Friday, April 16, 2010
A line in the sand..
I cannot find a way to address the issue of domestic violence in soft or subtle terms. Perhaps, this is appropriate for the issue as it stands is not one of subtleties or nuances. There exists no delicacy in the act of a man beating his wife, or children. No grace or beauty in the aftermath, filled with tears, pain, and fear. Domestic violence is simply cruel, cowardly behavior, performed by persons of lesser intellect who seek power. Power over others, for they have none over themselves or their surroundings.
No, there is no nice way to write about it, but this should not make us shy away.
The recent charge of Murder placed against Patrick Dapolito in the death of his wife Kelly Winslow of Limington last month, really brought the issue to the fore again. After shooting his wife in the back of the head with a 9mm handgun, Mr. Dapolito then stuffed the victim in a freezer until such time as he was able to dispose of the body in western Maine.
If we as a society truly believe that Domestic violence in all its forms is unacceptable as evidenced by the myriad of articles and books written on the subject, then I ask why in God’s name do we still have families who are living in a state of fear, where life itself, can become the ultimate price paid?
The situation continues because we as a people may pay lip service to the notion of stopping violence in the home, but do little to translate the idea into a reality. Yes there are education programs and outreach facilities, there are social service organizations and law enforcement officers, but overall these programs and avenues, are mere stop gaps. They exist to help save people from suffering at the hands of a supposed love one. Noble yes, but they are not, by their very nature, able to change the general perception and social values of the citizenry which, I believe, is what really needs to happen.
That, my friends, is left to you and me.
If we really want to stop violence then we should make the idea of it so socially unacceptable, that once found out, an abuser cannot help but experience great shame and/or fear. To do this we have to make the abuser understand not why he/she was so abusive, but rather why we will not tolerate this behavior as a people. This is not hard to do, for those who lower themselves by attacking women and children are nothing more than cowards. Being such, they are deserving of none of our attentions, friendships, or business. In other words, we should ostracize them. This can be done without violating anyone’s civil liberties, for nowhere in the Constitution does it state that you must interact with those persons you find distasteful.
I personally have no room in my world for men who are tough with women and children. I have found that these types are generally of an unreliable and unstable personality and that they cannot be trusted. The very nature of their lives makes it so, for they must lie and deceive continually to cover up their crimes. They have no honor, no pride, no strength of character, and lacking such they deserve no respect, friendship or companionship from anyone least of all me. I draw a line in the sand on this issue, a very distinct line, and if friend, family member, or even associate, crosses it they quickly find themselves “Shut out” completely.
I associate not with cowards.
I believe if more people took such a stance, if perhaps the abuser’s friends looked past “What a nice guy he is except for that beating his wife to a bloody pulp every Friday night bit” then we just may find a decrease in the instances of domestic violence here in Maine. If we can all measure our relationships with perpetrators of domestic violence with a moral compass that rejects any and all excuses, that scorns those found guilty, then we can begin to remove this barbaric plague from our society as a whole.
It will be shame that brings such persons to their knees and to heel, not discussions about drug use or their childhood. It will be their neighbors and friends turning away in disgust at the cowardice of the act which will leave no doubt, domestic violence is no longer acceptable or wanted.
Draw your line in the sand!
Allen R Butler
*the photo is of the cowardly and weak Dapolito heading to court*