Last March, many witnessed the slap that was heard round the world. The unrehearsed and unscripted incident played out in front of the planet’s best actors, with 17 million viewers watching from home. It occurred in supposedly one of most civilized and curated places in the land. But everyone saw that even “winners” are not immune from knee-jerk reactions when messages perceived as offensive produce hurt feelings.
The incident will ultimately change the way we look at these shocking outbursts after words perceived as insults are spoken.
It will also be life-changing for another group of people out of the glare of the lights and cameras — family members who routinely slap others in their own homes. Ranging from verbal to physical abuse, they push, bully and bruise mothers, fathers, siblings and children on a regular basis.
How should they react to regain balance? They can yell, strike back, disarm the incident with a humor or simply leave the scene, while hoping that the behavior will cease. But millions suffer in silence. They may become enablers of further violence if they don’t know where or how to draw the line. There are words and ways to handle abuse so they can calmly take their rightful place as heroes, not merely survivors.