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Friday, February 10, 2012

Taking Domestic Abuse Seriously or Dealing with Tragedies

    The tragic deaths of two boys in Washington State this past week at the hands of their father shows how dangerous domestic abuse can be.  Josh Powell had been under investigation since 2009 in connection with his missing wife, Susan Powell. This week on a planned supervised visit the two boys were killed by their father when he locked out the social worker that accompanied the children on the visit.  My first reaction was why were the children being taken to the father's house for the supervised visit when he had been identified as a "person of interest?"  A person of interest is the description of a person under investigation for a crime but there is insufficient evidence to charge the person.

    When I heard about the tragedy I quickly remembered the situation as one that I had heard about when my wife and I attended a taping of the Dr. Phil Show in LA back in February 2010.  We heard the grandparents of the children describe the suspicious story of how the father had strangely decided to take the two boys camping  in the mountains in the middle of the night in cold winter temperatures, without his wife.  It seemed obvious that he may have used this story to explain why he went to this area to really bury his wife's body.  No body has ever been found but recently the boys have been telling relatives about their mother being in the trunk of the car that night.

    I also couldn't help but remember the grandparents saying that they feared for the safety of their grandchildren if the father was ever granted custody of the children at any point.  The story has even taken another twist when the tapes of the social worker's 911 call have been released and you hear how the situation wasn't taken seriously enough to immediately dispatch police to the scene.  How often we hear of a tragedy after a domestic violence situation is not taken seriously enough.

    Here in Howard County we have an agency that is designed to address the issue of domestic violence with a range of services targeted to victims of domestic violence.  The Domestic Violence Center provides counseling, education and community awareness programs.  On Feb. 21st the Center will be welcoming a new Executive Director, Jennifer Pollitt Hill, who brings a wealth of experience to the job.
    The Purple Ribbon Campaign is an international campaign against domestic violence.

On a lighter tone to end the work week is another good music video from You Tube.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Seriously this is tragic. In Scotland we have a rising epidemic of Domestic Violence and I dread hearing such news where victims are left in the line of fire. It's awful enough for an adult not feeling strong enough to leave but for children to be walked to their death, they are not able to make these decisions. We as adults and carers have that duty.
My thoughts are with those who were powerless to the systems decision and lost their young family & friends to his hands.