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Georgia again high on list of men killing women

Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011 10:24 PM
Last updated 11:05 PM
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Once again, Georgia is among the top states in which men kill women.

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Andrew Boylston gives a high five to Mariah Swilling during a "Slap Fives Not Wives" event last week at Augusta State University as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.   Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Andrew Boylston gives a high five to Mariah Swilling during a "Slap Fives Not Wives" event last week at Augusta State University as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

In the most current FBI data, Georgia had the nation’s sixth-highest rate in 2009. The previous year, in the Supplemental Homicide Reports submitted to the FBI, Georgia was No. 10.

The Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit organization, releases the data every October in its “When Men Murder Women” report as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Although the report does not focus solely on domestic violence, the center says it serves as a reminder of how domestic violence and guns make a deadly combination.

In Richmond County, the number of domestic violence reports has been increasing since 2009.

Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles said it’s unclear whether the actual number of incidents is rising or more people are reporting abuse.

“The economy does have an impact on stress level,” Peebles said.

In 2009, there were 2,247 cases of domestic violence in Richmond County. In 2010, the number increased to 2,638. As of the end of August, 1,969 cases had been reported – a number that exceeded those reported through August 2010 by more than 250.

According to data compiled by The Augusta Chronicle, 16 women have died since 2005 as a result of domestic violence.

Peggy Walker, the chairwoman of the Georgia Commission on Family Violence, said the announcement that the state’s rate of men killing women had risen yet again was disappointing, but not surprising.

“We’re working very hard on the issue, and we have great hopes for the work we’re doing,” she said. “At the same time, we have to be realistic. When we look at the numbers, we know that we’re not doing as much work in the areas that we need to do the work in.

Georgia is not the only Southern state that rated high. Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and South Carolina all ranked in the top 10.

Walker said although there’s no exact data to show why domestic violence deaths are higher in Southern states, there is evidence that suggests the region’s concentration of poverty is a contributing factor.

“When you’re living in poverty, your options are much more limited in making decisions for safety,” she said. “Economic dependence is a huge factor in keeping women in abusive relationships.”

Firearms being more prevalent in the South also contributes to the statistics.

According to the Violence Policy Center, two-thirds of women who own guns acquired them primarily for protection against crime.

However, a 2003 study found that women living with a gun in the home were nearly three times more likely to be killed than women with no gun in the home.

The report examined all instances in which a single female was killed by a single male. Georgia had 90 such incidents in 2009.

In Richmond County, five women were killed by men in 2009. At least two of the women’s deaths were a result of domestic violence. Both ended in murder-suicide.

On June 16, 2009, Alabama authorities discovered the bodies of Scottie and Jessica Murphy, of Augusta, at an interstate rest stop.

Local authorities say Scottie Murphy killed his 30-year-old wife, put her in the trunk of the car and drove to Alabama, where he shot and killed himself.

The couple had separated at the time of the incident.

Tonya Sims, 33, was shot multiple times Aug. 1, 2009, by her common law husband 33-year-old Johnnie Lee Lewis. He then committed suicide.

Sims family members told The Augusta Chronicle following the incident that the couple, who had been together for 17 years and had six children, had a long history of domestic violence.

Sims had left Lewis and was staying with her mother when he showed up and killed both of them, police say, adding that one of their children witnessed the incident.

“When you decide to leave an abusive relationship, that is the most dangerous time because that power and control the abuser has is being altered and they’re losing control,” said Aimee Hall, the executive director of SafeHomes of Augusta.

SafeHomes works with domestic abuse victims in 10 counties to assist in successfully ending an abusive relationship and starting over again. Hall said Richmond County has the largest clientele.

“The stats say it takes seven to nine times of coming and going to break the cycle, and the stats prove to be true,” Hall said.

“Mary,” a 27-year-old victim at SafeHomes who asked not to be identified, said she was lucky that she was able to get out of her abusive relationship before it turned deadly.

She had been in the relationship for about two years when her boyfriend started turning abusive. For two more years, she stayed in the relationship but was looking for a way out.

Without a job or vehicle of her own, she said it was difficult to separate herself from the man she shared a home within a rural area. When she could get a ride into town, she would pick up housing applications. Back home, she would hide them around the house while she waited for her next trip.

“I’d hide them under clothes and everywhere, but he would always find them,” she said.

Memorial Day 2011 was the beginning of the end.

The couple began arguing, and it escalated.

Mary said he hit and pushed her, and then threw food from the cabinets around the house.

Mary still has a scar on her hand where she pushed away the knife he had put to her head.

The next morning, she put her three children on the bus and prepared to leave for good.

“I knew then it was time to go,” she said. “I just started walking.”

She wasn’t far down the road when she saw her boyfriend behind her.

Mary said he screamed and ripped off her clothes until she was naked from the waist up.

The violence continued for several hours. Mary said he dragged her by the feet and beat her with an outdoor chair while she waited for help.

A phone call for help led her to SafeHomes.

Since her arrival in June, SafeHomes has helped Mary get a job. Now, she is applying for places to live.

“Everything is looking so much better. If you could just understand this feeling I have. It’s beautiful,” she said.

“If I haven’t done anything else, I’ve laughed. All I can describe is happiness. I couldn’t have told you I was happy a month or two ago. I’m smiling and laughing and getting things accomplished.”

SURVIVORS WALK

Survivors will share their stories and balloons will be released to honor living and dead victims from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at Augusta State University.

FOR HELP

If you are a victim or know someone who needs help, call (800) 799-SAFE.

THE VICTIMS

(*) indicates women who were victims of domestic violence. The list is not limited to single-victim, single-offender cases.

2005

*Gloria Gene Roberison, 41, was discovered stabbed and submerged in a car in a pond off Old Savannah Road on Jan. 7. Ex-boyfriend Ronnie Rhodes, 40, committed suicide.

*Betty D’Antignac, 52, was beaten and stabbed by Robert Pitts, 44, while he was stealing money to buy drugs April 16. Family members differ on whether D’Antignac and Pitts were in a relationship.

Betty Ann Gaines, 35, was shot during an argument with John Lombard Smith, 41, on Aug. 25.

Debra Dorch, 36, was shot in the back in a case of mistaken identity in Aiken County on Aug. 27. Cornell D. Tyler, 22; Edward Walker, 26; Tremaine Tyler, 25, and Willie Ware, 23, were charged.

*Daphne Foster, 34, was shot several times by her husband, Calvin Wayne Foster, 36, on Sept. 27.

2006

Sherry Rose Murphy, 43, died eight months after being sexually assaulted, beaten and left in a wooded area Jan. 9. Michael Clay, 25, was charged.

*Nicole McKie, 34, was shot by her boyfriend Jeffrey Scott Jr., 24, after she told him she was pregnant with someone else’s child Feb. 10.

Dale Baldwin, 83, was beaten with a baseball bat by her son Craig Baldwin, 57, over money he owed her June 24.

*Virginia Lee, 72, was shot by her husband, Carl Edward Lee, 75, who then committed suicide Dec. 28. She suffered from a severe illness.

2007

*Latoya Singleton, 28, was shot by her boyfriend, Jimmy Lee Jones, 35, during an argument over ending their relationship April 14.

*Deborah Perez, 57, was stabbed by her husband, Charles Manuel Perez, 61, on June 7.

*Samara Jones, 18, was shot by boyfriend Jatavious January, 18, after he suspected she was cheating June 28.

*Marcia Collins Wood, 49, was shot by ex-boyfriend Robert Asmann, 62, after she ended the relationship July 3.

Elizabeth Beasley, 47, and Anna Loebsack, 36, were shot by their father, Alton Beasley, 61, on Nov. 27. He blamed them for his pending divorce with their mother.

2008

Sharon Hartley, 56, was stabbed by her daughter’s boyfriend, Adrian T. Hargrove, on Feb. 9.

*Allyson Pederson, 18, was burned by her boyfriend, Adrian T. Hargrove, on Feb. 9.

Infant Kayliah Mack died after being shaken by her mother’s boyfriend, Shaun Perdue, 27, on May 21.

*Sirlinda Price, 34, was shot during an argument with her ex-boyfriend, Earl Dinkins, 42, on Sept. 7.

2009

Katherine Parsons, 41, was beaten by a female neighbor and her son Christopher Sean Bowers on March 25 in Columbia County. Bower’s mother sought a relationship with Parsons’ husband.

Shawndrel Danielle Horton, 18, was shot by Brodrick Deontay Seals, 17, during an argument June 11.

*Jessica Murphy, 30, was shot by her estranged husband, Scottie Murphy, on June 16. He committed suicide.

*Tonya Sims, 33, was shot by her common-law husband, Johnnie Lee Lewis, 33, on Aug. 1. He committed suicide.

Patricia Leigh Troglen, 22, was shot by her stepbrother, Eric Lee Philips Whitehead, 14, on Aug. 7. He suffered mental problems.

Martha Greene, 69, was shot during a robbery by Kelvin Stafford Johnson, 24, on Aug. 26.

2010

Tykiah Palmer, 16, and her unborn child died after being shot by Loviet Nushawn Edwards, 15, when she interrupted an argument Feb. 17.

*Brandi Nicole Jordan, 36, was fatally shot by her boyfriend, Travis B. Miller, 36, on July 6 in Aiken County. He committed suicide.

*Gene Bailey, 84, was suffocated July 16 by her husband, Henry Wright Bailey, 84, who then tried to kill himself. Gene Bailey was very ill at the time.

Yana Schenker, 75, was strangled and burned by Franklin Wright, 55, on Aug. 11 in Aiken County.

Shalamar Nicole Byrd, 38, was strangled and burned by Franklin Wright, 55, on Aug. 11 in Aiken County.

*Misty Weegar, 41, was beaten and stabbed by her boyfriend, Michael Todd Williams, 40, on Aug. 12 in Columbia County.

Patricia Burley, 45, was sexually assaulted and strangled by Corey Smith, 29, on Aug. 25. She suffered from Down syndrome.

*Norma Jean Mobley, 52, was stabbed by ex-boyfriend, Samuel Steplight, 54, on Nov. 3.

2011

Dorothy Lockwood, 92, was beaten by her grandson Theodore Cornell Lockett, 21, on Jan. 8.

Zion Harris, 2 months, died after being shaken by her father, Jacques Santonio Butler, 20, on Jan. 26.

*Evelyn Walker Bell, 46, was strangled by her boyfriend, Timothy Davis, 44, on June 19.

*Kenneth Myers, 47, killed four women in Aiken County before killing himself July 2. The women were his ex-girlfriend, Esther Baldwin, 47; his wife, Angela Myers, 25; her twin sister, Tabitha Brown, 25; and their mother, Vicki May Hook Brown, 50.

Helen Magee, 31, was strangled during an argument with James Gray, 35, on July 23 in Aiken County.

Comments (27) Add comment
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Brad Owens
4098
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Brad Owens 10/17/11 - 05:30 am
0
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I wonder if Deke will send

I wonder if Deke will send out a memo on this one or mention it in his weekly newsletter?

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 10/17/11 - 07:50 am
0
0
You hit a woman, you are less

You hit a woman, you are less than a man. Period. No excuses. Walk out, run if you have to.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/17/11 - 08:10 am
0
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"The couple had separated at

"The couple had separated at the time of the incident."

"Sims had left Lewis and was staying with her mother when he showed up and killed both of them, police say, adding that one of their children witnessed the incident."

"Elizabeth Beasley, 47, and Anna Loebsack, 36, were shot by their father, Alton Beasley, 61, on Nov. 27. He blamed them for his pending divorce with their mother."

"...shot by ex-boyfriend Robert Asmann, 62, after she ended the relationship July 3"

"...shot by her estranged husband, Scottie Murphy, on June 16. He committed suicide."

“....was stabbed by ex-boyfriend, Samuel Steplight, 54, on Nov. 3.

“Kenneth Myers, 47, killed four women in Aiken County before killing himself July 2. The women were his ex-girlfriend, Esther Baldwin, 47; his wife, Angela Myers, 25; her twin sister, Tabitha Brown, 25; and their mother, Vicki May Hook Brown, 50.”

"“When you decide to leave an abusive relationship, that is the most dangerous time because that power and control the abuser has is being altered and they’re losing control,” said Aimee Hall, the executive director of SafeHomes of Augusta."

Not only is the woman most likely to be killed by her abuser when she leaves the relationship, but her children are most likely to be killed at or shortly following that time also. Just this week a man walked into a beauty shop and killed his wife and 7 other people and critically wounded 2 more after she left him in CA.

People on the comments threads of the AC like to blame the victim of the abuse and not the abuser. They blame her for staying in the relationship. They blame her because they were fortunate to have entered a relationship where the man does not change his behavior after the marriage. That's what abusers do. They are charming and wonderful and then slowly erode first at the woman's self esteem, then at her safety. They have realistic expectations that their abuser will successfully kill not only them, but their family members or anyone to whom they turn for help.

Men can break bones and still be out of jail before the woman is back from the hospital - I know. Judges out there - keep in mind that when you release an abuser so easily and quickly you may be sentencing a woman and her family to death.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 10/17/11 - 09:16 am
0
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"People on the comments

"People on the comments threads of the AC like to blame the victim of the abuse and not the abuser. They blame her for staying in the relationship"

I do not believe this is a truthful statement. Most people on and off the AC thread have compassion for the abused victim and will agree that no one should stay in an abusive relationship. There are agencies out there to help women with domestic violence and enable them to get back on their feet again but more public awareness is needed.

happychimer
15815
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happychimer 10/17/11 - 09:29 am
0
0
I agree with Cassandra. What

I agree with Cassandra. What about the woman who got threatening phone calls and texts from her husband who is in Korea? Posters on here blamed the victim. I seen victims blamed on many occasions.

InChristLove
22420
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InChristLove 10/17/11 - 09:56 am
0
0
Happy, no one was blaming the

Happy, no one was blaming the woman, only stating that there was not enough information available at the time the article was written to make a valid termination if the man was actually guilty or not. We can speculate on guilt or innocent all day, I prefer to see and hear facts.

happychimer
15815
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happychimer 10/17/11 - 10:05 am
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Well if she had the texts and

Well if she had the texts and meassages, then why blame her? I get it. Don't blame the abuser. ok. I get it.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/17/11 - 10:10 am
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happy - you hit it on the

happy - you hit it on the mark. People who agreed that perhaps he was abusive blamed her for not leaving him sooner. Late at night a poster made very ugly remarks at me for "not protecting myself" when I left my abuser. I did protect myself, the law still let him get away with leaving dead cats in my driveway, stealing my car and other behaviors. Every time there's a case where a woman is harassed, raped or abused, some posters come on blaming the woman. There are very few resources out there for abused women and children and funds have been drastically cut making them ever scarcer. Women don't leave because they fear for their lives and the lives of their children/family members and know that society will ostracize and blame them for the behavior of their abuser and will do little to nothing to protect them.

happychimer
15815
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happychimer 10/17/11 - 10:12 am
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Cassandra I am so thankful

Cassandra I am so thankful not to be in an abusive relationship. I have seen what abuse does, and it is not a pretty picture.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 10/17/11 - 10:13 am
0
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Happy, do you know for a fact

Happy, do you know for a fact she had the texts messages or phone records? Did you see them or did the article state the office saw them? I believe the article only stated she told the officer that her soon-to-be husband had called and texts at least 40 messages of a threatening nature. Nothing more, nothing less. He adviced her who to call if she wished to press charges and we can speculate in a lot of directions. No one called her a liar, no one said she wasn't threatened, no one said she didn't have documented proof, no one blamed her. What was said was that until more information is presented we don't know whether the husband is guilty or innocent. Nothing more, nothing less.

Read it how you wish.

happychimer
15815
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happychimer 10/17/11 - 10:16 am
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I also know a man who has

I also know a man who has suffered mental and physical abuse from his wife, and is getting out of that.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/17/11 - 10:29 am
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No one supposedly said any

No one supposedly said any disparaging remarks and yet the thread was shut down completely. Interesting.

InChristLove
22420
Points
InChristLove 10/17/11 - 10:39 am
0
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Happy, as you just stated,

Happy, as you just stated, men can be victims of physical and mental abuse as well as women. Very little is know about the actual number. In about 100 domestic violence cases about 40 cases involve violence by women against a man. Roughly estimated 300,000 to 400,000 men are treated violently by their wife or girlfriend. There are many reasons why we don’t hear more about domestic abuse and violence against men. It has taken years of advocacy and support to encourage women to report abuse but almost nothing has been done to encourage men to report abuse. The idea that a man could be a victim of domestic abuse or violence is in most people’s view unthinkable, and many men do not even think about reporting it.

(Cassandra, I do believe the thread was shut down after you and another poster turned the thread into a personal attack competition)

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 10/17/11 - 12:26 pm
0
0
Women should ask tax users to

Women should ask tax users to use the tax money we gave them to protect EVERYBODY as we have asked, not working against the taxpayer as now. Getting tax users to BEGIN doing what they took our money for, to protect all of us, is a good start for lots of good things to happen. There are already laws on the books we can use to get tax users to do what they took our tax money for and things will improve quickly when we hold them to account for their actions the way they hold us to account. Look at the $25,000 that Steven Kendrick did not put on the Brinks Truck we sent to get it, and right after he did not put the money on the Brinks truck it disappeared from an open safe? Tax users are almost holding him up as some sort of hero for doing that, not holding him accountable. When tax payers start holding tax users accountable things will improve in every area including domestic abuse, dramatically.

bdouglas
4426
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bdouglas 10/17/11 - 02:00 pm
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What an odd photo choice in

What an odd photo choice in company with the headline! I understood it once I read the caption, but at first glance...wow...

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/17/11 - 04:11 pm
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0
Some statistics on domestic

Some statistics on domestic violence.

Worldwide at least 1 out of 3 women is physically, sexually, emotionally or otherwise abused during her life.

Every 8 seconds in the USA a woman is severely beaten by a domestic partner.

Every 45 seconds in the USA a woman is sexually assaulted.

Over 300,000 women are physically abused during pregnancy each year.

In the USA on more than 3 women a day are murdered by their domestic partners.

In the USA domestic violence is the #1 cause of severe injury to women ages 15-44

Women who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant are more likely to die from homicide from a domestic partner than from any other cause.

One in five high school girls have reported being physically or sexually abused by someone they are dating.

76% of rapes and physical assaults reported by women over the age of 18 stated that a current or former domestic partner committed the assault.

Domestic violence occurs in all racial, ethnic, religious, educational and economic backgrounds.

Next time you suspect a woman is being abused, don't just gossip, step up to the plate and do something to help her and her children escape that nightmare.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 10/17/11 - 04:22 pm
0
0
I have no reason to doubt the

I have no reason to doubt the data, but "severely beaten every 8s" equates to almost 4 million/year. "Sexually assaulted every 45s" equates to a little over 700,000.

Pretty sobering stats.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/17/11 - 04:35 pm
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0
Yes Vito, you've got the

Yes Vito, you've got the numbers correct. Not something pretty that people want to notice, but that is the ugly truth. When women do come forward they are blamed for their abuser's behavior and for the abuse they went through. I've experienced this first hand and still experience it years later when I speak up for more protection for abused women, experienced it just the other night.

These are just the statistics of abused women. Men are abused and even murdered by their domestic partners also, but because the stigma for a man is so much more severe, many don't seek medical help unless it's extremely severe.

InChristLove
22420
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InChristLove 10/18/11 - 11:26 am
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0
Cassandra, I believe because

Cassandra, I believe because of your personal experience you are very passionate concerning this subject, just as maybe JusticeGuy is very passionate possibly also due to a past personal experience. I don't believe he was actually accusing you of falsely accusing your abuser but that the issue does sometimes occur in some cases. Maybe his point was overly stated and I'm sure if he has experienced being falsely accused then his viewpoint to him is just as valid. This defintely does not negate a major issue we have with women being abused and the need for more public awareness but in the same token there are situations of men being falsely accused where there lives are severly altered due to it.

IMO, a great defense is education and teaching our young women of the early warning signs, self worth, and the quality of not rushing into a relationship or marriage. It may not prevent all cases but it's a good start.

InChristLove
22420
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InChristLove 10/18/11 - 12:09 pm
0
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In your opinion, I know you

In your opinion, I know you will agree that we have a major issue with domestic violence against women. I know you will agree there is also cases where men are abused, maybe not as major. Will you not also agree that there are cases where women have falsely accused a man of abuse?

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/18/11 - 01:03 pm
0
0
There are people who burn

There are people who burn down their own houses, there are people who claim to have been robbed who were not, there are people who have gotten in fights and claimed they were mugged, there is a case in New Jersey where man had his foot shot and his wife shot and killed by his mistress and claimed it was a hate crime, there are children who fabricate stories of abuse and yet I doubt anyone would condone a post of the nature that this woman hater left against all fire victims, all robbery victims, all people whose spouses were killed, or all child abuse victims. Only the AC comments section could take a story that could possibly save lives and turn it into a blame the victim thread.

Remember, in the time it takes me to write this post, eight women were beaten by a domestic partner somewhere in the USA, one women was being raped and by the end of this day, three more women will be dead all at the hands of their domestic partners. Bruises, broken bones, lacerations, miscarriages due to blows, and death are not false accusations. It is sickening that some commenters want to turn these tragedies into a rant of the extremely small number who falsely accuse. JusticeGuy obviously even has issues with women being given the right to vote - this screams volumes as to whether the allegations against him were likely false, imo.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/18/11 - 12:47 pm
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0
For those who care about the

For those who care about the plight of abuse people in domestic partnerships in this country, encourage your representatives to enforce domestic abuse laws, to require the abused be notified when an abuser is released from jail, and to actually protect abused from the death threats of their abusers. Domestic abuse crosses all racial, religious, sexual, and socio-economic lines. Not only do the abused partners suffer, but the children suffer as well. STOP the ABUSE.

InChristLove
22420
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InChristLove 10/18/11 - 01:05 pm
0
0
Exactly! Cassandra you last

Exactly! Cassandra you last post is excellent. Women who are abused need to know when their abuser is being released from prison. There needs to be more education and counselling available for children who are not only abused but live in an evironment where a spouse may be suffering from such. The cycle needs to be broken. Most times, children are effected way more than we even realize.

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/18/11 - 01:39 pm
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Sean my last post was in my

Sean my last post was in my own words and was not insulting or attacking. So where is it?

Cassandra Harris
-3
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Cassandra Harris 10/18/11 - 01:54 pm
0
0
Several posts, including that

Several posts, including that of the woman hater have been removed. I will not engage. Sean, please note.

Willow Bailey
20579
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Willow Bailey 10/18/11 - 06:01 pm
0
0
Domestic violence in any form

Domestic violence in any form is wrong, but it is a reality in our fallen world. And as with any reality, our hope for making strides against such behavior lies in our awareness of the entire problem.

Domestic violence is an emotional, physical and a tremendous spiritual problem. The propensity for control, domination and violence of man over woman is as old as creation and part of the consequences of fallen mankind.

Laws are both necessary and good, but laws alone offer only a consequence to such behavior and will never be the course of real prevention. The best chance women have to protect themselves and their offspring, is to know where domestic violence originated, what it looks like, how to prepare themselves through education, and how to make better choices in relationships. We have to take the responsibility of keeping ourselves safe, (not because it is our fault), but because we are ultimately the only ones who can.

All of society is in need of awareness and education on this subject. That information should be taught by churches, schools, homes, and the court systems.

Domestic violence hurts everyone. We will never completely overcome it in this world, but we can through understanding, make a huge difference in many lives.

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