LETTER: Violence continues

The Highline Times article, “Marital jealousy allegedly fueled Burien murder,” (Sept. 14, 2012) clearly points out a chilling reality regarding domestic violence. The victims and those around them are not always safe even though they have left the relationship by divorce, separation or moving.

While we don’t know all the details of the relationship referenced in the article, some patterns fit with what we know about domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month so it’s an appropriate time to learn about the issue. Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound another.

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

These actions affect the abused but also family members, friends, co-workers, and the community at large. Frequent exposure to violence in the home not only predisposes children to numerous social and physical problems, but also teaches them that violence is a normal way of life and increases the risk they will be society's next generation of victims and abusers.

The statistics are staggering:
One of every three women will be abused during her life.
Ex-boyfriends account for 11 percent of domestic violence homicides.
Battering is the single major cause of injury to women, exceeding rapes, muggings and auto accidents combined.
Of the total domestic violence homicides, about 75 percent of the victims were killed as they attempted to leave the relationship or after the relationship had ended.
Between 1997 and 2006 at least 359 people were killed in domestic violence in Washington state.
Women account for 85 percent of the victims of intimate partner violence, men for 15 percent.

For questions, advocacy, and safety planning call the Domestic Abuse Women’s Network Hotline at 425-656-7867, New Beginnings at 206-522-9472, Refugee Women’s Alliance at 206-721-0243, or the SeaTac Domestic Violence Community Advocate at 206-937-4933 or visit www.dawnonline.org; www.edvp.org; www.wscadv.org; www.thehotline.org.

Chris Peterson
City of SeaTac
Domestic Violence Advocate

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