A truly safe place for women (and children too.)

A truly safe place for women (and children too.)

Comments Off on A truly safe place for women (and children too.)

Washington Post

But marriage also seems to cause men to behave better. That’s because men tend to settle down after they marry, to be more attentive to the expectations of friends and kin, to be more faithful, and to be more committed to their partners—factors that minimize the risk of violence. What’s more: women who are married are more likely to live in safer neighborhoods, to have a partner who is watching out for their physical safety, and—for obvious reasons—to spend less time in settings that increase their risk of rape, robbery, and assaults.

To be sure, it doesn’t take a viewing of “The Burning Bed? or “Safe Haven?to realize that married men can and do abuse or assault their wives or daughters. Marriage is no panacea when it comes to male violence. But married fathers are much less likely to resort to violence than men who are not tied by marriage or biology to a female. And, most fundamentally, for the girls and women in their lives, married fathers provide direct protection by watching out for the physical welfare of their wives and daughters, and indirect protection by increasing the odds they live in safe homes and are not exposed to men likely to pose a threat.

It almost goes without saying that the rage Wilcox and Wilson generated with the above linked piece is still reverberating across the internet. Problem with all that smoke and fury is, Wilcox and Wilson are right.

Oh, none of their statistics in any way minimize the horror that so many women and children have experienced at the hands of the men they married and the fathers who gave them life. Yes, that is a huge problem and so much more needs to be done about it — even if only one women or child is still being abused.

But that doesn’t change the hard cold validity of the statistics: As bad as marriage can be, the safest place for a woman and her children is still with the man she married and the father who gave those children life.

It’s statistical realities such as the above that cause us to take a values oriented stance towards marriage that simply holds that, if two people stand at an alter and promise, “Until death do us part,” then, whenever possible, that needs to be taken seriously (especially when children are involved) and everything possible needs to be done to make that marriage a good place where everyone WANTS to be. (Preferably, that needs to start long before the couple ever stands at the alter — even before they get engaged if possible.)

Obviously there are some marriages that NEED to be ended — but the cynical, selfish and mercenary attitudes our society holds regarding such hardly make up a definition of such.

Why? Because, though the commitment itself matters — the reality of the safety marriage offers may even trump that.

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