The Thoughts of an Educated Young African American Male

Domestic Violence = Relationship Violence

Having interned in three district attorney’s offices in North Carolina, I’ve recognized one problem which unifies them all. The question is, what can be done to convict perpetrators of domestic violence?

The problem is two-pronged; I believe the main problem is that there is not a sense of awareness of them.

To begin, the term “domestic violence” seems rigid, technical and out of focus to many of the youth in our community. The truth is, domestic violence is “relationship violence.”

Meaning, if your boyfriend, girlfriend or acquaintance harms you, it falls within the realm of this crime.

I have seen women in court who wait until the extreme –––– when they are hospitalized, seriously injured or permanently disfigured — before they appear in court.

I believe much can be avoided if they bring the man to court when the first slap, punch or grab occurs.

The second and most troubling part of this act is when brave women do bring charges, appear in court, only to ask for a dismissal.

Undoubtedly, after people in a relationship fight, the make-up process is faster than the judicial process.

Women often do not want to get their men in trouble. In a sense, I understand. After all, many share apartments, cars and some sort of bond. However, abuse is a pattern.

Often, many of the men brought in on female assault charges have multiple charges of the same crime.

Unfortunately, many of those are dismissed because of uncooperative female witnesses.

This uncooperative behavior results in repeated physical abuse and the woman’s eventual return to the justice system. Yet she often will ask the district attorney to dismiss the new charge

Thus, when women are unwilling to aid in prosecuting violent men, the violence will likely continue.

So many times during my internships in the various counties I would think, “Why do you continue to go through this?”

Indeed, many women will say, “I don’t know why I go though this.”

Yet they pick up the perpetrator from jail the same day. Something has to give.

I want women to be strong and send a message to the men with whom they deal–– that violence will not be tolerated.

This is not some campaign to get excited about while you read, but to hide behind the guise of “it’s not me” when you get home.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is abusive, don’t be afraid to press charges.

And, after you do so, show up at court and allow the assistant district attorney to prosecute your partner.

No woman deserves to be hurt physically or emotionally. Do not let your partner get away with abuse.

You are not doing him a favor. You are only adding to your future heartache and strife. Be the strong woman you know you can be.

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October 12, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments