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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE RATES INCREASE—IS CONGRESS PARTIALLY RESPONSIBLE?


Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way: This is an editorial and the statements contained herein are pretty much the opinion of the writer, unless the shoe fits, then perhaps the responsible party should wear it.

There. Now, let’s get down to business. Today I read a report that there has been a 65% increase in “Shaken Baby Syndrome” in the past two years, especially during the recession (Are we OUT? Has the recession passed and I didn’t realize it?). The percentage of men who are victims of domestic violence is estimated to have risen from 5% to now perhaps as high as 15%. All around us domestic violence is raging, and the numbers of murders are increasing as a result. Remember, domestic violence is driven by a need for power and control. Let’s face it. Far too many Americans feel they are losing control of their homes, their families, their finances, and well, their country. So, what does Congress have to do with all this?

Every time there is a partisan stand-off and those suits in D.C. choose to have another pissing contest rather than come together as a cohesive leadership, it only serves, at best, to leave our economy in this current condition, or else causes the situation to worsen.

According to the current news reports regarding casualties and fatalities relevant to domestic violence, it seems more babies will be shaken, more wives will be bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat, or shot by their husband who quite coincidentally was responsible for his previous wife’s death 25 years ago. That’s how our community spent its weekend. We heard of these two stories and then learned more about the second murder. Previously, after shooting his first wife to death, he struck a plea bargain and received 10 years probation for manslaughter. This was in spite of him being found sitting inside the house, holding the rifle, while the law enforcement moved in to find the body of his first wife lying in the living room. As if killing a second wife were not enough, he walked one block from the home where she lay, walked inside the sanctuary and shot at point-blank range the pastor and associate pastor of the neighborhood church. Both remain in intensive care. Yes, in one weekend our local newscasters were busy covering both these stories as breaking news—the epitome of frustration for this survivor-now-advocate.

Beaten to death with an aluminum bat that most likely belonged to her son, one wife was white. Shot to death with a pistol that was in the possession of someone who killed his previous wife with gunfire, one wife was black. They are both dead now. Has another baby been shaken to death, or merely to the extent of permanent brain damage? Domestic violence does not give a rip what the color of your skin is, how much your income might be, or if you are an adult, teen, toddler or infant. It is like a consuming fire, trying to take as many into its flames as possible.

While the congressional bickering hits a fevered pitch and members dig their feet into the ground, determined not to give an inch because it is not in the best interest of “the party,” another life is lost. I hope those we trusted with our vote realize they should take partial responsibility for these deaths. They may not be swinging the bat, pulling the trigger or shaking the baby, but they are contributing, nonetheless. Americans are closely approaching levels of mass panic. You can’t feed your children? You have no electricity? You lost your home to foreclosure? Been unemployed and job hunting for over a year with not one nibble? So, perhaps you reached the point you snapped?

It has probably become rather obvious the blonde blogger has become quite frustrated over the news of the two deaths in less than 12 hours. Perhaps Pat Benatar was correct when she sang, Love is a battlefield.” You want to fight this terror in America? I have a suggestion or two. I realize there are dedicated agency directors, advocates, healthcare providers, etc., who put in endless hours doing what they can to make a difference. But, we need more who are properly trained and knowledgeable about the “rights” and “wrongs” of dealing with victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. Let’s work together to educate the public, starting with the children. Inform victims of the resources available to them, what safety plans and safety code words are, how to develop them, and how to get out of an abusive situation. Offer training for spiritual leaders on the proper ways to handle domestic violence within their congregations. Hold accountable all those who are involved in perpetrating the abuse of domestic violence. And, for god sake, could we please reconsider the whole plea bargaining system? Let’s get about the business of saving lives!

IN MEMORIAM

Bea Dickey - murdered by DV

Theresa Fogle-murdered by DV

(Pictures from ABC Action News, Tampa, Florida – http://www.abcactionnews.com)
 Carolyn is an advocate for sexual/domestic violence and assault awareness, also focusing on child sexual abuse. She is a Life Direction & Empowerment Coach, working with victims and survivors of molestation, sexual assault, domestic violence or spousal abuse, and bringing training to organizations seeking to help victims. Read her story in her book, ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused—Her Victorious Journey to Freedom and visit her website: orangeblossomwishes.com.
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About Carolyn S. Hennecy

Carolyn S. Hennecy - a/k/a southern blonde traveling with sense of humor and a passion for cheesecake, known to be heard several times a day declaring, "JUST PEACHY!" Advocate for domestic violence awareness; member of Sexual Violence Task Force of Tampa Bay Speakers Bureau; spokesperson for American Heart Association; motivational and inspirational speaker; Author of ORANGE BLOSSOM WISHES: Child Molested, Woman Abused - Her Victorious Journey to Freedom (Carolyn's memoirs), she will be featured on the ABC Action News (WFTS Tampa) Emmy award winning primetime special "Taking Action Against Domestic Violence" scheduled to air Friday, October 14, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

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