This weekend, Courtney Williams joined a few friends at Scruffy Duffies in Plano, where she spotted a sign that read, “I like my beer like I like my violence: Domestic.” Outraged, she asked two managers to take down the sign—one of whom told her to “calm down” and learn how to take a joke.
Williams left the bar immediately and decided to post a photo of the sign to her Facebook. Two days later, the photo has been shared over 1,300 times.
Now, Williams is hoping that the incident will spark a larger conversation about abusive relationships and trivializing domestic violence.
“I hope we can use this to make real change, to open an honest conversation about giving voices to people who feel like they've had theirs taken away,” Williams told Burnt Orange Report.
Read more about the offensive sign and Scruffy Duffies' response after the jump.According to her Facebook post, Williams asked a manager to take down the sign after she spotted it at the bar.
After he disappeared for ten minutes without erasing the sign, she asked another manager to deal with the issue.
Walking up to the bar, I was greeted by another manager, to whom I explained my issue. At this point I was on the verge of tears, having just explained to my friends exactly why I was so upset. His response? Condescension.
He asked my name, I told him. He introduced himself and shook my hand. He then proceeded to tell me the sign was a joke, and that it rotates different things all the time. When I told him it was in extremely poor taste and that I'd appreciate it being taken down, he told me to calm down, and that if I hadn't been so “aggressive” the conversation would go better.
When Williams' story went viral and received media attention, one of the owners posted on Facebook:
Unsurprisingly, very few people are willing to “have the bar's back” on this one. The owners may not have personally give their OK on the sign, but it is indicative of a company's culture if domestic violence is regularly dismissed as just a joke by several members of a restaurant's management team.
Now that her story is spreading, Williams hopes that more people will understand the gravity of domestic and relationship abuse.
“I want to make sure people understand this isn't about me and about how I was treated,” she said. “This should be working to open a dialogue about how we've socialized violence in the home as being something that's okay to joke and laugh about. Scruffy Duffies did the same thing plenty of bars have done, and unfortunately for them their mistake is resonating with thousands of people.”
In her post, Williams also includedlinks to several resources for survivors of domestic violence, including the Dallas City Hall family violence unit, Genesis Women's Shelter & Support, and The Family Place.
“Please know this: if you are a victim of domestic violence, it is not a joke,” she wrote. “Never feel marginalized or forgotten. There are people who love you, and care for you, and would do anything to make sure that you never have to suffer through it again.”