Thursday, November 27, 2008

Domestic violence series

Our newspaper has printed a three-part series on Domestic Violence.

Part I was about how things have changed Connecticut, and in Litchfield County, regarding domestic violence since the Tracey Thurman case 25 years ago.

Part II was about the support services around our community, and how they are giving power back to the victims.

Part III was called "A batterer's confession," which is an interview with a man serving prison time for abuse. Our reporter, Tracy, did a great job on these and you should check them out if you get a chance.

But the most interesting part is to read the comments under each article. Everyone has something to say about domestic violence, but not everyone knows enough about it to speak. It seems we are still living in the past when people say things like "so what, the police were called there multiple times and each time she dropped the charges. Why does she have to cry wolf?"

This is exactly WHY people need to learn more about domestic violence. Another interesting thing is how abuse is handled in different countries. We didn't touch on that in any of these articles, but I know for a fact that Sweden is much more lenient on abusers than, say, the United States. One more reason to stay in this country...


Anne Sofie said...

Could you please be a little more explicit in how Sweden is more lenient on abusers. You say "for a fact" and I'd like to know more.

In the early 1980s domestic violence was shocking news in Sweden - I know as I was a newspaper reporter then and I wrote about it. There were a couple of books that raised awareness. Until then next to nobody had talked about it. As a result of the reporting, lots of women dared go to the police. Women's refuges were opened, to house and to encourage women and children. Lawyers were slow to adapt, and those defending the abusers were - and might still be - hard on the women. It is partly their job, as defenders, but some were really disgusting in the way they accused then women to have quarreled and thus started the abuse - like there can be an excuse for physical violence!

There is certainly still a lot to be done, but I think the public awareness on the psychological bonds between the woman and the abuser - the man she used to love, remember that! - and her feelings of guilt and of no pride after being hit, is raised. Although I'm sure there are nuts here in Sweden like those commenting the series on The Register Citizen website. The nuts are usually very quick to give their views, aren't they? Especially when they can be anonymous on the internet, like "Taxpayer", oh how good a citizen he/she must be, paying taxes and never accepting abuse!

Anne Sofie said...

Oh, I forgot to say that Tracy has done a great job. Tell her so!

Vickan said...

Well, "for a fact" means from what I've experienced. My mom lived with an abuser for a long time. My aunt was a social worker, some relatives were alcoholics and I attended meetings and heard about all the horrible things done to people and police who do nothing.

And then, of course, I read the Swedish newspapers and there is constantly domestic abuse and reports of how the abusers are acquitted. I think the courts in Sweden do too good of a job to protect the defendants, when the defendants in most cases are guilty and should just be locked up someplace really dark for a very long time.