Domestic Violence is Not “Unpleasantness”

Last week I was reading the White Bear Press and noticed that the Ramsey County Sheriff Reports referred to an incident of domestic violence as “unpleasantness.” I’ve worked with victims/survivors of domestic violence and I can assure you that DV is far more than simply “unpleasantness.” I wrote a Letter to the Editor about my concerns and it was published in today’s White Bear Press. The text of the LTE is below.


Word choice is insulting to victims


In the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Reports Sept. 13 it was noted that “unpleasantness” occurred between a husband and wife, resulting in the wife obtaining an order for protection (OFP). One does not obtain an OFP simply because something “unpleasant” happened but because an individual has experienced violence at the hands of another person. Referring to domestic violence as “unpleasantness” makes it seem like it isn’t a big deal and is insulting to victim/survivors of domestic violence, as well as those of us who care about them. I get that the sheriff’s reports are supposed to be somewhat lighthearted but I don’t think talking about domestic violence in such a manner is appropriate or helpful.

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