Life-Saving Legislation

On the CBS Monday Evening News, there was a segment on gun violence and the effect on society. The reporter said that every time someone kills, maims, and injures innocent people, the public becomes more immune.

What?

The report, along with the disastrous events in Orlando, Las Vegas, New York, and Sutherland Springs saddened me. Has violence become so prevalent that we, as a society, are desensitized?

Yes, according to the news.

The media dissects each event in excruciating detail, and instead of outrage, we shrug. Perhaps the descriptions are too grisly, or we feel powerless to make changes. Unless we’re personally impacted, or know someone who is, we may shake our heads then continue with our lives. After all, how are we supposed to control the influences and factors that motivated an individual to intentionally kill or injure others?

Full disclosure

I grew up in a violent and abusive home. As a child, I witnessed and experienced physical and emotional cruelty, which caused me to spend years in therapy coming to grips with and accepting my childhood traumas. In the 1950’s and 60’s, there were no shelters for battered women and children. My mom was concerned with how things “looked” versus how things were, and chose to stay married. While my brother and I begged her to divorce, she feared societies’ disapproval, and “stuck it out.” As the victim, she felt responsible and hiding her shame was stronger than her desire for safety.

The movies we see, the TV shows we watch, the newspapers, blogs, and books we read, and the games children and adults play—many include violence. We’re wired to enjoy conflict; without physical or emotional vulnerability, our interest wanes.

I’m guilty of perpetuating violence.

While writing my first novel, I was surprised at the brutality that evolved in my story. Why did I include it? Now, as I’m writing my second book, harmful behavior is an integral part of the plot. The topics I write about–drugs, domestic violence, and abuse–are subjects that include violence.

An article in The Huffington Post by Alanna Vagianos cited the following statistics:

1 in 4

The number of women who will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

1 in 7

The number of men who will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes.

20

Every minute, 20 people are victims of intimate partner violence.

 

4,774,000

The number of women in the U.S. who experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.

38,028,000

The number of women who have experienced physical intimate partner violence in their lifetimes.

Worldwide, men who experienced violence as children are three to four times more likely to perpetrate intimate violence as adults.

 

Close to home

My husband and I live in an affluent area in Southern California, known as Orange County. I read recently that 26.3% of women in our community report experiencing violence by an intimate partner. From the research I’ve done as well as serving as a Human Options Board Member, (a non-profit dedicated to ending domestic violence and abuse), I can attest that many women do NOT report their abuse. If they did, this statistic would be significantly higher.

Here’s the Kicker

Fifty-four percent of mass shootings are related to domestic or family violence. When an intimate partner beats a woman, and that individual has access to a gun, she is five times more likely to be killed.

Bi-partisan legislation can help save lives

This past summer, the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2017 was introduced in the Senate. The purpose of the law is to prohibit domestic abusers and stalkers who have abused their intimate partners from buying or owning firearms.

 

What can you do?

Please join me in asking your lawmakers to co-sponsor the Protect Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2017 by clicking on the following link:

SEND A MESSAGE TO YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR THIS LIFE-SAVING BILL.

Thanks for reading.

I love hearing from you. What is your opinion? Your experience? Do you find yourself becoming immune to violence?

Warmest Regards,                                                                                                                                           Michele                                                                                                                                                               Author, Busted                                                                                                                                           www.michelekhoury.com                                                                                                                              Link to subscribe: http://michelekhoury.com/blog/

 

4 thoughts on “Life-Saving Legislation”

  1. Laura BLaura B

    Michelle –

    I am actually scared by the thought I might become numb to violence by others committed on others. Of course as a domestic violence survivor, if it ever happened to me again, I would be outraged and probably vindictive. However, in the past three years I have made a conscious effort to be less judgmental of others and my perception of their shortcomings. I also am trying daily to find the good in the world around me, and to live a simpler life. Where I am living now for the past three years makes that actually possible. Not much happens here, at least not much crime as I know it from 20 years in Orange County. I feel very blessed by this, but your blog has made me question if what I think I am doing – forgiving others their quirks, failures, short comings, unkindnesses etc. is really accepting it as the status quo. I will consider this further so I can still pursue a way for me to be a better person, in world that isn’t always so great. Thanks for challenging me.

  2. Margaret K. HamadMargaret K. Hamad

    Thank you, Michele, for speaking up and talking about the subject that apparently people have become numb to. We are horrified initially by senseless violence, but then as the incidents accumulate we switch off. But I know that I’d like to do something about it, so thank you for your push in the right direction.

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