Monday, October 17, 2011

In Defense of Women

I am a survivor of domestic violence.  I am reminded of the pain and fear every time I look in a mirror and see the scar that still exists on my face.  It's faded now as has the fear, but it's still there.  It always will be.

And now Topeka, Kansas has decriminalized domestic battery.  The city manager has stated that he can't afford to prosecute these cases and needs to use his budget for "serious" crimes.  Obviously, he has never been on the receiving end of a loved one's fist.

It is estimated by experts that 75% of murdered women in the United States are killed by their significant other.  That is 3 out of 4 women murdered by the person they love.  3 out of 4.  The danger doesn't exist in some stranger lurking in the dark, some faceless unknown.  The danger exists in the living rooms and bedrooms of the women in the United States.  The danger is at home.

Part of the problem is the insignificance placed on crimes of domestic violence.  More than half of all law-making offices are held by men and protection of women does not appear to be high on the list of priorities.  Domestic violence is a complex issue, requiring not just legal, but social intervention.  It won't be solved overnight but refusing to prosecute is a dangerous precedent.

The United States as a country prides itself on defending the little guy.  It sends troops to support said little guy all over the world, spending billions in the process.  But what does it say of a country that fails to protect it's women?

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