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Ending the Silence

Suzanne Leonard Harrison, MD

Suzanne Leonard Harrison, MD

People are talking about domestic violence. Finally.

One good thing that has emerged from the media attention with domestic violence and the NFL is that people are talking about it. During the week following release of the Ray Rice video it was all over the national news, making it easy to engage both men and women in conversations about domestic violence. While the video was playing on a television in a Texas airport, I asked a young man what he thought about it. He looked directly at me and said, “I don’t think you want to know what I think.” After I assured him I did, he shared some very negative remarks about men who perpetrate violence against women. The significance for me was that it was easy to engage a man I had never met in a meaningful conversation about domestic violence. The National Domestic Violence Hotline experienced an 84% increase in calls in the days following release of the video.[1]  Perhaps we finally entered an era when the silence has ended. I sincerely hope so.

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