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Over the past months I have been following two stories of mothers who have gone missing. In March of the year Andreen McDonald of San Antonio, Texas went missing. Her husband was charged with tampering evidence. To date her body has not been found. Her six year old child will no doubt be asking when is mommy coming home.
The other case involves a woman from Connecticut. Jennifer Dulos, a mother of five went missing three weeks ago. Her estranged husband and his girlfriend were charged with tampering of evidence. The search continues for this missing mother.
There is little hope of finding these women alive. My message to these men and others with the same thought process is that no good can come with harming others. If you are in a marriage and it is not working out, walk away, get a divorce…life goes on. Don’t leave your children to suffer.
Domestic violence is nasty, it is ugly and ever so often children become victims. It is sad when the lives of children are cut short because they are dragged into situations that have nothing to do with them.
Earlier this month another angel went home. A three year old girl was burnt alive in a car with the doors chained shut, in Queens. According to reports both parents were in a custody battle. Against the mother’s wishes the court granted the father a weekend visit with the child. It is reported that he told the mother, “You will never see your daughter again.” She however did not think he would have hurt the child. In what was apparently intended as a murder suicide, at the last minute he got out of the car and left his daughter to perish.
There has to be another way to resolve problems in relationships. This type of violence and vindictiveness has to stop. No one owns anyone. If a relationship is not working out it is best to walk away, go separate ways. Inflicting pain is never the answer.
Domestic violence is a global issue. It affects women all over the world and despite efforts many women lose their lives to domestic violence each year. According to a UN report over 50,000 women lost their lives to intimate partners or family members in 2018. This tells us that a solution is nowhere in sight. A part of the problem is that the approach to domestic violence is somewhat like trying to put a bandaid on a wound that need stitches. Many people wait until their situation becomes unbearable before they seek help.
We must begin to take a more proactive approach to the fight against domestic violence. We must take domestic violence awareness into the classrooms. We have to start educating our young people of the ills of domestic violence before they engage in relationships. We have to teach our girls as well as boys that abuse is not an acceptable behavior in a relationship.
Women alone cannot bring about change. The police alone are not going to bring about change. The government alone cannot bring about change. Everyone has to get involved. We have to get more men on board. Many are against domestic violence. We need them to speak to other men about this issue. We also need to talk about in church and in the workplace. Let us rewrite the script. Abuse in a relationship is not okay. Let us with a collective voice say NO to domestic abuse.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Let us take a moment to reflect on the women who have lost their lives to domestic violence. Most of us know at least one person who was a victim of domestic violence.
As I reflect, a former classmate immediately comes to mind. She was a sweet beautiful soul who lost her life in her early twenties. She was in a relationship and broke up with the guy. Her ex got back in contact with her and asked her to meet him to talk things over; they had a child together.
Naively she went with him to a hotel room where her forced her to drink poison and later checked out leaving her dead body behind. This promising young woman’s life ended before it even began. She was the last person I expected to die that way. Her ex was charged and convicted for her murder.
As you reflect think of anyone know who is presently in an abusive relationship and encourage them to seek help.