Whoopi Goldberg has received a very public slap on the wrist in the form of an open letter from high-profile attorney Gloria Allred.
Last week on a segment of The View, Goldberg said she didn't believe Oksana Grigorieva's domestic violence claims against Mel Gibson because she didn't go to the police ...
You don't have to be an advocate of women's rights to know just how ridiculous this sounds. Yet, the fact that Allred has devoted her career to defending victims' rights makes her retort to Whoopi all the more powerful.
Essentially, it was this: Attacking domestic violence victims only makes it worse!
Whoopi raised more than few eyebrows last month when she defended Gibson, saying that he was not a racist. But her attack on Grigorieva -- for not going to the police after Gibson allegedly hit her and their baby -- was particularly harsh, not to mention ignorant:
“I'm not buying that ... for most victims ... why not ... If a man hits you, holding your child, and he hit the child according to what she's saying, so why not go to the police first? ... I think it's BS ... I think she was looking for dough.”
Whoopi's knowledge of violence against women issues obviously isn't vast (remember her infamously insensitive rape-rape comment?). And Allred's letter not-so-subtly underscores that fact; she meticulously outlines the many, many reasons why women who have been battered do not immediately go to the police including wanting to protect the batterer's reputation, fear, and economic dependence.
To me, this information is Domestic Violence 101. But to someone like Whoopi, it's apparently the opposite of obvious.
Allred ends her letter with a fairly stern statement against those (ahem, Whoopi) who attack domestic violence victims and a request that Whoopi join in support of victims instead of making the situation worse:
As we say in the domestic violence movement, there is no excuse for abuse ... To that I will add there is also no excuse for others who do not know all of the facts to join in with a verbal attack on the victim ... Please help us to end violence against women and children by supporting women in these complicated situations in the future. You have a daughter and a granddaughter. We need you on the side of the victims.
Do you think Whoopi was out of line for attacking Oksana Grigorieva?
Image via ABC.com