Sunday, January 9, 2011

Domestic Violence

I just had the unfortunate experience of overhearing a domestic in the apartment directly across the hall from mine.If it had been just a case of two adults yelling at each other,I would probably not have gotten involved. But upon hearing the voice of a child screaming for someone with a phone,I bolted from my chair.I opened my apartment door to see a little boy about five or six years of age.He was hysterical, crying and asking if I had a phone.A female about 25 was standing with him.I asked what was going on-she replied that her male partner had struck her-and she had struck him back.The male was heading out of the hallway down the stairs at this point.The little boy kept yelling to me that the man was bleeding.I asked the woman if indeed that was the case,she replied yes,he is bleeding from the head.I called the police who thankfully, arrived with-in minutes of my call.
  Everyone concerned was taken in by the officers,and I don't believe the male party was seriously injured.But what a horrible situation for a child to witness.I found myself unduly shaken by this incident.It no doubt triggered some memories of my own dysfunctional childhood.
I share this incident because no where near enough is being done to address domestic violence.
We have in this town a women's shelter-but no avenue of help for the men involved.Locking them up in jail and forcing them to take an anger management course is not the whole answer.This course of action-from my own personal experience in talking to men who have been involved in domestic violence-is rarely effective.
What in my opinion is needed, is a shelter of some kind, where these men, prone to violence,can get professional help.Whether it be court ordered or a voluntary admission.This very dangerous issue of domestic violence must be addressed.Not just at the punitive level-but also at a therapeutic level.These men are acting out this way for a reason.We as a society owe it to our children to delve deeper into this issue.