Utah’s shame: Domestic abuse in Utah is high, and there is no excuse
Today's Andy Griffin Show had a poignant segment on domestic abuse, specifically spousal abuse.
A recent study showed Utah to be among one of the top states in per capita violence against women in a marital setting. The numbers are sobering. And disturbing.
Did you know in Utah 1 in 3 women experience some form of domestic abuse? That means more than 350,000 women in our beloved Beehive State have experienced or are currently experiencing violent domestic abuse.
Two years ago, on a horrific day during the summer of 2020, dispatchers across the state received 359 domestic violence calls in Utah. That was IN ONE DAY.
Call me old-fashioned, but I was raised to believe that it is never OK to hit a woman. Never.
My Dad never once even came close to raising a finger against my Mom. He used to tell me that it would be the dumbest thing a man could do. Why in the world would you even think about hurting the person you love most in this world?
"A man who hurts a woman," he said. "Is not a man at all."
On the AG Show today, I asked listeners why they believed this was happening in our state.
"A lot of people in the predominant religion believe men should rule the house, but leave out the part about ruling the house 'with your spouse, in righteousness.'"
One person texted into the show: "Andy ... full disclosure. I am a 69-year-old male, non-LDS, 4-year resident, married to an LDS woman. I would say the domestic violence vs. women is partially the result of the Church's teaching about male dominance in the household. Some take it as a dictatorship rather than a partnership. Seen overbearing husbands that belittle wives."
Honestly, if that happens, the husband has a fundamental misunderstanding of what his religion, his God, is asking of him. That is, in fact, exactly opposite of what is taught in the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In the gospel that I believe in, women are to be honored, revered, counseled with, respected and loved.
Domestic abuse (and dictatorship) does none of this.
Another texter said: "My theory: there is a big difference between "self esteem" and a sense of self worth, that I don't have time to go into here. Many well-meaning parents have bought into the self-esteem nonsense which has resulted in a maturing generation of males who feel like everything has to go their way. Some females react by psychologically bullying each other while some males react by being physically aggressive."
Other callers speculated that the high rate of abuse has to do with the religious belief that divorce is a last resort, that marriage should be saved at all cost.
I'm here to tell all you wonderful women that if a man physically abuses you, that marriage is not worth "saving at all costs." There are always exceptions, but I believe if he'll do it once, he'll do it again.
Ladies, you don't have to take it.
And guys, don't do it. It's not OK. It's never OK.
Come on Utah, we have got to be better than this.