Domestic Violence- "Teach Me Again" by Tina Turner & Alisa
The song talks of wanting to know life and love again after feeling locked in a cage, for whatever the reason. It is the loss of innocence that life can bring to us.
This collection of photos and song helps to reflect what many women, men and children may feel when they are victims of domestic violence.
As domestic violence awareness has increased, it is now known that this type of abuse can happen within a number of different types of relationships.
The laws in many states cover violence occurring between married couples, as well as abuse of elders by other family members, abuse between dating couples, roommates, and those in gay and lesbian relationships.
Tough new laws can help to reduce sexual assaults and domestic violence. Nothing sends a stronger message to an abuser than prosecuting, convicting and jailing abusers. New laws, however, are not the only answer.
Too many people still erroneously believe that domestic violence is a private matter between a couple, rather than a crime that merits a strong and fast response. Even today, victims of a domestic abuse and assault run the risk of being asked, "What did you do to make your husband/ partner angry?" This question suggests that the victim is to blame for this abuse.
Our criminal justice system enforcers – judges, police, prosecutors and jurors -- need to be educated about the role they play in decreasing the acts of domestic violence. Even when these types of cases are brought, domestic crimes can be very difficult to prosecute. All too often, victims are so afraid and terrorized that they fear for their lives if they call the police. Silence is the batterer's best friend.
Domestic abuse often escalates from threats and verbal abuse to physical violence and even murder. And while physical injury may be the most obvious danger, the emotional and psychological consequences of domestic abuse are also severe. No one deserves this kind of pain—and your first step to breaking free is recognizing that your situation is abusive. Once you acknowledge the reality of the abusive situation, then you can get the help you need.
It is time to end the silence and change our attitudes toward domestic crime.
• Neighbors must contact the police when they hear violent fights in their neighborhoods. Don't turn up the television to block out the sounds of the drunken argument next door. Call the police.
• Teachers should be alert to signs that students have witnessed violence at home. Children who grow up in violent homes are more likely to become violent themselves.
• Medical professionals who see the victims of violence need to ask them about these crimes. Too often, doctors or emergency room personnel accept the statement of fearful victims that their bruises or cuts are the result of household accidents or falls. When a woman with a black eye says that she fell and hit the doorknob, doctors and nurses must ask: "Did someone hit you?"
• Members of the clergy need to become more involved as well. Sending a woman back to a battering husband often places her life at risk. We can make a greater effort to let her know that other options are available for her and her children. Early intervention is crucial.
Domestic violence crimes are serious. Experience indicates that levels of violence tend to escalate with each occurrence. Tougher laws and effective prosecutions, in concert with education and a cooperative approach among law enforcement and social service agencies, will help to raise awareness, but until then, we must take a greater role in reporting domestic abuse and break the silence.