Loss of Life Should Have Us All Talking About Domestic Violence…Not Veganism
In the late hours of a warm Christmas afternoon, a woman estranged from her husband, the father of her two children, was gunned down. Also murdered were the two children the couple shared together, an 11-year-old and a 10-month-old. The man who allegedly committed these atrocious acts were none other than the estranged husband and father. So where did things go so wrong for this man and all the success in his life. Only hours before, he had posted an endearing video of himself and his 11 year old singing Christmas songs online. News outlets are quick to use the words ‘famous’ and ‘vegan’ in their headlines rather than ‘mental health’ and ‘domestic violence’.
Statistics are frightening
Domestic violence is one of the most under reported crimes in the United States and likely in the entire world. Whether you are a famous inspiration or the average family unit, the reaches of domestic violence hold no prejudice. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that 20 people per minute in the United States are physically assaulted by an intimate partner equaling roughly 10 million people per year. It is currently estimated that about 70% of all types of domestic violence crimes go unreported. Taking that into consideration, the number ‘20’ of people assaulted per minute can easily rise to astounding numbers. More women than men report that they have been victims, however it is estimated that cases of men being a victim of domestic violence are also high and very under reported.
Why don’t they speak up..or leave?
When you consider what is currently going on in mainstream Hollywood, the sad truth of why domestic violence is rarely reported is quite visible. People have finally begun speaking out and while many people are listening, there is also an abundance of people who are skeptical, who are judgmental and who have called people liars and mocked them. Outside of the public eye, the threat of action, whether legal or separation, has shown to lead to the outcome we discuss today. Partners have a multitude of other fears as well, including financial, lack of support, fears of single parenting and other custody concerns, as well as cultural and religious hurdles. While laws do exist to help victims of domestic violence, the aforementioned reasons often prevent people from seeking help.
Humanity needs to take a bigger step in.
Ultimately, the ideal decision a person can make is to leave. However, that is not always viable. Abusers often go to great lengths, through physical and emotional means, in order to prevent this from happening. They tend to isolate their partners from friends and family so very little support system is in place. This is where humanity needs to take a bigger step in. One of the biggest claims by victims of domestic violence is that the people they tell don’t believe them or downplay what they’ve been told. It can be difficult to believe that someone you know and like and even trust would physically and mentally hurt another person. However, if you’ve ever watched an episode of Law & Order SVU, you would know that the detectives always believe, always support. In a fictional life, victims of violence are given more support than real people, than our family members, than our friends.
Are there signs and symptoms?
The most important thing to understand is that abusers come in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. One study found that 90% of abusers have no criminal record and are generally law-abiding citizens. This often lends to difficulty in believing that nice Joe Smith next door who always smiles and brings in your mail, goes home and hurts his loved ones. Common warning signs of abuse are extremely controlling behavior and jealousy, verbal abuse and public or private demeaning/humiliation of a person, unpredictability, and conservative beliefs of household roles, amongst numerous others.
Signs of someone who is being abused can be difficult to see. People often go out of their way to hide what is happening and there is no cookie cutout of what signs they display. People become less social, less confident, and care less (or a great deal more) about their appearance. They can become unusually distracted, preoccupied and withdraw from close relationships. Additionally, victims can often be strapped for cash since abusers tend to control all finances. Ultimately, changes in personality and physical appearance are the signs most often noted.
Join your local coalition against domestic violence.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence has many ways you can help. You can sign up for emails of calls to action, donate money and even become a volunteer helper. They can provide guidance if you feel a loved one is in an abusive situation. This organization and others like it worldwide, spend time, energy and money to help victims leave their situations safely, to change laws and to bring more awareness to an all too often ignored tragedy in the waiting. Please open your eyes, lend your support, offer help and not only listen, but believe.
If you feel that you are in a dangerous situation and want help, please send Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting a message, through the Facebook Group, Instagram or Email, and we can get you in touch with local help groups and domestic violence shelters
Tags: Anthony Milan Ross, domestic violence, iris ross, vegan chef, vegan chef guns down family