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This Bar Thinks Domestic Violence Is Funny

Scruffy Duffies, a bar in Plano Texas thinks domestic violence is funny. I’m going to let Courtney Joye Williams explain what happened in her own words, but I was going to add “especially after what just happened in California” but you know what? Regardless of what’s in the news, “never” is a good time to joke about an issue such as this:

“On Saturday May 24th, 2014, a few friends and myself were out celebrating a couple of birthdays. Having things to do the next day, I wasn’t drinking myself, but the rest of them were having a great time.

Walking into Scruffy Duffies (http://www.scruffyduffies.com/)in the Shops of Legacy at Plano ended any fun I was having that night. Upon our entry to the outdoor area, we were greeted with the sign:

domestic

Text: I like my beer how I like my violence. Domestic.

Disgusting.

There is an old saying that all it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing. While most people in the bar would probably agree that sign was in bad taste, no one had done anything to take it down (that I knew of).

The sign immediately struck me in the worst way. Not only did it dreg up some unpleasant memories in my life, but it struck a chord that this bar was condoning domestic violence as a joke and expressing that victims were no more important than the type of beer someone was drinking.

My revulsion propelled me to act, my first move being to ask who put up the sign at the bar. Surprisingly, it was a female bartender who had written it. I only say I was surprised because the majority of domestic violence that I am familiar with was against women. When I asked if she could take the sign down, she bewilderedly declined, as though she couldn’t understand why I was upset.

Upon returning to my table, I spoke to my friends and decided to speak to a manager. I walked up to the front of the bar to where a gentleman was checking IDs. Upon asking for a manager, I explained my issue with the sign, and he indicated he himself was a manager. I let him know, bluntly, that it was disgusting, and that I would appreciate it being taken down. He left for a few minutes, and upon his return let me know that it might take a minute but that it would come down. I thanked him, and went back to my table.

When I got there (within eyeshot of the sign) I asked a friend to take the above picture and set my alarm to 10 minutes. That’s how long I was willing to give them before I would go speak to another manager.

10 minutes came and went, and I went in search of another manager, hoping to expedite the process.

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.

Please keep in mind, during this conversation I was apologizing for being as emotional as I was, and emphasizing that I wasn’t trying to attack him, just the idea that domestic violence is a joke. Had I been a man, I somehow doubt he would have been okay telling me to calm down. He told me the sign would be taken down but that I should be patient. My first reaction was to tell him that no one should ever be patient for domestic violence to stop, but I was too upset and knew that I shouldn’t get started at the bar.

At this point I’d had enough. I went back to my friends, tearfully told my friend to give me her keys to get my things from her apartment, and began to walk away. When she asked me what happened we were outside of the bar (not on their property, on a public sidewalk), where I loudly exclaimed that I refuse to give a bar that is willing to make fun of domestic violence my money.

I collected my things and returned in my car to give back the keys, and attempted to reenter the establishment to give friends a hug before leaving, when I was told that I was to be REFUSED ADMITTANCE. I asked why and was given no explanation.

Turns out while I was gone another friend of mine read the riot act to two more bouncers and a manger, and the sign was removed. It is deeply disturbing to me still that it took that much; that the management at this place was so unfeeling toward a huge issue to a great number of people.

I have never been prouder to be denied admittance to a bar, and I will never return.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends, acquaintances, strangers: please know this: if you are a victim of domestic violence, it is not a joke. 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.

Below I’ve listed some of the resources in Dallas where you can receive help.

Friends: it’d mean a lot of you could avoid Scruffy Duffies. Any establishment willing to support the continuance of domestic violence does not deserve your money.

As for Scruffy Duffies, I’ve included a flier that I will be happy to print off for you so that you can educate your management and bartenders on the seriousness of the issue.

http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf

Resources:

http://www.dallascityhall.com/dvtf/resources.html
http://www.genesisshelter.org/
http://www.familyplace.org/
http://www.dallasdvresources.org/

To let the bar know what you think, they can be found here http://www.scruffyduffies.com/contact-us or on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ScruffyDuffies  and Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/ScruffyDuffies

The bar has apologized on Facebook

 

 

  • Beth Ann Locke

    1. Not surprising they dismissed you!
    2. Not surprising they finally listed to someone else after the 6th complaint!
    3. I’m so glad you wrote this. These “small things” are not small and they ensure that one group feels intimidated and belittled. Explaining that just being in a group where the conversation makes “jokes” like that and not saying anything MEANS YOU AGREE!
    4. As for the sign, I think the thing is: you need to replace the word “violence” with shooting sprees or beheadings… people just don’t respond to the word “violence” any more.

  • Nicole Buergers

    A restaurant in Houston had this saying on their marquee – public outrage through social media and took it down the same afternoon. There was a boycott of the restaurant and after an investor pulled out, it has closed its doors. http://eater.com/archives/2013/04/15/houston-bistro-apologizes-for-domestic-violence-sign.php

    • Heather

      Nicole, thank you! I knew I had seen a story about a sign like this but there is so much of this kind of bull it’s hard to keep the details of each straight.

  • noahstewart

    The sign was definitely in terribly poor taste. But it’s a false assumption to assume that a man would not have been dismissed. Men are usually told to man up or grow a pair, or something like that.

  • Thanks Nicole, we have dealt with this in Houston and chose to not do business with them.

    Reading the comments on FB makes me sad to see how people are responding as if we all need to get a life and we can’t take a joke. SIGH people, how do we live with one another?

  • get a grip

    Don’t assume that because the managers that were on duty and the brainless bartender that made the sign acted irresponsibly, that the owners condone domestic violence. That is idiotic. I am very close to the owners of the bar and you have no idea the domestic violence that has been endured by the family. The managers are not family. On the news this morning, the lady told the reporter that she didn’t want the bartender who did it fired….but by reading this story, it seems she wants the whole bar shut down. She wants several people to be out of a job because a few idiot employees. The bartender and the managers on staff should be fired. Domestic violence is serious. The bartender was dumb for thinking it was ok to copy this sign that has already been posted several times. She has obviously never been directly affected. Now, however, she knows how completely ignorant she was. People are so quick to want a whole business to shut down and everyone lose their jobs over a few people’s mistakes. The people who were there at the time who made the poor decisions should lose their jobs. No question. What about the peek who weren’t there or had nothing to do with it who have children to take care of and bills to pay?? I guess they deserve to lose their jobs as well. Everyone should be punished for a crime committed by a few. Think of the big picture. Don’t be so quick to assume you know the situation and judge everyone because of what you think you know. I will pray for all of you people who are sitting up on your high horse. I hope no one at your job does something stupid and your whole company gets shut down. Even though you have nothing to do with it, you are gonna be out of job. If your coworker is racist or your boss is racist, does that automatically make you a racist?? No. No it does not. Use your brains people.

    • Heather

      You might have a point if it was only one employee. It was not. It was multiple employees. That is not a single employee making a stupid mistake. That is a culture problem. The owners are responsible for the people they hire and the culture of the establishment those employees create. Period. Do they deserve a chance to fix it? Yes. But a second chance doesn’t absolve them of responsibility for the culture they allowed in their business.

      • get a grip

        Nobody on here wants them to have a second chance. Everyone on here thinks the place should be shut down. If you have been paying attention, the managers have been suspended without pay. In reality, no one knows anyone completely. You may think you have an awesome employee, and bam, something like this happens. So you act immediately to resolve the situation. It was 3 employees. Which isn’t even a fraction of the amount of employees that work there. I never said that people shouldn’t be held responsible. But believing that several people should be out of a job and a place being shut down over this is dramatic. And I am a victim of domestic violence and my mother has scars from domestic violence. We live in a society of entitled, overly sensitive people. People who don’t stop and think about the big picture. Was the sign wrong and offensive? Hell yes it was. Is this a free country where we can say what we please? Hell yes. Memorial day was yesterday. That’s where we celebrated those who died for our freedoms. The sign was taken down. The owners have apologized because they were not there and were not aware the sign was up. They have made a new rule that all signs must be approved before being posted. This is called a learning experience. Shit happens folks. I work in the food service industry. I totally agree that the managers handled it very badly. And they are now out of a job. A donation has been made to a local women’s shelter. What else would you people like? All of the owners on a firing squad?? This has been blown up like someone was beating a woman in the middle of the bar and everyone was watching and condoning it. If y’all didn’t know, this sign was in many other bars all over the U.S…..and the owners were condoning it and it was out on sidewalks!! I wish people got this fired up about shit that really matters. How many of you whining volunteers at battered women’s shelters? Makes donations to battered women’s shelters? Well that’s all from me. I have a job to go to and more important things to worry about than a sign at a bar. I hope that everyone there that had nothing to do with it still has a job to go to. so they can pay their bills. The lady was on the news smiling about it all tonight. She wasn’t too devastated.

        • Heather

          Yes, I do happen to work with abuse shelters. I am also capable of reading the comments on *this* post. Comments where no one called for anyone to be fired or businesses to be closed. Did the original poster ask people not to spend money there? Yes. As you pointed out many of our finest have died so she has the right to and so we can choose what businesses they wish to support and which ones don’t.

          If you honestly believe that companies can’t know when three employees are creating a culture that will lead to a PR nightmare like this you likely haven’t worked for a quality company. It is their job to know. Their business literally depends on the atmosphere their employees create. If that is too much for them to handle then their probem is bigger than the fallout from this one incident. The suspended employees are facing the consequences of their actions. If you think it’s out of line that’s your right. If the owners failed to properly train and monitor how they deal with customer complaints I will agree with you. If the owners are half as blameless for the employees’ actions as you claim they should be replaced with employees who can do their job without damaging the business’ reputation. Unpaid suspension appears to be a compromise between the two.

          • Heather

            I need to correct my last reply. You said the managers were fired, not suspended. But I do stand by my statement that if the owners failed to train them and create a culture of proper handling of customer complaints then they are being punished for the business’ failings. If the owners are half as blameless as you have been stating then the firings are more than fair.

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  • Melissa

    It’s no small wonder that both incidence where this saying was considered to be funny happened in the same state where people are allowed even encouraged by the culture to carry loaded weapons openly in public.

  • CMS

    If you can’t take a joke, leave the bar. Don’t spoil it for everyone else.

  • Kudos to you! Sometimes a joke can go too far.

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