Meredith College Student Newspaper /
Nov. 9, 1994, edition 1 /
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Editorial: Domestic violence is a widespread social problem
by Shannon Peterson
A mother and four-yearold daugh
ter crouch in fear underneath a bed as
a man in the hotjse tries to kick down
the locked door of the bedroom where
the two are seeking security.
The door is successfully thrust open
and knocked down on the floor, along
with the dresser that was barricading
The mother tries to quietly tell her
daughter that everything is going to be
all right, but the man makes it to their
hiding place in two quick strides and
pulls them out.
The daughter is sent reeling across
the room, and the mother is pushed up
against the wall and stepped and hit on
by the man that is her husband.
As her husband is thrusting his
adrenaline-filled fists into her flesh, the
mother does not think about her pain
She is hurting only by hearing her
daughter’s whimpering cries and
watching the blood trickle down her
Should she run over and rescue her
No, that would only cause her hus
band to get even more angry and at
tack the four-year-old further.
Why does this continue, and why
hasn’t anything been done ^out it?
No one can really understand abuse
and why it goes on imtil she experi
There is, however, a way to teach
others and to get a grasp of some idea
as to what is going on by looking
closely inside the abused and her
'The male abuser appears as anaver-
age person toward others outside his
He may be a prominent business
man with everything going his way,
and others can never imagine the real
horror that goes on because they only
see the false “femily man with a caring
heart” facade and are not there to see
him rip off the mask behind closed
This “Jekyll and Hyde” syndrome
Editor in Chief
Layout Editor - Shannon Peterson
Copy Editor Melissa Massengill
Features Editor. Clarky Lucas
News Editor Addle Tschamler
Photo Editor Jetson
Business Manager Carrie Shaw
Reporters Arinn Dixon, Ashley Peay,
Kimberly Zucker, Keri VanDoren, Kristine Stagg, Melissa
Cloer, Teresa Latham, Meagan Cronauer, Marsha Tutor
Photographers Laura Ross, Jan Seate
Faculty Consultants Garry Walton, Rod Cockshutt, Nan Miller
Adviser Paula Daniels
The Meredith Heraid is published by the College throughout the academic
year. The paper is funded by the College and through adverising. The
opinions expressed in edrtorial columns do not necessarily reflect those of
the college administraiton, faculty or student body.
Letters to the Editor Policy:
Everyone in the MeredKh community is invited to write a letter to the editor.
All published letters must be typewritten with contact name, address and
telephone number. All letters must be signed by the author, but names will
be withheld upon request.
causes the wife to live in constant fear
because she does not know when he
will become violent.
People automatically assume that a
man has a mental problem if he abuses
This is not always true.
Mental handicap should not be used
as an excuse for his behavior.
A man has total recollection of what
he is doing when he does it, and later
he apologizes repeatedly to his wife.
Ona previous "Saturday Night Live,"
an impostor for Ike Turner had a flash
back of when he used to abuse his
former wife Tina Turner and said he
was sorry over and over again.
“Ike” got roses and a mink coat for
“Tina” after the argument in hopes
that she would forgive him.
Usually after a violent spell, the
couple goes through a “honeymoon”
period in which the husband is saying
he is sorry through his actions.
Women, on the other hand, are a
completely different story.
They are the victims, but yet they
do not runaway from their livesoffear.
Why is that?
There are multiple reasons.
One is that a wife takes the mar
riage vows literally.
One woman said of her abusive
marriage, “I took it very seriously, the
marriage, the commitment. I wanted
more than anything to make it woric.”
Another reason is that they take the
children into consideration and stay in
the marriage simply for the sake of
The mother wants her children to
grow up in the “nuclear fcimily” atmo
sphere with a feither to help in support
ing them financially and emotionally.
What she does not know is that
when she stays in the marriage, the
children have to watch helplessly as
their father hurts their mother or expe
rience physical abuse themselves.
This constant living in a “fight or
flee” habitat causes emotional trauma
that leaves behind scars and possible
severe mental incapacities.
Third, a woman loves her husband
and cannot imagine her life without
She is afraid of supporting herself
alone, and her nurturing instincts cause
her to wonder what will happen to
him if she does leave and cannot take
care of him.
A wife thinks about all of the good
times they shared during their mar
riage to ride out the storm of abuse.
If leaving the abuser is the best
remedy for this devastating problem,
then why are so many men threatening
and even killing their wives after they
Most women are afraid to leave
their husbands only because they think
that the abusers will chase after them
just to keep the secret hidden.
Luckily, there are shelters for
abused women and their children, and
America has a total of 1,200 shelters.
Raleigh has Interact, a 24-hour
safety and support program, that deals
specifically with domestic violence.
Shelters are helpful, but only if a
woman admits she is being battered
and seeks help on her own.
Sometimes the woman takes jus
tice into her own hands and kills the
abuser in what she thinks is self-de
The police and criminal justice sys
tem, however, do not see it as self-
defense if they do not see the abuser
physically attacking his wife.
Michael Dowd, a defense attorney
said that “...battered women often de
fended themselves when charged with
killing their abuser by pleading mental
disease of defect, insanity, or extreme
This is wrong.
Why should a woman humble and
degrade herself further by pleading
guilty by means of insanity if she was
only protecting herself?
'The anti-woman bias in the jmtice
system needs to be looked closer at
There may be a significant differ
ence between men and women, and I
certainly agree with that, but no one
deserves to be brutalized unmercifully.
This injustice toward women leads
the abused victim to feel utterly help
less because not only is she being
abused by her husband, but she is also
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