Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bloggers Unite Against Abuse

Bloggers Unite against Abuse.
I received a message in my inbox yesterday morning.

Thousands of bloggers from around the world are joining together this Thursday, September 27th with a single message: Stop Abuse!

BlogCatalog would love for you to be one of them!

On Thursday, September 27th, post about any abuse topic you care about - child abuse, domestic abuse, animal abuse, drug abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, political abuse - and let the world know you stand united with thousands of bloggers as part of the Bloggers Unite "Blog Against Abuse" campaign. Depending on your topic, you can even link to local, regional, national, or international organizations that you care about or support. Every post will count!

And I got to thinking. What kind of abuse could I write about to affect change? Or change people's minds? I started thinking about child abuse. Horrible abuse of people who cannot protect themselves, but most of us – all of us, really, except a few outliers – know that abusing children is wrong. People who abuse children don't tell their neighbors, blog about it, or want people to know they are doing it. So they know it is wrong already but do it nonetheless. Elder abuse is pretty much the same thing. Not that it is the same as child abuse, but people know its wrong, some do it anyway, most people are against it. And Michael Vick did more for animal abuse awareness than I could ever do.

The Princeton Dictionary defines abuse this way:

  • mistreat: treat badly; "This boss abuses his workers"; "She is always stepping on others to get ahead"
  • pervert: change the inherent purpose or function of something; "Don't abuse the system"; "The director of the factory misused the funds intended for the health care of his workers"
  • maltreatment: cruel or inhumane treatment
  • use foul or abusive language towards; "The actress abused the policeman who gave her a parking ticket"; "The angry mother shouted at the teacher"
  • a rude expression intended to offend or hurt; "when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse"; "they yelled insults at the visiting team"
  • misuse: improper or excessive use
  • use wrongly or improperly or excessively; "Her husband often abuses alcohol"; "while she was pregnant, she abused drugs"
I guess I will use the maltreatment form of the word, as that is the meaning I think they mean by this blog effort.

I have witnessed many bloggers, vloggers and such, and at times, they type things, say things, write things, and respond to things when they want to change a little part of the world. They say things, create things, and I sometimes wonder if anything really changes. They might raise some money for breast cancer, for disabled troops, coming back from Iraq, maybe. Mostly they self-pontificate, say things they believe, of course, but their words, their videos, their voice, their actions do little to change things.

So here I sit, pondering, wondering what type of abuse I write about will make an impact on any of my readers. What type of maltreatment can one write about, that when read, or experienced, can change someone's mind. Because that's what I would want to do, change someone's mind to something.

I have been guilty of maltreatment. I have. While I have not been fighting dogs, I have been unfaithful. And if you are talking about maltreatment, I cannot think of a worse way to treat someone you love. Someone you swore before God and family that you were going to cherish forever. Well, beating your child, beating your wife or husband, that would be worse. But to cheat on your spouse, it is a form of abuse and not many people see it that way.

When you look into your spouse's eyes after finally telling them you were unfaithful, you see the hurt in their eyes, and I don't know how you don't see it as abuse. Well, initially, I did not see it as abusive, but the more I pondered what I had done, there was an element of abuse to my infidelity.

On more than one occasion, I have stressed that the momentary thrill you will feel with the sex, the acceptance you hope to get, whatever drives the infidelity, is not worth it. It poison's your soul and abuses your spouse. We just don't use those words because the abuse is "not intentional." I don't care if most people don't believe this classifies as abuse. It is, and if someone reads this and decides not to do something they will regret, I will be overjoyed.

And if you just go home tonight and keep a promise, not just to a spouse, but to your child, your dog, your goldfish, I would be happy with that. More importantly, you should be happy with that.


kathi said...

True, 100%. Good stuff.

RWA said...


You wrote about whether words on a blog could truly make a difference.

For what it's worth, they have for me.

Very well done, Leesa.

Anonymous said...

I think you should have blogged about e-mail abuse and encouraged everyone to go after whoever sent you that note in the first place. As a writer, you have to love the irony.

- Grant

Ian Lidster said...

Poignant and thoughtful, Leesa. When I read your comments about infidelity I was looking in the mirror at an earlier stage of my life (and an earlier marriage, I might add) and was struck almost with a shudder at how abusive my behavior had been. I justified it at the time, but my justifications were largely self-gratifying bullshit.
On the topic, there is another form of abuse that people rarely consider, and that is abuse of self. No, I'm not talking about masturbation, but abuse of substances, dwelling in guilt, refusal to be kind to the one person we know the best.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Ian's comment is true - the "abuse" starts with ourselves and then extends to our spouses, children, animals, etc. It is steeped in a lack of faith in ourselves and a need to find answers in someone else, or something else.

I wish more people would be able to write these kind of posts.

Leesa said...

kathi: thanks, sweetie.

rwa: sweet comment, but I don't know if I do make a difference.

grant: well, that would have been clever. Darned it, why didn't I think of that?

ian: well, I was broken, too. But that really didn't fit with the post - I hope I was not abusing myself, though I may have been.

boxer: you know, I have had my blog critiqued every once in a while, and they say basically, I am full of --it.

Happily Anonymous said...

Definitely an interesting take on abuse Leesa. I had a tough time choosing what I should post about today as well.

Leesa said...

annonymous: thanks for popping in, and thanks for hitting so many blogs.

Prata said...

Yes you do care if people classify it as abuse. That's why you are so adamant about others disregarding your thoughts on it or at the very least falling into line with your thinking. Since that is an intentional act, aren't you mentally abusing your readers? =-P

Abuse must be intentional. You are intentionally abusing that person's trust, that would have been a more compelling, truthful, and persuading way to say it.

In case you were curious. ^_^

Derrick Davidson said...

Thanks Nice Post. I am practicing abuse prevention, when I get carried away with words or actions I throw them out.