A couple has a fight. A couple has an ugly fight. Someone ends up in the emergency room. Police are called. Charges are filed.
It isn’t a new story or a particularly surprising one. It happens every day — often several times a day.
And this time, people are paying attention because it’s Terrelle Pryor. The one-time Jeannette High School football standout and former NFL player had surgery Saturday after an altercation with his girlfriend, Shalaya Briston.
Police say Pryor grabbed Briston, fought with her and knocked a witness to the ground. He is charged with simple assault. Briston allegedly stabbed Pryor. She is charged with aggravated assault and attempted homicide.
In October, the case of Pittsburgh Steeler Anthony Chickillo grabbed headlines after a fight with his girlfriend, Canadian Olympic pole vaulter Alysha Newman, got physical in a Nemacolin Woodlands hotel room. According to court documents, she punched him in the head while he pushed her to the ground and smashed her cellphone.
Charges were filed and later withdrawn against both.
But in the six weeks between Chickillo’s arrest and Pryor’s surgery, how many other cases didn’t perk up the ears?
The arrests might have been noted and mugshots run, but those regular cases of one partner striking or stabbing or strangling another? They tend to run together.
Sadly, unless someone dies, we might not remember. More sadly, even if someone dies, we might not remember for long.
According to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence, there were 123 deaths caused by domestic violence in 2018. Of those, 67% were killed by a partner or an ex. They were shot or stabbed or beaten.
It is terrible, and as bad as the deaths are, there is something worse. There is the fact that people’s eyes slide past the regular stories of domestic violence.
There should be no “regular” domestic violence. There is nothing more irregular than hurting someone you say that you love.
And yet it happens with depressingly clockwork normality. One in four women and one in seven men have experienced “severe physical violence” at the hands of a partner, the PCADV statistics show.
It has to stop. And part of stopping it has to be not letting our eyes slide over a domestic violence headline that doesn’t have the kind of name that attracts attention.