Hero Charles Ramsey Was A Domestic Abuser – Just Like Thousands Of Other Men

Charles Ramsey Domestic AbuserChristmas is over guys. Our beloved hero Charles Ramsey has been outed by The Smoking Gun as being a domestic abuser. I know a lot of us were waiting to see what skeletons surfaced from his Big Mac closet, and it was naive to think the guy didn’t have something that would come out, because most civilians minding their own business before they became a national hero would. The majority of us wouldn’t have police records, but I think the majority of us would have something we don’t want the rest of the world knowing about – like the state of my garage at present. So don’t come over. And it sucks that Charles Ramsey is a former abuser. From The Smoking Gun:

Charles Ramsey, whose 911 call and subsequent TV interviews have made him a microcelebrity, was once a repeat spousal abuser whose marriage ended in divorce following a 2003 felony conviction for battering his wife.

He was convicted three times of domestic violence. He served jail time, he was put on probation, and he attended domestic violence counseling programs, which was probably why he was so quick to assume what was going on at Ariel Castro‘s house was a “domestic violence dispute.”

This sucks. It’s depressing as hell that a man we have all commended for doing the right thing in protecting women is a man who had a wife divorce him stating ” extreme cruelty.” Domestic violence is unforgivable, and horrible, and I personally like to think there is a special place in hell for people who abuse their partners. But when you take the fact that Ramsey acted heroically in his part along with his other neighbors in protecting and helping to rescue three women held as prisoners in a basement for ten years and juxtapose this against the fact 1.5 million women are raped and/or physically assaulted by an intimate partner annually it’s pretty safe to say that Ramsey isn’t the first man out there to hurt a woman.

Every day we hear about men who abuse their partners. We have famous men who do this, James Brown, Charlie Sheen, Mike Tyson, Chris Brown, John Daly, Mel Gibson, Ike Turner –  and this is just off the top of my head. And doesn’t include the thousands of not famous men (and women) who see nothing wrong with hurting someone they love.

My point is this, what Charles Ramsey did to his former wife is horrible and disgusting and depresses me completely, but the difference is, I don’t see someone like Chris Brown Or Mel Gibson rescuing anyone held captive in a basement dungeon. Or going on some worldwide tour speaking out against domestic abuse. Maybe Charles Ramsey learned his lesson. Maybe this is the universe’s way of letting this man make amends by doing the right thing in the terrible case in Cleveland.

I don’t like what you did Charles Ramsey, but I sure as hell would like it if you spoke out about this and used your newfound fame to educate people on domestic violence. This world sure could use it.

(Image: You Tube)

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  • Justme

    But is the word “hero” really applicable to Charles Ramsey? I mean…I just consider it being a good neighbor and doing what you’re supposed to do when someone is in trouble – call 911 and help them get to safety.

    I’m not trying to downplay his role in their escape, but I would think the real hero here would be the woman who actually risked her life to get the hell out of that house in order to rescue herself and the other two women.

    I think his “micro-celebrity” status is more from his energetic and personable interview than from his actual actions.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I think in this day and age he should be considered a hero because what most people consider just a normal thing to do, most wouldn’t do. sadly.

    • Justme

      That’s sad.

    • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

      It’s the whole bystander effect. Something terrible can happen and no one will do anything because they assume someone else is taking care of it. I gotta commend this guy for taking the time to make sure these girls were safe, regardless of his past.

    • smishsmash

      This is why I’ve heard that if you’re ever in a situation where you are being attacked and there are bystanders, you shouldn’t just yell “Help me!” you should yell “You in the red shirt, the blonde guy, help me!” because otherwise people all just stand around waiting for someone else to do something.
      Honestly, Ramsey paid his debt, he got convicted and did his time. Which is way, WAY more than Ariel Castro, who pretty much beat his wife into an early death, ever got before this week despite the fact that his abuse of his family was well documented. What Ramsey did in the past doesn’t change the fact that because of what he did NOW three women and a child will now longer be locked inside a house of horrors. I for one still think he’s a hero.

    • http://www.facebook.com/RetiredSceneQueen Emmali Lucia

      If you watch any “I Survived” on whatever channel it’s on. A lot of the people that go on were ruthlessly attacked and some went running into the streets or to neighbours houses and very few got anyone to help them.

    • Gangle

      I agree with you, and I don’t get why he is a hero at all. Four years ago I had a tear-stained woman run past the business I owned screaming. I ran out and invited her inside and asked what was going on. Her husband had been flogging her relentlessly and she escaped with her infant. I locked and barricaded the door and called the police. I was not a hero that day. I was in the right place at the right time. It was basic compassion for a fellow distressed human that caused me to act, not any higher sense of justice. It did not require any particular skill, and it was not an act of bravery. The act of bravery was on the part of the woman that somehow managed to find the courage to run from her abuser, even though she had nowhere to run to, no idea what the consequences of her actions might be. My miniscule part was insignificant when compared to hers. Her act was truly courageous.
      Why does the public need to be rewarded for simple acts of kindness and compassion? Should we not teach each other that we do not need praise in order to do the right thing?

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      You are completely correct in saying that people shouldn’t have to be praised just to do the right thing. But I think that Charles Ramsey is a hero, and I think you are, too, for doing what you did for that poor lady and her child. It’s a sad testament to the world that we live in, that’s for sure. But the fact remains that with so much evil that goes on in the world today, I would so much rather give positive attention to someone who does something right than give negative attention to someone who does something horrible. News headlines today definitely mostly go towards the latter.

  • missiemeghan

    Ten years ago? Has he been in any trouble since then? Perhaps he emerged from that situation a better person.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter


    • Annie

      That’s what I thought when I saw the dates. Hopefully, hopefully.

  • Blueathena623

    I don’t condone domestic violence, but I find it odd that people immediately wanted to dig in his background (and you know they were looking for dirt). And I agree that its a sad statement about society that he’s considered a celebrity for what I would consider just being a decent person, but that’s not knocking him, just society.

    • JustMeToo

      I agree. This is not a man who set out to be a celeb or in the public eye. Whatever skeletons in his past don’t negate his actions in this circumstance. As a society we try to create these “characters” that we want to see; the rough dishwasher next door with the big personality and heart of a saint, and unfortunately, real-life people don’t fit into character profiles that we create for them. I don’t even agree that he should use his “platform” to educate the rest of the world about domestic violence. Why do we need or expect more from a man who was just going about his business and did the right thing when he ended up in the right place at the right time? I actually think he should do what he would have done 15 years ago, before the time when social media could build you up as a national celeb hero and then tear you down over the course of a couple days; just be someone who did a good thing and then move on with his life.

  • workingMOM

    maybe this was his way (or the universe’s way) of making things right.

  • Holla

    Just goes to show you rarely is anything, black or white, just good or just evil.

  • Zettai

    I can only wonder if his background would have been looked into if he were white. Somehow I don’t think so.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      OH 1000000% agreed

  • Amber

    His past does not change what he did to save those women.

  • CrazyFor Kate

    Just as the good a human does will not negate the bad, the bad will not negate the good. He did something very good, and we should thank him for that and not be so quick to jump on him for something from long ago. Good article.

  • Tusconian

    The way he talks, I suspect that at least at a surface level some of that punishment and education sunk it, or that he feels some remorse.

    And even if he doesn’t and “locking women and children in basements” is just his personal line that he doesn’t cross even if he’s okay with beatings, I am not sure why this is relevant to the story. The second his interview got on TV people were digging around for his rap sheet and accusing him of being Castros’ accomplice. Domestic violence past aside, the fact stands that him beating his wife is an issue totally separate from him saving a woman who was asking for help. There is a HUGE race and class issue there that Charles Ramsey himself acknowledged, but I’m not getting into here in detail. He is not a saint, or a good model for how to treat women, because he is a domestic abuser. He is still a hero in this specific instance to those 3 women and that little girl. More importantly, look at the people you compared him to. Everyone passes of the crimes of those other men because they are wealthy, famous, and generally considered attractive (or were in the past). They also contribute basically nothing to society. They are famous for being entertainers, and they’re given WAY more of a pass than Ramsey. Most of them did not serve any or significant jail time, AFAIK, and their fans will say “oh but when Carlie Sheen is a misogynist it’s FUNNY” or “but Chris Brown is so HOT and island girls are crazy anyway, she deserved it.” I haven’t heard anyone defending or excusing Ramsey’s crime, just pointing out that he has actually contributed positively in society. The only reason anyone knows who he is is because he contributed positively to society. We don’t have to deify him or act like he is a naturally heroic person as aopposed to a guy who did the right thing at the right time, but I do find it strange that when a working class, black man (with the assistance of a working class, Latino man, who isn’t mentioned because he’s not funny, I guess) does something heroic, the immediate reaction is “how can we make him a shuckin-and-jivin stooge to erase his heroism” and “how can we negate his positive contributions to the world by bringing something irrelevant up that reinforces that all working class black men are irreversible criminals.” All the media, and the general public, should care about in regards to this news item is “he helped out some women in a horrifying situation.” If the discussion is to be about domestic violence, I honestly think a more meaningful discussion would be had regarding the celebrities you named.

  • mcintoshbj

    I really ponder the motivation of the journalist who went prying into Mr. Ramsay’s past. Now that this fine investigative reporting has exposed Mr. Ramsay’s human frailty, should the public feel less joyful about the 3 ladies returned to their families by his action? Should we perhaps feel that because of Mr. Ramsay’s “tainted” past, he should not have presumed himself worthy to respond to those desperate cries for help lest doing so result in his action being viewed as heroic? I mean really, I’m struggling to understand why this journalist investigated Charles Ramsay’s background.

    If there was some thought of rendering a public service by snooping about in Mr. Ramsay’s past, perhaps with an intent to expose him as a “fake” hero (despite the fact that he very humbly rejected the hero label bestowed upon him by a grateful public). I guess the public should be less grateful to good samaritans whose pasts are not sufficiently stellar to withstand fastidious journalistic scrutiny to determine if they should appropriately be viewed as heroes.

    Maybe this journalist thinks that the police should put the ladies back in that house and tell Amanda Berry try and escape and shout again so that a proper good samaritan has an opportunity to respond. If this is not the thinking, then why are we being made party to this spuriously mean spirited invasion of Mr. Ramsay’s privacy and to the public spotlight turned upon the dark period in his past? Why

    Since it’s not possible, or desirable, to undo what Mr. Ramsay did and wait for someone who might be more appropriately titled hero to do it, I think the public would be far better served if such a civic minded investigative inclination was applied to investigating the background of Ariel Castro to perhaps shed some light on the circumstances or experiences that resulted in the development of such a human blight on society.

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      Preach on. You are 1000% correct.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      I love this and yeah, let’s stick these three women back in the torture basement until some ideal hero with no past can come save them eyeroll.

    • http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.pigford Carolyn Pigford

      YES!!! Love this!!! He IS a hero…and like any good hero, human, drug addict, priest etc, we are all flawed beings. However, I think he is getting famous because that interview he did is AWESOME!! He tells a story and you almost feel like you are THERE…just sitting on the porch eating McDonalds when the dread of the girl scrambling to get out alerts you. And, what a sad sad state that he knew something wasn’t right because a white girl ran into a black mans arms :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

    Domestic abuse sucks. But let’s not worry about that at this present time. This man saved the lives of 3 women who had been missing for years. He returned them to their mothers and families who have been grieving for them for a decade. He is a hero. I would definitely say he is redeemed.

    I am a HUGE advocate for not judging someone by their pasts. I myself have a pretty colorful past. 4 years ago I was charged with trafficking in a controlled substance. I was stupid, I know. But even though that will be expunged from my record in another year when I complete my diversion, I am still judged by it every day. I have missed out on job opportunities that I probably would have gotten if not for my record. I haven’t touched a pain pill (my drug of choice) other than when prescribed, and not even much then, in over 3 years. I go to church. I go to college. I bust my butt raising my kids and cleaning my house and paying bills and working and doing homework. I give to charity when I can. And I work VERY hard to overcome to mistakes I’ve made in my past. I would hate to think that people would downgrade the nice things that I do for people or say that I am not a good person because of things that happened when I was 21 (the time of the incident) and stupid. Sadly, though, it happens to me every day. And the best thing I can say that I’ve ever done for someone is to pay for their wedding or give a girl $5 who didn’t have enough money to buy her favorite shampoo because she had to buy food for her kids. So why do we have to judge a man for SAVING 3 WOMEN’S LIVES because of something he did 10 years ago?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      You’re an awesome person. What you did in your past is just SO NOT a big deal. You were only hurting yourself. we all love you here.

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      Awww…. Thank you, Eve. As I am currently struggling with trying to overcome that past, you have made my day.

      Also, I would like to add that I hope you don’t take my opinion as a personal strike against you. As always, I love your writing and I love you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/carolyn.pigford Carolyn Pigford

      this brings tears to my eye…I feel you!!!! By the grace of a loving God, I don’t have to behave the way I used to-omg, I can’t even imagine if I did something brave, only to have my past thrown back up for examination! The shame and all would be so embarrassing!

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      It is so shameful. My husband and I have been having a nasty custody battle with his ex wife. After two years of us having sole custody of the boys (and of me being completely clean and sober), she has decided to file for custody and say that I am not fit to be a parent because I am a drug addict. Luckily, the hearing concluded today with the judge dismissing her claim and reminding her that people can change, so she need not be so quick to judge. But it felt very demeaning to have to tell a court room full of people about me selling pills and going to jail for it. Thank goodness there are so many people who realize that a past mistake is just that – A Past Mistake.

  • Frustrated

    I hate when this kind of thing happens. Someone who all of a sudden is thrust into the public eye is scrutinized for every possible wrongdoing in their lives. I knew it was just a matter of time and am discouraged that this website is ALSO jumping on that bandwagon. Yes, you weren’t the one to dig it all up but you did have a choice as to whether or not to perpetuate it all over the web. Did he do some bad stuff? Yep. Does it truly MATTER in this situation? NOPE. Not a damn bit. None of us are immune from stuff in our lives that we’d rather not have out there in the public. Maybe we should stop to think that maybe people look the other way and not get involved for this very reason. I’m sure that is the last thing that this man was thinking when he made the quick decision to help. I hate what he did in the past, but I LOVE what he has done for these young women.

  • Byron

    Why is this depressing? That people can change and become heroes despite their bad pasts and their prior evils should be an uplifting thing. It should show that there’s hope and that nobody is ever irredemable. That no matter what you do, you can still become an admirable person if you try.

  • keelhaulrose

    Help save captives from a basement dungeon and the press does a background check.
    Want to buy a gun at a gun show? Nah, we’re good, nobody’s got time for that.
    This country has some odd priorities.

  • Justme

    UPDATE: From the reports I’ve heard, he actually turned down the reward money for finding the missing girls (women now, I suppose) and said that he has a paycheck so the money should go to the women.

    Now THAT is something remarkable.