Since the White House has been occupied with the Trump administration, there have been more cover-ups and “thoughts and prayers” than any actual action.
Trump, in the Oval Office on February 14th, told reporters, “I am totally opposed to domestic violence, and everybody here knows that; I am totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind, everyone knows that and it almost wouldn’t even have to be said, so now you hear it, but you all know.”
I am sure Trump is also sending his “thoughts and prayers” to the women abused by his aide.
As if it were common public knowledge that Trump was so outwardly and openly opposed to domestic violence before that it didn’t even need to be said or addressed. First of all, this was the first time Trump had addressed this issue at all, especially concerning his staff secretary, Rob Porter. And the first time the White House has addressed this issue as they knew Porter abused his two ex-wives for a while now.
Following the beginning of the White House timeline of knowledge on the subject, last January 2017 Porter told White House counsel member Don Mcgahn that a background check might find problems.Then again in June, the FBI sent a file to the White House with claims from the ex-wives that Porter abused them. And there’s more, including pictures and police reports. The fact that he resigned suggests a lot about the truth behind these claims.
For anyone who hasn't picked up on this story yet, Rob Porter, Trump’s staff secretary who had temporary high-security clearance and one of the most important jobs in the White House, was accused of domestic violence and abuse from his two ex-wives. The story was first reported by Daily Mail when Porter’s 39-year-old most recent ex-wife came forward and spoke on the record to the news source about her abusive relationship with Porter. His first wife confirmed that he was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive to her as well.
Jennie Willoughby, Porter’s second wife, his written a blog post, has an Instagram, has spoken out, and has written on numerous other forums about her abuse story and the realities of domestic abuse. She also started her own hashtag that gained national attention and controversy that is #AndSoIStayed.
In her original blog post on April 24, 2017, Jennie highlighted the realities of domestic abuse. Her story outlines common realities of intimate partner violence in the home, which can be physical, sexual, psychological/emotional aggression, stalking, and control of reproductive or sexual health, according to the CDC.
And in an NBC news opinion piece, Jennie wrote, “And while I am grateful that my words have allowed men and women a platform to share their stories, I am heartbroken that the only safe space that exists for some is an anonymous comments section.” Luckily, Jennie has found she has access to major media platforms to share her story of abuse in which people are listening.
On the official #metoo movement’s website, their home page says in bright, bold pink letters, “You Are Not Alone,” and below this, there is a statistics that reads, “17,700,000 women have reported a sexual assault since 1998.” Findings from the CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey show that in the U.S. alone, one in three women and one in six men have experienced some form of sexual violence, and about one in four women and one in seven men have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner.
The statistics are there, for both intimate partner abuse and sexual violence. This has stoked the fire enough that movements are being sparked. The #metoo movement and #AndSoIStayed have come about because we are tired and through with being (or the fear of becoming) just one of the preventable statistics that plague our nation.
These movements, sparked by women who have had enough, are necessary, important, and need to be addressed continuously until we begin seeing change. President Trump will never be able to say it enough that he is “totally opposed to domestic violence.” There will never be a time he exhausts that sentence until things change. Women and men alike are demanding change and will not be silenced until they see it.
Jennie Willoughby sums up her opinion piece featured on NBC beautifully by saying:
“We need to stop sensationalizing abuse in the media and Hollywood, because it is more nuanced than that. We need to stop avoiding discussions of abuse in schools and in the workplace, because it is more prevalent than that. We need the knowledge of abuse to lead to swift and just action, because it is as serious as that. We need to talk openly and honestly about why our culture continues to tolerate abuse. And we need to recognize that if anyone is susceptible, everyone is susceptible.
Domestic abuse is not limited to the poor, or to minorities, or the uneducated, or the criminal, or the disenfranchised. Abuse is everywhere. And it’s time we opened our hearts to face this not-so-hidden American secret.”
As long as we keep the discussion open and address these issues every day until they change, then we will be able to say that we did something about these preventable statistics that are a modern society's affliction.