Domestic violence prevention scandal: just talk it out


A Dutch government television and radio commercial with a social message on domestic violence has caused a scandal for inciting women who get beaten by their male partners to ‘just talk it out’. And this contemptuous Christian valued attempt at keeping a dysfunctional relationship together for no good reason deserves a translation:

A soft spoken woman says: “The first few months I didn’t dare try anything. I let it all wash over me. It hurt, but it will go away, just like the bruises. I thought it was so sweet when a girlfriend of mine said, ‘That’s enough already. You can solve this together, with outside help.’ Then I called.”

Any usual Western world message is ‘get out of there, call someone, get help, take the kids with you too, etc.’, as we have seen here on billboards, even written in Turkish and Arabic. As we all have learned, a man who beats his wife will most probably continue to do so. Why take that risk? Yes, women do stay with partners because of the children, because they choose to be economically dependent on them, etc. But is it really responsible for my tax money to finance advertising that tells women to stay put and get beaten up? It’s totally disgusting and it won’t solve anything.

De Pers quotes an expert that says the government is trying to tell people in bad relationships with a lot of yelling and stuff that they should talk it out, which is obviously the wrong group to be focusing on. What the government doesn’t understand is that hard core wife beaters are committing a crime and that, like oh so many problems in Dutch society, don’t go away by having tea and a friendly chat.

The Netherlands has even been criticised by the United Nations for being the only member country whose domestic violence phone help lines were not free to call. Apparently, being cheap is a good Christian value to them.

Dutch outgoing Christian government: may you rot in hell.

Here’s the video (in Dutch):

(Link: depers)


  1. Greg Tyrelle says:

    Thank you for calling attention to issues like this. I guess I haven’t been here long enough to understand how you can have some of the most liberal, sane attitudes in the western world on some issues, then on the other hand promote an entirely wrong message about domestic violence. Christian right influence is what you suggest ?

    Keep up the good work with 24 oranges, I find it a great mix of the irreverent and important social aspects of the Netherlands. Indispensable for the Expat.

  2. E R Downs says:

    I also want to thank you for bringing this appalling advert to everyone’s attention. It is absolutely unacceptable for a 21st-century government to be advising women to stay and talk to the man who is beating them – HE is not interested in talking, only hitting, so how is that going to work? “Can you please stop hitting me for long enough so that we can talk about why you are hitting me?” No,no, no. This is NOT good enough in a modern country – women who are being abused in a relationship should be given support to LEAVE, not told to stay. Disgusting in every way.

  3. Orangemaster says:

    @Greg Thanks for the kind word! @ER Thanks as well :)

  4. Lady says:

    I agree! Our society tells women that they are suppose to be the peacemakers and try to rash things out with their abusers. Abusers do not care about how their wife of children feel everything is about power and dominance. I am so glad people are speaking out and one day when I am alittle older I am going to start a charity and program for the abused. This has been going on too long and these so called fake christians are making it worse.

    As a true believer in Jesus Christ, I believe that the body is a temple and God doesn’t want it to be destroyed. Letting a man hit you over and over again means you are not guarding the body God gave you. SEEK HELP, SPEAK UP!

  5. […] this is a country where just last year a national government advert suggested battered women just talk it out with their aggressive partners and where in 2010, it was the only member country whose domestic […]

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