As the continuing revelations about Ray Rice's abuse of his then-fiancé Janay Palmer and the NFL's subsequent cover-up keep domestic violence in the national conversation, it's of course always worth remembering that famous people are certainly not the only ones to experience or perpetuate domestic violence. And to remember, as one domestic violence PSA from Australia reminds us, that the root causes of domestic violence start early on in life. Because no one wakes up one morning and decides to abuse their intimate partner just for fun.
The truth is that we live in a culture that perpetuates all sorts of toxic ideas about gender. Women are all too often portrayed as weak and naturally submissive, and are regularly objectified and treated in the media as things to be possessed or won, rather than as people. Men, on the other hand, are portrayed as strong and dominant, and are given the impression that they are entitled to things due to the noxious force that is male privilege. They are also taught that dealing with your emotions openly (AKA in a healthy way) is unmanly.
And if none of this sounds like a perfect (and perfectly awful) recipe for domestic violence, you're clearly not paying attention.
Domestic violence, along with other violent crimes that disproportionately affect women, are not about isolated incidents or individual perpetrators. Although each case is unique, they are all fed by a larger culture full of gender inequality and toxic gender norms. And that's a point this PSA from the Australian anti-violence group Our Watch really drives home.