A classic example in mainstream media of misogynistic beliefs from a third-party observer where the subject of domestic violence/abuse is blamed on (in this case) the woman. There are many reasons why a woman would remain in an abusive relationship and a lot of them are reasons to not leave—children (as brought up by Steve) are a huge factor. This is why Steve is wrong in what he said:
“How do I prevent my daughter from growing up to be your daughter?”
Steve is placing the blame on the woman. He believes that there is a strength missing (which will be addressed later) from the woman’s character that can be instilled through parenting.
“…I hear these stories, and I saw it when I was a policeman…”
The fact of the matter is that Steve did not witness the abuse first hand. As far as I am concerned, he did not work with couples in abusive relationships, help battered women, or intervene in any way that would make him something other than a third-party observer (quite possibly, these “stories” were all told to Steve by misinformed individuals).
“They’re letting men beat them…”
Again, Steve is taking some of the blame off of the abuser and onto the abused. This is common to abusive relationships—the abused is made to believe that it is somehow their fault. A woman could stay with a man who abuses her for financial reasons, convenience, the sake of the children, etc. Abuse is not a “hit it and quit it” type of thing. Tension rises for months and years and then the physical/sexual/mental abuse actually takes place and is usually followed by remorse. The cycle continues. An abusive relationship forms over time, therefore allowing it to “normalize” in the mind of the abused.
“Why isn’t [the] woman strong enough to…[get out of the relationship]?”
Women are not lacking strength when it comes to domestic abuse because it slowly establishes a place in the relationship to the point that it’s a “normal” occurrence. Strength is, of course, a factor in seeking help, but the abused woman is not weak for not leaving and there are countless reasons why she wouldn’t.
Each account of abuse is unique and different and this isn’t meant to be a crash course in domestic abuse. This is simply a brief explanation for those who understand enough to see where I’m coming from. And, of course, I’m not saying that Steve Wilkos is a misogynist pig or anything like that (because I know someone is going to say something like that). He, just like thousands of other people (unfortunately), is misinformed about abuse. Don’t be one of them!