Linda Perry is President of Bethel-Purim Ministries President and is a volunteer for W.I.N.G.S. (Women in Need Getting Shelter). She has also been a member of MCASDV since 2003. Perry answered some questions regarding domestic violence since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive (tending towards assault) and coercive behavior (using force or threats to make someone do something against their will) adult men use to control their intimate current or former partner.
What problems lead up to domestic violence?
The relationship doesn't start out being abusive. Love and intimacy precedes the abuse. There are periods when a woman is reminded why she fell in love with her partner. Abusers effectively weave together intimacy and abuse to control their partners.
What are signs of domestic violence?
Abuse can come in many forms. The one more obvious is physical, including bruises, bites, scrapes and black eyes to name a few. Some signs are more subtle including sexual and psychological. The male individual will tell the female she is worthless and doesn't have any skills. He will manipulate her by telling her something, then denying he said it. He will isolate her from family, friends and will not let her control any of the money, ruin her credit and any job or jobs she has.
How can domestic violence be stopped?
Safety first. We must let people know there is help available and that this individual is not alone. Get to know your neighbors, the people who live in our cities, volunteer your time, prayers and skills. WINGS has made alliances with law enforcement, courts, victims advocates, public health, social services. Thanks to MCASDV working closely with our legislators in changing laws to hold abusers accountable, by finding and building resources to assist these women.
How many domestic violence cases are there in Cooper County?
2012 had 70 new incidents . 2013 has had 32 new incidents thusfar.
In closing, the question is always, why is she staying with him? It's NOT easy to leave a situation if you have been beaten down physically, mentally and spiritually. Remember you have been isolated from family and friends. Also, if there are children, how would you take care of them? You have to realize that in a perfect world this wouldn't be an issue, however in the real world women have died from this. Do we need to be reminded of a hostage situation a few years ago that happened in Boonville? After all, the man is now in prison, but the woman was left with scars that may NEVER heal. I don't mean to scare anyone, but I'm passionate about this. Peoples lives are at stake.
Page 2 of 2 - Thank you to Cooper County Judge Keith Bail, Boonville Police Chief Bobby Welliver and crew, Cooper County District Attorney Doug Abele, Cooper County Sheriff Jerry Wolfe and crew, Sherrie Marshall, Victim Advocate, MCASDV who helped us get started and VerDonna Pinkett, director of WINGS. I want to thank the people of our communities who are helping in the fight against domestic violence.
Editors note: Although in the majority of domestic abuse cases the victim is a female, that is not always the case. Men can be the victim of abuse as well.