[Re: “Rob Sherman’s Bad Year,” December 17]

To the editors:

Rob Sherman’s friend (who is all the way off in Utah) professes that “the Sherman he knows would never beat his son” and that because Rob “often talks proudly about his wife and kids,” that means he “just doesn’t fit with the abuser image.”

What, pray tell, is this “image”? A slovenly drunk with a Marlboro butt dangling from her lips? An unshaven man in a black leather jacket?

Abusers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and both sexes, from the age of subadults on up. Low-, high-, and middle-class males and females hurt elderly parents or infants. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians (etc) berate their spouses. Grown children and stepchildren–even those making good grades–beat up and plot to kill caregivers.

This friend (and Sherman himself) needs to read Michele Weldon’s book I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman. Maybe it would open their eyes, but the odds aren’t great: batterers usually want to continue to justify their actions by blaming the victim and/or distorting reality; they always have explanations.

How can anyone believe Rob Sherman–and everyone who batters–can or should control what someone else hears or thinks or does when they obviously can’t control themselves?

Maja Ramirez

First Vice President

Chicago Police Women’s Association