Glee on Domestic Violence, Part II

By Ann Rose Greenberg, JWI Marketing Coordinator

Two weeks ago on Glee, we found out that Coach Beiste was being abused by her husband, Cooter Menkins. She said she was leaving him, but then went back. This week, the storyline was resolved and Beiste left her abusive relationship, hopefully for good.

Before Beiste was ready to leave her husband, some of the girls in Glee Club confronted her saying they knew she was still in an unsafe situation. Beiste defended her choice saying that Cooter had changed and would not hurt her anymore. As Glee portrayed, the decision to leave the relationship must be made by the victim, and no one can convince her if she’s not ready. Until she’s ready, she will keep trying to convince everyone, as she tries to convince herself, that her abuser has changed.

When Beiste hears Puck talking about how he’s “nothing,” she realizes that by staying in an abusive relationship, she’s treating herself as if she’s “nothing.” She makes the decision to respect herself and leave. When she gets home that night, Cooter, in a classic portrayal of an abuser, is apologetic saying that it won’t happen again. When it becomes clear that her mind is made up, he gets angry and loses control. “Who’s is going to love you like I did,” he asks. And in a powerful moment, Beiste tearfully answers “Me.”

May all women in abusive relationships find the incredible strength they need to leave. And, because we’re talking about Glee, I’ll end with a relevant song from this week’s episode.

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