TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Help And Believe

Around the country and right here in Fargo-Moorhead, there are victims of abuse, both men and women, who suffer in silence. They are silent because few believe them when they voice their concerns.

The dumbing down of America at the national level does not help. Look at the people who the president has surrounded himself with:

  • Rob Porter, accused of abusing two ex-wives.
  • Steve Bannon, charged with domestic violence.
  • Steve Wynn, resigned after being exposed as a serial abuser.
  • Andy Puzder, accused of domestic violence.
  • Cory Lewandowski, accused of battery domestic assault.
  • And Donald J. Trump himself, accused by 20 women of groping and sexual assault.

Our president supports the men without offering one word of condolence to the female victims. Our congressional majority and most members of the minority generally sit without comment, thereby giving silent approval to the men and disbelief to the women.

To be sure, there are also men who are vilified and beaten by their female partners. But as men, they are ashamed to admit this to anyone because it would reflect badly on their “manhood.”

At both state and national levels, people who spoke so sanctimoniously about their moral superiority are resigning in droves after having been caught in illicit affairs, as well as pedophilia. We get what we elect!

We don’t need to play the blame game. What we need is truth. That means when there is a claim of abuse, we as a people have to listen and act. Yes, there may be an occasional false alarm, but I’d bet the facts show them to be few and far between.

As a people, we have to be concerned with the welfare of our neighbors — men, women and children — and that means we must listen. In schools of all types, every report of abuse must be investigated, not shoved under the rug. That requires people’s participation.

In Fargo-Moorhead and our surrounding communities, if you simply Google “counseling and abuse services,” you will find many professional agencies that provide help to victims of rape and assault as well as domestic abuse, including both physical and (just as important) verbal abuse. Safe houses and medical services are available to help, and we have the best lawyers in the country to provide assistance.

If you have a friend or acquaintance who needs help, don’t just sit and worry about them. Take a chance — get involved! Try to help them help themselves. Lives can be saved and years of abuse stopped by convincing the people who need help to get it.

Once they know they can seek assistance with their privacy insured, they may take that first big step.

The odds are that when you first learn about abuse, it’s not the first time it has happened. We as human beings have to get involved and forget the cute action names that are used. Actual help and guidance are not just a catchphrase. They are an act of kindness towards those who need kindness the most.

I know it’s not easy to get involved. But I’d rather lose a friend by trying to help them than sit by and whine as I watch them suffer.

It’s not a matter of what women must do to be believed. It’s what every one of us needs to do when we hear the sound of pain. If you hear it — act. If you can’t act, call one of the many agencies in the community to find out what to do next. They’ll be a great resource.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. The same is true with humans: You can show them how to get the help they need, but in the end, it is their decision whether or not to accept it.

For too many years, men have been passing laws and telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. Now it’s time for the men to butt out. Concerned people must to take off the gloves and attack this problem.

No one wants to break up families. Nor do we want individual family members to be broken down. Get involved or don’t complain. Amen.

Published by

Tom Davies

Judge Tom Davies wielded the gavel in Fargo's Municipal Court for nearly 40 years, the longest term of any elected official in the city's history, until health problems forced his retirement in 2012. Born in Grand Forks, the UND business and law graduate has lived in Fargo since 1956, when his father, Ronald Davies, was appointed a federal judge. The outspoken, irreverent jurist remains an insatiable consumer of news, sharing his observations in Moorhead's weekly newspaper, The Extra … and now here on the Fish blog. As a child, Davies delivered the Grand Forks Herald and sold them on the street corner.

2 thoughts on “TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Help And Believe”

  1. I have been blessed with the 12 Step Programs which have taught me that I am guided, but I must ask when I am struggling for the help that I need.
    I reach out whenever I see someone in distress. Hugs work, a hand on the shoulder, but giving them assurance that there are answers is the most important of all. It is called HOPE.
    It is hard to find that if you look at the mess this country is in. But to start with one, who has more, and they have more. It spreads like a ripple in a pond. Much work goes into it, but you get what you give, if you don’t work it, it does not work. Spread THAT WORD- HOPE.

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