I’m not sure why people are still turning to Pat Robertson for advice, but recently the TV evangelist gave one of his young viewers a dangerous recommendation.
A child wrote into Robertson’s 700 Club to ask what he should do about his dad threatening his mother with a gun.
“Whenever my parents fight, my dad threatens my mom with his gun. Fortunately, this now means nothing to my mom, and she never goes nuts about it; she is very calm. But as a child, I get nervous and worried when this happens. Even my younger brother saw this incident. What should we do about it and him?”
Instead of telling the child to call the police or reach out to another adult for help, Robertson told the young viewer to have his mom confront his dad about his scary behavior.
Robertson told the viewers, “You don’t want to get your father busted… but you could.” Instead he suggested the child speak to his mother. “Say, ‘Mom, this thing is scaring me and I ask you, please, to get my father to have some help.'”
Robertson continued: “One day he’s gonna pull the trigger. It doesn’t take too much if you’ve got a loaded weapon and you’re brandishing it around, ‘I’m gonna kill you,’ and the next thing you know the thing goes off. Maybe accidentally, but the mother will wind up dead,” he said. “You need to do something to intervene but you’re a kid, what do you do, y’know? Your mother ought to take care of that.”
Robertson acknowledged the situation could easily turn violent and deadly, but his advice to put the onus on the abused party (the mom) to confront her abuser, who has already brandished a gun, is not only misguided, it’s also dangerous.
According to SafeHorizon, 1 in 4 women will experience of domestic violence in her lifetime, while 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner. What makes Robertson’s words even more hazardous is a recent study, which found “more than twice as many women are killed with a gun used by their husbands or intimate acquaintances than are murdered by strangers using guns, knives, or any other means.”
With so many women losing their lives to intimate partner violence, it’s disheartening Robertson would give this viewer, and others watching, such misguided and irresponsible advice.