Monday, September 13, 2010

Mississippi Domestic Violence

Well, I think it’s great that the state of Mississippi is trying to address domestic violence.   I am saddened, however, to see that they decided to take a one side approach to the subject.

The Division of Public Safety Planning provided the nonprofit Mississippi Center for Police & Sheriffs with a $157,950 grant. Project coordinator Brinda Willis said the grant is to be specifically used for assisting female domestic violence victims.  If a male victim calls, he’ll be referred to other programs for help.

The men in Mississippi have no real options available to them.  

Last I checked, there were less than 10 shelters for male victims of domestic violence in the entire nation.   I personally feel that this might be one of the reasons that suicide was the seventh leading cause of death for males and the fifteenth leading cause of death for females in 2007. Almost four times as many males as females die by suicide. Risk factors for suicide attempts by adults include depression and other mental disorders, alcohol and other substance abuse and separation or divorce.

Suicide is a major, preventable, public health problem.  In 2007, it was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 34,598 deaths.  The overall rate was 11.3 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. An estimated 11 attempted suicides occur per every suicide death.

When I attempted to take my own life, it was because of a woman who was destroying her life and that of her 4 year old daughter.  I had nowhere to turn.  All I could do was stand by and watch the tragedy unfold before me.  Once it became an issue of the law, I had a right to remain silent and was expected and required to remain silent—never allowed to explain to anyone.  I was told that if I even attempted to impact the situation in any way, I would be arrested.

A man is either a weakling or a liar if he is a victim of domestic violence.  He either needs to “man up” or “grow a pair.”  Nobody wants to hear it, and nobody has any idea of how to deal with it if a man actually ever does become a victim of domestic violence.

According to Hinds County Chief Deputy Steve Pickett of the Mississippi Center for Police & Sheriffs, the program in Mississippi is more than a resource for victims. The program will assist law enforcement, judicial personnel and victim advocates with training to help in domestic violence and sexual abuse cases. 

However, they are spending this money training law enforcement to deal with domestic violence by only showing the woman as the victim. That seems a bit like law enforcement learning self defense about knifes and then being handed a gun and sent out on the streets. Their training might be missing a very important part. Like the facts maybe?

Mississippi ranks fifth in the nation in domestic violence murder. For every 100,000 Mississippi women, two die each year from violence at home. The article fails to mention the number every 100,000 men who die each year from violence at home.

The behavior of The Division of Public Safety Planning is not only dangerous to society as a whole it is discriminatory in every way.

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