Domestic Violence must be stopped

By Clyde Davis: Local Columnist

October is a month devoted to the playful celebration of horror.

Witches and goblins, ghosts and vampires populate our imaginations.

Travel Channel takes us to the most haunted sites via video.

Refreshments for parties are given joyfully gory titles.

AMC shows its favorite horror flicks, and the children put time and energy into the purchase or making of their costumes.

However, some horrors are real and insidious. Some horrors occur in a house that appears normal but hides secret darkness and evil. Some horrors emerge only with closer comprehension. Some horrors are birthed in the human emotions.

These are the horrors that concern me.

October is also domestic violence awareness month.
Domestic violence is the real-life monster story lived out daily by millions of children, women, senior adults and even men.

Abuse comes in many shapes and sizes and includes emotional and psychological attacks.

Some examples:
• A child comes home from school to an uncertain house, not knowing whether she will be greeted with a hug or a slap in the face. She walks on eggshells, knowing the bomb will eventually go off. It is not only brutal, it is unpredictable.

• A woman in a dating relationship quickly learns that, if her partner’s pouting and temper tantrums do not control her, he is not above resorting to physical violence. He is always incredibly repentant, and she wants to believe in him.

• A man discovers that, if he does not do as his spouse wishes, he will be sorry. Sorry may mean several things: fits of rage, public humiliation, a spending binge that empties the checking account. Any or all of the above may be used to punish him.

• A senior adult, feeling trapped in a nursing home, eventually learns to dread his daughter’s visits. He remembers when he was strong, her protector, but now he is convinced that not only is he a burden, but a hated burden. Subtly, through words and actions, she conveys her disgust, until he finds himself wishing she would just leave him alone.

Awareness is the key to breaking the cycle.

Laws protect the innocent only when the law knows what is happening.

Do your part to help break the cycle. If you have issues, deal with them before they become out of control. If you have friends who are in domestic-violence situations, help them to help themselves.

Use your vote; make it an issue at election time. Become informed and involved. Help make horror stories the realm of the imaginary, not of real life.