Domestic Violence: An Everyday Tragedy
12/3/2012 10:59:00 AM
According to the New York Post, after the tragic murder-suicide of Chiefs player Javon Belcher and Kasandra Perkins, his mom Cheryl Shepherd, will raise their beautiful baby girl, Zoey. After an argument that stemmed from the new mom staying out late after the Trey Songz concert, Saturday morning the fight went fatal when Cheryl's son fatally shot Perkins. She called 911 as her son fled the house.
Belcher then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head in front of his coach and general manager in a parking lot outside the team’s stadium. Police sources said Belcher shot Perkins nine times with one gun and used another on himself. Cops said Belcher had a license for at least one of the guns, which he bought from a sporting-goods shop about a year ago. The two reportedly had a troubled relationship and argued frequently. A friend said Perkins moved out with the baby and stayed with relatives and friends for several weeks before reconciling with Belcher days before Thanksgiving. Their problems may have gotten worse according to reports of daily drinking and popping of painkillers. Javon also had a head injury he suffered in a recent game, one pal told the sports- news Web site Deadspin. Belcher was one of six current or former NFL players who have killed themselves in the past two years. But while him taking his life is tragic, the first life taken must be remembered for what it was.
A deadly act of domestic violence. Period.
Even if there was no physical abuse prior, abuse can come in the form of verbal and emotional, and may even result in a senseless death. Some early signs of abuse (from hopehouse.net site) include someone who:
Wants to move too quickly into the relationship
Does not honor your boundaries
Is excessively jealous and accuses you of having affairs.
Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day.
Pay attention to the “red flags “and trust your instincts. Survivors of domestic violence frequently report that their instincts told them that there was something wrong early on but they disregarded the warning signs. But is there another concrete way to conclude at-risk factors?
In Kansas City, the police department has a Lethality Assessment Program that identifies victims who are seriously at-risk of severe injury or death. The victims answer a series of 12 questions, specifically developed for the Lethality Assessment Protocol. Based on how many questions the victims answer with yes, officials will immediately connect them with domestic violence services. Rose Brooks is one of the agencies that help with this program. Kansas City Police receive more than 4,000 domestic violence calls a year.
But also, peep this “Domestic Violence Risk Assessment” test from stoptheviolence.org. If you select "YES" to three or more you could be at risk or are in a volatile relationship. The more volatile, the more likely you or someone you know could become a victim.
1) Physically abused the victim
2) Physical violence increased in frequency
3) Abuser stalks the victim
4) Physical violence increased in severity
5) Abuser tortured the victim
6) Poly-substance abuser
7) Abuser has a criminal record
8) Abuser attempted/killed household pets
9) Alcohol abuser
10) Decision to leave abuser was made by victim
11) Prior violence victim tries to leave in the past
12) Abuser violates court orders ordering him or her to stay away from the victim
13) Abuser has undocumented history of felonious violence toward people outside of the home or former intimate
14) Abuser attempted to commit suicide
15) Ice user
16) Threats of homicide
17) Threats to kill himself or herself
18) Abuser is obsessive and possessive
19) Access to firearms
20) Sexual abuse/coercion
If you need help, here are some resources.
Rose Brooks Center: 816-861-6100, www.rosebrooks.org
Hope House: 816-461-HOPE www.hopehouse.net
Newhouse Shelter: 816-471-5800, www.newhouseshelter.org
Don’t risk your life for love. After all, someone who loves you, should never hurt you. As the word says in 1 Cor. 13: Love is kind and patient,never jealous, boastful,
proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered….