1 is 2 Many
June 25, 2012 § Leave a comment
Let me start by saying, I love the new PSA, 1 is 2 many, from the White House addressing violence against women.
I have spent much of my professional career rattling off statistics about violence against women. Chances are if you know me, either professionally or personally, you have heard me say, “1 in 4 women will be a survivor of intimate partner violence,” or “Did you know, that one in six women will survive sexual assault?” I say it so much that it has become rote. I don’t even have to think about it anymore. Which means, that at times, the violence against women I see, hear about, or know about has become so common place that I understand it to be an accepted fact and no longer something that shocks me. I don’t mean that the violence doesn’t upset me, or break my heart, or enrage me, or cause me to want to work hard to end it, I simply mean that the knowledge of it’s prevalence no longer astonishes me. I know it to be fact, to be real. I know this to be true, because when I rattle off those statistics to folks I have just met or to classrooms full of students, there’s always a collective, sharp intake of breath followed by several seconds of silence- an intake of the grimness of the epidemic, a settling into the understanding that this could happen to you, to me, to the person sitting next to me; that maybe it already has.
Vice President Biden has long been an advocate for survivors (he even co-authored the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)) and it’s good to see that his passion for the issue has gotten other men involved as well. Sometimes it only takes one voice to get all of the others paying attention. Sometimes it only takes one voice to make us remember why this struggle is so important. Of all of the statistics I know, all of the ones you may have heard me share, the one this PSA has brought to the forefront is the most important one to remember: One is too many.
Not only does the PSA do a great job of putting the responsibility of ending violence against women back on the society that condones it and the potential bystanders who often fail to intervene, thereby taking the blame away from survivors, but it teaches us that while violence sometimes happens between strangers it most often occurs between intimate partners and acquaintances.
My favorite lines come from VP Biden and President Obama, “So if you see someone threatening a woman step up, speak out, and get help… because 1 is too many.” Now that’s what I call a strong encouragement of bystander intervention! Zerlina over at Feministing said it best, “[The PSA] helps put everyone else on notice that it is our collective responsibility to support and speak up for and with survivors brave enough to tell their stories.” So awesome and so important.
Transcript: Hey Everybody Listen up, listen up guys, listen up. No one should ever hit a woman. Not their wife, not their girlfriend, not their date. No woman should have to fear violence. Especially not from someone they know and trust. But that’s the reality for too many women. We have to change it. It’s up to each of us because even 1 is too many. Violence against women hurts all of us. Growing up I was ashamed and afraid of my father when he abused my mom. The worst abuse of power is when a man raises his hand to hurt a woman. We all have to take responsibility. So if you see someone threatening a woman step up, speak out, and get help. Dating violence hurts all of us so step up and help out because 1 is too many. One is too many. One is too many. One is too many. End the violence because it’s wrong. Because one, one is too many.