees.
  • Established some new policies regarding the placing of signs in the bar.

Domestic violence affects many people in this area of Texas. Last year, Collin County saw over 12,000 domestic abuse incidents. The amount of harm domestic violence can cause to victims can be truly massive.

In addition to being in bad taste and making light of what is an incredibly harmful thing, another reason jokes like the one this matter involved are so bad, particularly when they are prominently placed out in public as allegedly was the case at the bar, is that they can make domestic violence victims feel like the public is not on their side and that there really isn’t support for them out in the world. This could discourage domestic abuse victims from seeking help. This would be a truly tragic consequence. It is incredibly important for domestic violence victims to know that there are sources of help, support and protection out there.

The fact that the joke did show up on a sign at a bar indicates that the level of awareness of how serious of a matter domestic violence is may not be as high here in Texas as one would hope. What sorts of things do you think could help raise such awareness?

Source: WFAA, “Sign ‘joking’ about domestic violence sparks outrage at Plano bar,” Teresa Woodard, May 27, 2014