Quote of the Day

[Content Note: Domestic violence.]

"I found her to be delightful, very friendly...and I found the two of them to be very happy in each other's company."—Ampie Louw, Oscar Pistorius' longtime coach, on the quality of the relationship between Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, who was dating and was killed by Pistorius.

In the Guardian article whence came this quote, headlined "Pistorius family disappointed by 'sensationalist' media reports," Louw also says: "I pray that we can all, in time, come through this challenging situation following the accident and I am looking forward to the day I can get my boy back on the track."


One of the media habits I most despise is publishing comments about how "happy" couples seemed to be after incidents of partner abuse and/or murder. Presumably, Steenkamp was not happy in Pistorius' company when he was shooting her, and eliding her terror in order to talk about how happy they were together is not just seriously gross, but feeds all the abuse-abetting narratives centered around domestic violence that conspire to suggest if a person (especially a female person) ever seemed happy in a relationship, obviously the relationship couldn't have been that bad.

Here, it is clear that suggestion is implicitly being used to bolster the frame that the shooting was an accident. They were happy; he wouldn't have hurt her.

Relationships that feature abuse of any sort are complicated. It is a fundamental (and often deliberate) misunderstanding of domestic violence to argue that happiness and abuse cannot exist in the same space.

[H/T to Cat Neshine.]

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