Why Mel Gibson's Latest Scandal Is Important

LaPrincipessa's picture

Trigger Warning: Some of this post and linked audio are very graphic and triggering. 

So, I don't mean I actually like (alleged) verbal and physical abuse, I abhor it with all of my being. Abuse in all of its forms hurt women and children and scar generations leaving dire social consequences and years long ramifications that take a toll in every aspect of our lives.

The images on television of partner abuse is usually of some woman trudging into a shelter bloody and bruised , having just run from an abusive husband/boyfriend. When politicians stand up and speak out against partner abuse they often point to lack of funds for battered women shelters and want to increase aid for women who have left an (physically) abusive relationship. But no one talks about emotional, verbal and mental abuse. Stalking, rampant possessiveness, jealousy, consistent anger , manipulation, financial abuse, and constantly attacking a partner's self esteem with perpetual put downs and insults - all of this is considered emotional or verbal abuse. But hardly anyone seems willing to acknowledge this publicly; there is little to no media attention paid to verbal and emotional abuse.

So when Mel Gibson is heard (allegedly) cursing out, screaming at, intimidating, insulting, and  threatening  the life of his partner on tape, the media takes notice and suddenly this type of abuse is at the forefront of America's pop-culture consciousness.

There are those who wonder whether Gibson's partner was making up accusations about abuse and using the "doctored" tape to exhort money from Gibson, but the more vehemently he denied the accusations, the number of  vile tapes and real evidence released from his former partner just continued to rise. Mel Gibson is innocent until proven guilty, but the evidence is extremely damning.

Suppose  Gibson's ex partner did indeed doctor tapes and hire someone that sounds like Gibson to verbally assault her on numerous occasions and use references to highly personal information?  Gibson would be exonerated and go back to living a carefree life of luxury, but we'll still be talking about verbal and emotional abuse long after. Indeed, the way problems such as this can begin to be dealt with is complex but must start with the conversation. The heretofore socially-deemed "private" must be considered "public" in order for our society to deal with it.

So while I know in my heart that Gibson's (alleged) verbal and emotional assault(s) on his former partner were wrong; that no woman or man should ever have to be a victim of such violent hatred and emotional stress, I am in some ways relieved that we are now talking about verbal and emotional abuse. Yet, it is a sad state of the world that someone had to be humiliated and was made to (allegedly) suffer so profoundly in order for us to begin the conversation.

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Verbal Abuse Resources

Oregon Abuse Resources 

Gibson's Alleged Taped Conversation With Ex Girlfriend -1  

Gibson's Alleged Taped Conversation With Ex Girlfriend- 2

(Posted at Women Undefined)

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