The Other Face Of Domestic Violence

March 18, 2011
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On March 14, 1993, CBS aired “Men Don’t Tell,” a TV movie about domestic violence starring Peter Strauss and Judith Light. The twist: Strauss’s character, construction executive Ed MacAffrey, was abused by his wife Laura, played by Light. The movie is now available to watch on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_gLDF2dGLY.

Based on a true story, it dramatizes the story of a loving husband, who is terrorized by the violent behavior of his wife. He had long endured the physical and emotional abuse heaped upon him by his neurotic wife.

He tolerates this not only because he loves her and is concerned over the welfare of his daughter, but also because men are traditionally regarded as weaklings if they allow themselves to be battered by their wives.

After one of Laura’s destructive tantrums brings the attention of the police, Ed is suspected of being the aggressor! Finally, Laura goes too far and Ed tries to defend himself–whereupon Laura crashes through the front window of her home and is rendered comatose. Ed is arrested for Domestic Violence and Attempted Murder.

As he is interrogated, he tells his story of years of abuse, and how he even once sought help by calling a domestic violence hotline, only to get scorned and hung up on. This interrogation takes all night, by highly skeptical police.

While this is going on, his children have been taken to their paternal grandfather, himself a retired police officer, to spend the night. In the morning, young daughter, who chose to remain silent through the years of abuse due to the humiliation and shame, asked the grandfather is her mother was in trouble.

This surprised the grandfather, who then asked her why she thought her mother, whom he thought was the victim of his abusive son, would be in trouble? To this she said, “Because mommy hits daddy”.

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