Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Society Must Change The Way it Looks at Domestic Violence

Taking Off the Blinders - another woman butchered - no help for the victim.

No community is immune to domestic violence. It's a crime that doesn't discriminate. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, race, religion, gender or education background. Leontyne "Tina" Partee-Elder is the latest victims in this community. Her estranged husband was charged with stabbing her to death last week.

Society must change the way it looks at domestic violence in order to deal with the problem more successfully. Instead of averting our eyes and closing our ears, we must be willing to get involved and act in ways that protect and support those in need. That includes reporting domestic violence and encouraging victims to speak up and seek the help they need to break free of abusive relationships.

Neighbors heard Ms. Partee-Elder screaming during the attack in her Grand Rapids home but didn't call police. It's that kind of hand's off response that must change.

The shame associated with domestic violence on the part of victims needs to end, too. People suffering abuse can't be embarrassed to ask for help -- for their sake and that of their children. Studies show that children exposed to violence are more likely to commit or suffer violence when they become adults. Breaking that cycle is important.

Abridged >>

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