A family where violence is rampant is not a family to begin with. Families are based on mutual trust.
I’m not saying that people’s private lives should be all sunshine, all the time. Can a “good” family harbour darkness? Yes, to a degree. It was true a hundred years ago and will be true a hundred years from now. Even if the ultra-radical progressive folks one day come up with a perfect substitute for family, the darkness will still be there, it will just shape-shift to accommodate whatever new pattern of bonding we come up with.
However, this doesn’t mean that domestic violence should be acceptable in any society.
People aren’t perfect, we get that. Shit happens. To top it all off, divorce and separation aren’t joyful events (well, for some people they sure can be, especially if said people have been deeply unhappy and/or abused). But hey, funerals aren’t exactly joyful either, and we don’t outlaw them or stigmatize those that participate in them. And a person who willfully terrorizes and destroys another human being over time has crossed a very clear line.
What these people are really protesting is the notion of uppity wives suddenly getting it into their heads to leave the jerk that’s been smacking them around (or worse). The news article is gender-ambiguous, but we all know who suffers the most from domestic violence cases, especially in patriarchal societies.
It’s true of Japan, and it’s true of Ukraine, where I’m from. Women cake make-up on their bruises and insist they’re doing it “for the kids,” the kids who will go on to replicate (or subjugate themselves to) this very behaviour.
But the sacred cow of “family” cannot be invoked if it isn’t really there.