Domestic ViolenceFound at the scene of the crime two dead bodies stabbed brutally, and leftto die at their house. This was the story that shocked the country in 1991. This was the start of the O. J. Simpson domestic abuse case that is still goingon today.
Unfortunately events like this happen many times over everyday inmany setting all over the United states; however the victims of the other casesdon’t get nearly as much publicity. Some facts about domestic abuse:An average of nine out of 10 women have to be turned away from shelterson. The reason so few cases get assigned initially is the police usuallydon’t have enough officers to meet the demandAt the Portland Women’s Crisis Line, where calls have doubled since thekillings of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman, they welcome the increasedattention. From July 19,through March 31, 1993 a total of 3,665 domestic violencecases were reviewed in Portland Oregon. Of those, only 281 cases resulted insome action taken against the accused abuser.Order now
Some of this is because there isnot enough police, but it is mostly because the abused person is scared. For the last six months of 1993 and the first three months of 1994Portland averaged about 1,000 calls each month or 12,000 calls a year. In January 1992, 30 criminal domestic violence complaints were issued. For January 1994, the number was more than 100. Nationally, estimates range from 2 to 4 million women assaults each year.
Some studies show that 20 to 30 percent of all women who seek help athospital emergency rooms are there because of domestic violence. Kyra Woods never made it to the emergency room. Whoever killed her saw tothat. She suffered 13 stab wounds to the back five of them so violent the knifecame out the other side of her body.
Wood’s mother, Mable, and two aunts wept quietly in a back row of thecourtroom as the prosecution argued against bail for Woods’ former boyfriendJackson. Rod Underhill, the prosecutor, painted a picture of domestic violence. He told of a dramatic moment after the killing, when Woods’ 4-year-old son,holding a teddy bear, re- enacted the attack. “He put his hands around the neckof the bear and shook it,” Underhill said. “He began to pound it with a closedfist and slug it. “Mable Woods said that her daughter never told her much about any abuse.
Neighbors, however, told police of hearing the couple fight violently. Accordingto police reports, one neighbor said, “They fought so hard the pictures on thewall shook back and forth. “Jackson has pleaded innocent. His attorney, Angel Lopez, points out that nomurder weapon has been found. He said the account from the 4-year-old boy couldnot be matched with any others, and he pointed out inconsistencies in the boy’sstatements.
Bail was denied. Jackson was accused of killing his former girlfriend, Kyra Woods, bystabbing her 13 times. His bail hearing normally would have merited littlepublic attention. What brought out the cameras and reporter was the Simpson case. Children are often the unseen victims of domestic abuse.
they see oneof their parents being harmed and this leads to high stress. Boys tend to bemuch more hostile when raised in a broken home. They are also ten times morelikely to be abusive when they grow up. Girls raised in an abusive family tendto be very shy and afraid of boys. When they grow up they are 50 times morelikely to marry an abusive husband.
The effect of domestic abuse on society is negative, but unfortunatelyit does not get much publicity unless it involves a figure that is well knownsuch as O. J. Simpson. Another sad thing is that people often shrug off domesticabuse calling it a personal matter because they don’t want to get involved orthey are afraid of what people will think about themSurvivors have found the emotional strength to break from their abusersthrough different means: a hot-line number remembered from a restroom wall, awallet card of crisis numbers from a pediatrician who would not overlook amother’s black eye. A grown child begging her mother to flee–and a shelter withan open bed.
The women, some with their identities changed to protect their privacy,talked about shame, guilt, fear of triggering even greater violence, low self-worth, isolation, embarrassment, numbing depression, concern for children,foiled escapes, a unrealistic sense of reality, a walking-on-eggshells existenceand, perhaps above all, an illogical hope that something would change. “the abuser can make everything sound so good,” says Florence A. Reid, 45,now living in transitional housing through Bradley- Angle House after 10 yearsin a violent marriage and another 13 year relationship, in an abusiverelationship both with men who were full of promises after the pummelings. Even now, 25 years later, after dozens of broken ribs, a broken jaw, pushesdownstairs, and out a car, and thrice-weekly bouts with her husband sometimesdrunk, sometimes sober–kicking with his work boots as she lay on the floor;even now, Reid has pipe dreams of living happily with this teen-age love, ofsitting on a front porch and talking about the old days. “Wouldn’t that be nice?” asks Reid.
“Just live a normal life with thefather of my children. “”The first time I tried leaving my husband was 1972. I took the kids to afriend’s house,” she remembers. “He found me and brought a gun with him.
Ofcourse, I just went back. “In 1992, after dozens of tries, Ruth left for the last time, with the helpof a daughter, and ended up at West Women’s & Children’s Shelter. Ruth, who now works part-time at a bank, sighs. “I don’t know. For years,my excuse was the kids.
And of course, I realize that was probably the worstthing I did for them. And I always thought, ‘Things will get better if I dothis. ‘”Other women clung to similar fantasies, sure the goodness and charm wouldreturn–if they could love him better, do everything right. When someone abusesanother person they often have a certain attitude such as thinking that it isthe abused persons fault and that they brought it upon themselves.
extensivestudies have shown this. The abuser often blames the person who was abused fortheir troubles. Abusers often have a hard time communicating. Unfortunately theabuser is rarely gets action taken against them.
But when they do it is oftenvery serious. The least that could happen is that the abuser gets a restrainingorder. In more serious cases there can be a number of penalties ranging fromshort prison term to a life sentence. This is the information that I found whenI looked up domestic abuse.
As you can see some of these facts are rather grimbut people are becoming more open to ideas and people are reporting more thanever. I hope that this stops being the most un reported crime in the UnitedStates so that we can get the problem under control. BibliographyBreiner, S. , Slaughter of the Innocents (1990);deMause, L. , The History of Childhood (1988);Kempe, H.
, and Helfer, R. , The Battered Child, 4th ed. (1987);Kempe, Ruth S. and C.
Henry, Sexual Abuse of Children and Adolescents(1984);Moorehead, C. , ed. , Betrayal (1990); Wexler, R. , Wounded Innocents(1990).
Domestic Abuse Metro Nashville Police Department Evaluation of the”Surviving Together” Support Group for Women and Children (Women’s Group)For Health and Community Services July 1995 By Christine SziklaEASTWOOD, S. “Parenting After The Violence” in Parent Help Program: News &Information Number 8, November 1992, The Australian Council for EducationalResearch Limited, Hawthorn: Victoria. (p. 4)WARD, J.
How to Research Community Issues: The Grounded CommunityDevelopment Research Method. Partnership Press in Association withDeakin University, Melbourne: 1993.Social Issues