This post discusses intimate partner violence and victim blaming. It will also likely contain plot spoilers for the episode.
[Alfred Hitchcock Presents “Guilty Witness.” Video via YouTube.]
Of course it turns out that he doesn’t hit her. Of course there’s some other explanation.
Except, of course, that there are signs in the episode — the bruise, the flimsy excuse, the yelling, screaming arguments heard from below.
And there are the excuses — the neighbor woman is overreacting, it’s none of our business, some couples just like to fight.
I’m sure, for some viewers, there’s even the temptation to ignore it.
The stats — the real-life stats — don’t let me ignore it:
- “One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.”
- “Less than one-fifth of victims reporting an injury from intimate partner violence sought medical treatment following the injury.”
- “In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.”
To downplay — to derail — it at the end by going, “He was cheating on me. He was leaving,” — I just can’t even.
If, in the fictional lives of the characters, there was recurring domestic violence going on, then that is a story that deserved to be told. Because it is a story in line with the facts. Or, if there was never any recurring domestic violence in said fictional lives (something that, judging by the first part of the episode, I find difficult to believe), then please stop using our real lives as red herrings in your made-up tales of suspense.