Tragic, isn’t it?
I’m talking about the Southfield man charged in the choking death of his wife this week. Here is a link to the story. The couple argued over money before the husband began choking his wife with his children begging him to stop. Even sadder was the last line in the story that points out that he had been arrested previously for domestic violence against his wife. It is a story that is more common than most of us would like to believe. In Michigan, every 3rd home knows intimate partner violence firsthand and 40% of women 16 and older have experienced some form of sexual violence. Over 150,000 households in Oakland County alone have directly experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, across all socio economic groups.
Here is a way to think about it:
About 1% of people in the US are homeless and 11% go hungry. But 33% are not safe in their own home. (Statistics courtesy of HAVEN)
No one likes to think about it or talk about it. It seems simple to folks on the outside —why doesn’t she just leave him? Because these are complex situations that are not easily solved. The cycle of violence can be hard to understand if you are entangled in relationship violence. The perpetrators usually craft a web of threats and violence to keep their victims where they want them. Not the loving caring family relationship that most of us are familiar with.
But there is help. We are fortunate to have HAVEN as a resource in our county. We work in close partnership with them and have for over 20 years. They do a tremendous job helping women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. I had breakfast recently with the Executive Director, Beth Morrison. She talked about the challenges they are facing in providing services to battered women and children. It was disappointing to hear that they’d had to discontinue their long term program for batterers. No funding sources were available to continue. So they’ve shifted their focus to young people still in school in hopes of breaking the cycle before it gets started.
When Beth and I met, we also talked about their capital campaign “Plant the Seeds of Hope” to raise funds for a new shelter. They need more room and roofs that don’t leak. If you can help, call them.
If you need help or have questions, don’t hesitate. Call them. To contact HAVEN’s 24/7 crisis hotline, call 248-334-1274.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Do what you can to help…