BEND, OR -- A day after Republican candidate for Governor Bud Pierce apologized for comments he made about domestic violence, a Bend-based advocacy group is grateful the issue is being discussed. At last week's debate in Portland, Dr. Pierce said individuals could prevent becoming a victim by achieving a good economic status.
Erin Rook, with Saving Grace
, says Pierce's statement speaks to two common misconceptions, "One, is that we can prevent domestic violence by ensuring that women have certain protections; putting that impetus to prevent it on the victim, which is kind of a backwards way of thinking. In order to change and prevent domestic violence, we really have to look at perpetrators. The other is the idea that domestic violence only effects people of low income or low educational statuses. And, that’s absolutely not true." He says
the misconceptions aren't unique to Pierce. "If they don’t see the issue as touching their life directly, it seems irrelevant, maybe? There was recently a report released by the Women’s Foundation of Oregon – the Count Her In Report – that showed that more than half of Oregon women and girls will experience domestic or sexual violence. So, clearly we all, whether we have experienced domestic violence ourselves or not, we certainly know someone who does."
In his apology, Dr. Pierce says the issue will improve when there is more education. But, Rook tells KBND News there isn’t money to grow programs. "So, the state does mandate that there is a certain amount of violence prevention education in schools. Unfortunately, the mandate comes without any funding connected to it. It’s one of those things we want it to happen, and it needs to happen. But, sometimes there can be a struggle in communities to find the resources to make that happen."