My Safety Rights News
Battle worth fighting
|February 11, 2008, 9:46 am|
February 12, 2008 – Spectrum’s Editorial Board
Domestic violence is not just abuse that occurs between two lovers, it is a societal ill that shatters relationships and weakens communities. It affects people of all backgrounds, incomes and social strata. Though the physical and emotional battering most often happens behind closed doors, the impact is felt community-wide.
A couple of ramifications may include lowered production with more sick leave taken from work and increased health insurance premiums spread across the board when domestic violence victims seek repeated medical care. The most unfortunate outcome is the perpetuation of the problem as it is passed down by example from one generation to the next. It is a cyclical pattern in need of an intervening remedy.
Treatment is what victims - men and women - need to have access to regardless of who they are and what they have experienced. First, victims must recognize that they are experiencing domestic violence. Once that fact is acknowledged then the first step towards healing can be taken. Too often, people suffer in secret and are too ashamed or afraid to get help. They may not even be aware they are being victimized. Any time a person is being controlled or manipulated by a partner's threat or actual perpetration of hitting, pushing, choking or other abuse forms such as name-calling, withdrawal of basic needs and passive-aggressive behavior that is domestic violence. Physical bruises are not merely evidence, although that is obvious. Psychological damage is just as hurtful, if not more so, and is probably going to take longer to recover from long after the bruises have healed.
Abusers also find it difficult to take responsibility for their actions and deny they are inflicting inappropriate, abnormal pain on their loved ones. They may have low self-esteem, refuse to accept accountability for the violence, and may even believe their violent tendencies are justified. Often the abuser will attempt to rationalize or excuse the behavior or blame the victim for causing it.
Let's make it clear that there is no excuse for violent behavior. Violence is explicitly against the law. It should never be tolerated. Unfortunately, domestic violence has doubled in St. George, from 388 crimes in 2006 to 642 in 2007. Statewide the rate of domestic-violence related homicides has remained steady with 18 of the 65 killings in Utah in 2007 credited to spousal abuse or death from fatal quarrels that commenced between partners.
Even one death is too many. Help stop domestic violence by advocating for an increased effort to bring awareness to the problem with a push towards a zero level of social crimes. Violence-free families are happier families. Happier families make communities safer and more secure. The only fight in that case will be one that ended victoriously over domestic violence. That's a battle worth fighting.