The recent arrest of Erik Walden for alleged domestic violence may be a black eye for all Packer fans, but it brings to light an issue that is too often swept under the rug.
Domestic violence should not happen to anybody. Domestic violence is intolerable. Law enforcement officers, physicians, nurses, dentists, social workers, and people in many other professions are legally obligated to report suspected domestic violence and child abuse. However, everyone, EVERYONE, is morally obligated to report or intervene in suspected domestic violence.
The United States Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. It may include physical violence, financial control, verbal abuse and emotional abuse
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), domestic violence is a serious, preventable public health problem that affects more than 32 million Americans. This number only reflects the number of cases that are reported; it’s estimated that in the United States, as many as one third of domestic violence cases are never reported.
• Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
• Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
• Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
• Everyday in the US, four women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
• Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives compared to sons of nonviolent parents.
Victims often feel isolated from the outside world. Domestic violence victims often do not report abuse and often return to dangerous relationships out of fear of reprisal.
The best solution to domestic violence is to prevent the abuse before it starts.
It takes great effort and courage to get out of a physically or psychologically abusive relationship.
If you are, or know someone who is the victim of domestic violence, contact your local women’s shelter or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).
For more information, an excellent website is the National Institute of Health site on domestic violence: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/domesticviolence.html