Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c)2017 Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry
Abuse is not often a one-time occurrence. That is because abuse is always about power and control. In the mind of an abuser, the victim must be kept in his or her place. Abuse escalates when the abuser’s sense of power and control seems threatened.
The National Coalition to Prevent Domestic Violence (NCADV) asserts that abusers may practice their crimes without censure because domestic violence is often handled inappropriately. The NCADV website mentions several reasons why a domestic abuser may find freedom to grow more abusive or broaden the scope of abuse:
- Reinforcement by clergy and counselors to “save” a couple’s relationship at all costs, rather than understanding the goal of stopping the violence.
- Lack of support to victims by police officers and law enforcement who may treat violence as a “domestic dispute,” instead of a crime where one person is physically attacking another person. Often, victims of abuse are arrested and charged by law enforcement even if they are only defending themselves against the batterer.
- Dissuasion by police of the victim filing charges. Some dismiss or downplay the abuse, side with the abuser, or do not take the victims account of the abuse seriously.
- Reluctance … to prosecute cases. Some [prosecutors]may convince the abuser to plead to a lesser charge, thus further endangering victims. Additionally, judges rarely impose the maximum sentence upon convicted abusers. Probation or a fine is much more common.
When an abuser is not made accountable and suffers few consequences, the abusive behavior increases. Most of it remains in homes, silent and possibly deadly. However, a few take their need for power and control to the streets.
Today, an article from NBC News speaks to the relationship between domestic violence and mass shootings. It is in some ways obvious, yet because most of us do not think like abusers, the idea is astounding.
Turns out, most mass shooters have domestic violence backgrounds. Domestic abuse is notoriously under reported, so it is likely actual numbers are higher.
Monica McLaughlin, deputy director of Public Policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence said, “We also need law enforcement response that believes survivors, that responds to the calls for help”
The article continues, “The Chicago Battered Women’s Network’s most recent Court Watch Report from 2013 lists dozens of cases in which protective orders were denied after abuse charges were dismissed, or inappropriate statements were made — such as when one judge told a woman to simply “learn how to get along” with her abusive partner ‘given that they have a child together.'”
Domestic abuse of all kinds must be taken seriously. Until those in authority learn this, we can expect more of the same.
Today’s Helpful Word
“Let the wicked fall into their own nets”
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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.
*Understanding Why Victims Stay http://ncadv.org/learn-more/what-is-domestic-violence/why-victims-stay
*Mass Shooters Tend to Have Past Domestic Violence Arrests Mary Emily O’Hara – NBC News – Thursday, June 15, 2017 retrieved from http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-mass-shooters-tend-have-common-domestic-violence-records-n772716