Sunday, January 12, 2014

Domestic Violence and Homicide: A Deadly Problem by Sara Niles

 I have been a victim of domestic violence, as I came close to becoming a domestic homicide statistic; front page news in a small town that would have been quickly, and soon, forgotten. After my escape from my own homicidal maniac, many years later, I worked for a domestic violence agency, first at the shelter as a counselor, later as a Trainer.  I remember that one of my co-workers, a long time veteran of domestic violence work, once said “They always get worse when the weather is hot, or during the holidays”, meaning incents of abuse increased during those times, as evidenced by the influx of shelter clients.
When a man, or woman, who is prone to exact his or her own vengeance upon the world by punishing their private victims, is placed under extra external stress, they intensify their abuse upon others. There is no excuse for abuse, but for an abuser, any excuse will do. People who have made a life of bullying their intimate partners, and/or children, run the gamut from verbal violence, to physical homicide.

No matter how painful emotional abuse is, it can be survived, the victim can move on and grow; but no one survives homicide.

 22 year-old man kills his 23 year-old wife, and as she lay dying he yells I love you, wake up" 
Herald Sun (Jan. 11, 2014)

Peoria, Illinois had 19 homicides in the year 2013, 4 of them were a direct result of domestic violence:
Peoria Journal Star (Jan. 4, 2014)

In Greensboro North Carolina, 11 of 23 homicides during the year of 2013 were domestic homicides: over half of the murders for the year.

Murder in the home, by a person who 'loves' you, is one of the worst breaches of peace and security there can be; because if you are not safe at home-then where?