J.D. Vance: People Should Stay In 'Violent' Marriages For The Sake Of The Kids

Many Twitter users thought the Ohio Senate candidate’s remarks were divorced from reality.

Ohio GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance apparently thinks a bad marriage is better than no marriage ― at least when kids are involved.

The “Hillbilly Elegy” author expressed as much while speaking at a southern California high school last September, as seen in a video recently shared by Vice News.

Vance told a crowd at Pacifica Christian High School in Southern California that he believes that “one of the great tricks” that “the sexual revolution pulled on the American populace” is the idea that ending marriages that are “unhappy” or “maybe even violent” is sometimes best for the long term.

“And maybe it worked out for the moms and dads, though I’m skeptical. But it really didn’t work out for the kids of those marriages,” Vance said. “And that’s what I think all of us should be honest about, is we’ve run this experiment in real time. And what we have is a lot of very, very real family dysfunction that’s making our kids unhappy.”

“I think it’s easy but also probably true to blame the sexual revolution of the 1960s. My grandparents had an incredibly chaotic marriage in a lot of ways, but they never got divorced, right?” Vance told the Pacifica Christian audience. “They were together to the end, till death do us part. That was a really important thing to my grandmother and my grandfather. That was clearly not true by the 70s or 80s,” he said.

Vance said that when people stopped thinking of marriage as “sacred,” and as just a basic contract, “a lot of kids suffered.”

You can see his remarks below starting around 3:10 mark.

Eye-popping takes like this have become part of the Vance brand since he started campaigning for office. In a 2021 interview with a Catholic magazine, the Senate hopeful suggested banning pornography to save marriages. Vanity Fair noted that he’s previously called rape “inconvenient” and said that abortion is as morally reprehensible as slavery.

Research has shown that children who witness or are around domestic violence experience negative physical and mental effects.

A March 2021 World Health Organization report indicated that domestic violence correlated with higher rates of infant and child mortality. The same report noted that “children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioral and emotional disturbances.”

When Vice News asked him why he thought “it would be better for children if their parents stayed in violent marriages than if they divorced,” Vance claimed that domestic violence has increased in recent years and is higher among unmarried couples.

“That’s the ‘trick’ I reference: that domestic violence would somehow go down if progressives got what they want, when in fact modern society’s war on families has made our domestic violence situation much worse,” he said. “Any fair person would recognize I was criticizing the progressive frame on this issue, not embracing it.”

“I’m an actual victim of domestic violence,” he added in response. “In my life, I have seen siblings, wives, daughters, and myself abused by men. It’s disgusting for you to argue that I was defending those men.”

Data shows the rate of domestic violence in decline, with Vice News pointing to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics that show that the rate for women dropped from 15.5 to 5.4 per 1,000, and for men from 2.8 to 0.5 per 1,000 between 1995 and 2015. The COVID-19 pandemic did, however, contribute to an uptick in domestic violence, partly due to stay-at-home orders keeping people stuck with their violent partners.

Still, many Twitter users thought Vance’s remarks were divorced from reality.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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