It seems as if every day is National something or another day. Every week has a special designation. Sometimes even entire months have designations.
So it is with October, which is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
It’s a pox on all our houses that we even have domestic violence in our midst, much less that we have to designate a special month to be sure people are aware of the existence of domestic violence.
But we do. Not that any other kind of violence is any more acceptable, but we can’t fathom the sickness that afflicts those who commit acts of domestic violence.
Hurting those we profess to love is an abomination. It is a sign of weakness by the perpetrator who, no doubt, feels like he or she has been wronged in a relationship.
Wronged or not, there’s never any excuse for hitting or otherwise abusing someone with whom we have a long-term relationship.
While law enforcement and the court system have gotten better over the years at dealing with instances of domestic violence, we believe more can still be done to send a message to would-be perpetrators of domestic violence.
Longer, active jail sentences are appropriate. Anyone who cannot be trusted to keep their anger in check needs to be kept away from people who could become his victims. Higher bonds for people charged with domestic violence would make it more difficult for someone to get out of jail and exact revenge upon their victim.
And, what of the victim? We realize there is a psychological toll that takes place when someone is the victim of domestic violence. They want to believe that their abuser will change. They worry about leaving a relationship they have grown dependent upon.
But victims should no this: one instance of domestic violence perpetrated upon you is one too many. You should get out of that relationship immediately and work with law enforcement and the courts to ensure that your abuser can’t hurt someone else.
Whatever the negatives victims might see in leaving an abusive relationship, we are certain the result of staying in that relationship could be far worse.
So, yes, we have a domestic violence problem in this country and Person County, unfortunately, is not immune to it. And, so we must raise awareness about the issue, even if it means designating an entire month to that effort.