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Column: Danry Vasquez domestic abuse video showcases a problem bigger than baseball

Time For Change

Danry Vasquez Even hardcore baseball fans were unaware of who this individual is before a 2016 domestic violence video surfaced on Wednesday.

Let’s use the term “individual” when describing Vasquez because he is certainly not a man.  The word man by definition has the word gentlemen attached to it as a synonym.

As the savage video displays, Vasquez is neither a man nor a gentleman. He literally beat his one time-fiancée repeatedly as they descended down a flight of stairs.

There was nothing reactive about his actions as she neither physically sparked the alteration nor did she fight back.

There are not words that can be uttered that justify his actions so its time to step up to the proverbial plate and address the situation as it is.

This is not an issue about domestic violence in baseball or sports for that matter. Vasquez has been justifiably cut twice because of his actions. And his place of employment had little to nothing to do with the evil that he is capable of.

He has bounced around the minors and non-MLB affiliated leagues as an international prospect that just never really caught on.

Unless the discussion is about the stress of trying to “make it” is the fuel for one’s argument, this should not be a conversation about violence in sports culture.

This is about  how we global community raise our children. Domestic abuse occurs in all countries within all genders and within all races.

In this case, Vasquez beat his high school sweetheart Fabiana Perez down like she was a man that was capable of knuckling up with an athlete.

The pair had been together since she was 14-years-old. It’s not hard to question why she refused to cooperate with the initial prosecution of the incident that was somehow broken down to being a misdemeanor.

And yet plenty of questions hang in the air. Perez told Univision that she consistently lived in fear.

“May God forgive him. He knows what he did. He wronged me, and at the time I forgave him, but if I had the knowledge I have now, I would have made a different decision.”

“It’s true what they say: you need to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to know how you’d feel in their situation. People don’t know the stuff that I lived, people don’t know the fear that I suffered.”

“Like I said, a lot of what you see in that footage, I don’t remember. I see the video now and remember moments of the situation, but you really don’t know how you would feel.”

Salute fashion writer and domestic abuse counselor Krystal Polonia provided her insight.

Domestic violence is often hidden from the public or it is seen manifested on the pale yellow or purple bruises on the faces of women who have “walked into walls” or “tripped down the stairs,” common lies battered women have put together to shield the public from an issue that continues to haunt the dreams of many young women.

In a report done by the national survey of American women, it was found that approximately 51.9% of women surveyed reported having experienced physical violence from a partner at some point in their lives. As astonishing as these numbers are the harsh reality remains- many women are dealing with abuse, but are too ashamed and afraid to speak up.

Danry VasquezEvery girl that has ever witnessed domestic violence via a story or a tragic scene remembers saying “that will never be me! I would never allow something like that to happen to me,” but the truth is many of them end up in those exact shoes they promised they would never be in.

Stepping into a battered women’s shelter feels like a good idea that will prove these women are different from yourself until it becomes crystal clear that they are just like you but with a darker, sadder story to tell. Many of them are beautiful women who have lost their lust for life due to events that have shaped them into something they never thought they would be.

Hearing these tragic tales just brings to the surface that most of these women have been groomed by their partners long before the physical abused began. Many even remained in these relationships for years enduring abuse they thought would get better over time.

Grooming is a tactic used to overcome the victim’s natural reactions to abusive behaviors. At the beginning of the relationship positive behaviors will be often and rich in memory, but slowly and surely abuse will come to the surface, making it difficult for the victim to be able to detach from the situation.

To many the answer will always be “leave,” but to those experiencing abuse it will never be that easy because they fell in love with the potential of what their partner could be not the devil he had become.  The sad tales seem to all lead to one road, the road where abuse becomes the norm and being happy is a distant memory.

The women in the shelters are no longer victims, they are survivors who are lucky enough to share their stories and still have the hope of making a better life for themselves, sadly that is not always the case. Statistics show the majority of women stay with their abusive partners until it’s too late. Approximately one-third of abused women end up dead.

The Vasquez video further reiterates that domestic violence can no longer be a muffled situation, it needs to be a constant conversation that begins at home with children.

Boys need to know physically abusing anyone is not okay and there will be consequences for these actions. Meanwhile, girls need to constantly be reminded that love never equals pain and anyone who mixes the two is not worthy of them period.

Vasquez has moved on with another woman with whom he has since married.  He told Elemergente in a interview that he has grown from the situation.

“I am currently married, and not with the girl with whom I had the incident.”

“I respect, value and love my wife. She has supported me in all this and has been an unconditional person in this matter. I also know that those scenes were strong. As a public figure, I must set an example. Today I apologize and show that this should not be done. I know that stronger comments come and I leave everything in God’s hand.”

Let’s hope that Vasquez is the rare case of someone that can break the cycle. If not its just a matter of time before he is in the news again for all the wrong reasons.

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