I’d really hoped not to hear this kind of phrasing coming from the White House today, but… He did it, the President of the United State said of domestic abuser Rob Porter, “He worked very hard and we wish him well.” (MSNBC) No, that really doesn’t indicate that this Oval Office takes violence against women all that seriously. I truly don’t care if he was the best paper pusher in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. He’s a serial domestic abuser. I really don’t care if he was the best filter of paper and proposals in the Universe. He’s a serial domestic abuser. And, the President* didn’t take the opportunity to even mention violence against women. What he said about a serial domestic abuser was that (a) he was gone and (b) the White House wished him well.
Domestic violence is a serious issue in Nevada. The Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence issued a report of 2016 statistics (pdf) on the subject, and it’s discouraging to see that there were a total of 64,457 contacts made to authorities/agencies about domestic and sexual violence during that calendar year. 11,197 were repeated contacts. There were 24,567 “bednights” or overnight shelter provided to adults, and 1,411 provided to children. There were 13,589 incidents reported to police, resulting in 6,433 arrests. There were 5,128 cases in which the police were not contacted. There were 23,777 cases in which it is unknown if law enforcement was contacted. Additionally, there were 18,164 cases in which the referral for possible action is unknown.
It’s not like domestic abuse and sexual violence are issues we can separate from other criminal acts or address with fast/quick solutions. The problem is cyclical:’
“Abuse tends to occur in cycles. It does not just go away and tends to get worse over time. Domestic violence and intimate partner violence typically, but not always, follows a pattern. There is a period of tension building; there is an episode of violence; and there is a time calm, or a “honeymoon” (Hancock, 2012). Research suggests the more severe the violence, the more chronic it is and the more likely it is to worsen over time (Lipsky et al., 2012).”
There is a direct link between domestic abuse and mass shootings:
“…mass shooters killed a partner or family member in 54% of shootings—which are defined as incidents in which four or more people are killed by guns. Between January 2009 and December 2016, 422 people were killed in domestic violence disputes; more than 40% of these people were children.” [Fortune]
And women are the most likely victims:
“Over half of all homicides (55.3%) were IPV-related; 11.2% of victims of IPV-related homicide experienced some form of violence in the month preceding their deaths, and argument and jealousy were common precipitating circumstances. Targeted IPV prevention programs for populations at disproportionate risk and enhanced access to intervention services for persons experiencing IPV are needed to reduce homicides among women.” (IPV = Intimate Partner Violence) [CDC]
Yes, to that last point because the 5th leading cause of death for women between the ages of 18-44 is homicide. So, we should be taking the issue of domestic and sexual violence seriously because it’s a leading cause of death among women in the prime of their lives, because it’s part of an escalating cycle of violence, one that too often leads to the kinds of mass shooting which shock the senses. And, no, I do not wish the perpetrators “well.” I wish for police intervention, legal consequences, the collection of comprehensive statistics, the development and implementation of prevention programs, and the closing of the “boyfriend loophole” for the procurement of firearms.
No more — no more excuses, no more attempts at amelioration, no more minimizing the problem, no more … Time’s Up.