Punching Holes in Walls is Domestic Violence
Despite attempted normalization in TV and movies, punching walls or windows is a form of abuse.
When I was in high school—before I’d ever been in an abusive relationship or even understood what domestic violence truly is—one of my classmates was dating a guy a couple grades ahead of us. Their relationship seemed great at first, a true fairy-tale type thing. They were both super-popular, invited to every party and gathering, and members of the most sought-after lunchroom clique. They were so in love, completely infatuated and devoted to each other.
Or so it seemed.
Then, a few months into the relationship, “Sally” (as I’ve decided to call her) changed. She became moody. One day she was up, the next down (or very grouchy). What was going on? Honestly, I never thought too much about it at the time—after all, I wasn’t one of the cool kids who sat at her lunch table, so the only thing I knew about her was my own personal observations, from afar.
Then one day, in front of all to see …
Sally’s perfect boyfriend—I’ll call him “Jim” (because you don’t mess around with Jim) got mad at her for something. I have no idea what they were fighting about, but he ended up punching his fist through the biology lab window. The incident happened during a sex ed class, so maybe he was mad about Sally’s reproduction system or something.
I (in all my innocence/ignorance) thought … Duh! Why would Jim cut his hand to shreds by punching a window—not to mention getting himself suspended in the process? What did he think he’d accomplished by such a daft move?
But an even bigger question was why Sally forgave him a few days later. By the time Jim’s short suspension was over and he was back at school, he and Sally were Romeo and Juliet again.
When, months later, Jim punched the concrete wall of the gym, then another window, I was even more baffled about both his and Sally’s behaviour. Why on earth would she put up with that? Why would she stay with such an obviously violent and unstable young man?
Of course, I’m now seasoned and experienced and I know the sad truth of the matter.
Was Sally being physically abused by Jim during that time? She never showed up at school with bruises or broken bones, never complained about domestic violence, so no one ever mentioned it. Sure, Jim had a bit of a temper, but overall he was a nice guy. And so hot! And popular! And athletic!
Fast-forward six years. The couple was still together, and a child had been introduced into the mix.
And Sally was a captive in her own home. Unable to leave, held at gunpoint.
Thankfully, the story ended well—at least to the best of my knowledge. After an eight-hour hostage situation, the police were able to apprehend Jim, and he was carted off to jail. Sally and her child moved out of town. I haven’t heard anything about either one of them since.
The reason I’m telling this story is to reiterate the points I made in my previous article, “Psychological Physical Violence Can Be a Sign of More to Come.” In that article I stated: