Domestic Abuse Trend in America
By: Stephanie Combs
April 29, 2013
Instructor Walter Smith
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and any other types of abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner. It is an epidemic, affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational back ground. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and is a part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime. One of every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, and usually females will have been victimized by someone they knew, and most cases of domestic abuse are never reported to the police. Children who witness violence between parents or caretakers are the strongest factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next. Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults. Some cases end in homicide, almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
This happened to close to home in January 2013, my cousin Caitlin Cornett, her uncle Doug Cornett and her cousin Taylor Cornett were shot and killed on the Hazard Community College Campus. Caitlin and the perpetrator had been in a domestic violent relationship and had been going through an ugly custody despite earlier in the week. Caitlin had been begging the judge to give her an emergency protection order, but was denied due to political reasons; the murder was the nephew of one of our office holders. Caitlin had gone three other times seeking help and was never granted or protected. Caitlin was a sweet and compassionate young mother who honestly lived for her son Jayden. I feel as if the judge or county attorney that denied her some kind of protection should be held accountable for Caitlin and her uncle Doug and cousin Taylor’s lives. Doug went with her to meet her son and his dad, so that there would be no confrontation. What was ahead of them would forever change our lives and our community.
States differ on the type of relationship that qualifies under domestic violence laws. Most states require the perpetrator and the victim to be current or former spouses, living together, or have a child in common. Caitlin had previously dated the perpetrator and had a child in common and he had a history of domestic violence abuse and had a drug abuse record, the court system cost our family three lives. Knowing what to do when you find out or suspect that someone you know is suffering from domestic violence can be challenging. However, you can make a difference by reaching out to such a person provided you know how to go about doing so. One action or…