Curbing violence will require many steps
Thursday, December 05, 2013 7:05 PM
A miracle, cure-all will not come from it. There might be as many questions coming out as there are going in. But the fact it is taking place is a good thing for the greater Greenwood community.
Reference here is made to Thursday's breakfast summit to address domestic violence in Greenwood County. The meeting will bring together Greenwood County Sheriff Tony Davis and his office, the 8th Circuit solicitor's office, Meg's House women's shelter and Cornerstone drug and alcohol treatment center.
The impetus behind the gathering should be obvious to anyone who has lived in Greenwood if only for a matter of weeks. And given South Carolina's statistics, ranking No. 1 in the nation for deaths of women at the hands of men, summits such as this should probably be going on all across the Palmetto State.
Greenwood County has, sadly, produced its share of the statistics, most recently with a pair of murder suicides, one that involved the execution-style slayings of additional family members.
In announcing Thursday's gathering that will take place at Wesley Commons, Davis said: "Domestic violence ... remains a steady form of violence, and it is never a pretty sight when (it) occurs. I don't know what the solution is. And this meeting is a chance to seek solutions or maybe tactics we can apply to try to fight this problem."
Davis is not alone. There are no textbook answers that can or will eradicate domestic violence - not here, not anywhere. But agencies such as Meg's House, Cornerstone, along with law enforcement, can get together and sort through what they find are common denominators. Perhaps out of the summit will come solid information that will enable the right people to intervene in time, or produce measures that can serve to stem the tide of violence that all too often is as cyclical within families as poverty, poor health habits and crime.
Something surely has to be done to help break the cycle of domestic violence. And if this week's summit can provide even one step, one glimmer of hope it will all be worthwhile.
For many of us, what leads to domestic violence might seem obvious: People who readily resort to violence to solve their problems or perceived problems, a lack of respect for others, a lack of self-respect, people who mimick behavior learned at home. These, and others, are no doubt associated with someone prone toward domestic violence, but knowing that does not in and of itself stop the acts or break the cycle.
Unfortunately, part of the solution might well rest within the walls of our schools, which assumed some of the duties and roles traditionally relegated to parents. Remember when, for a good many of us, character was taught at home? Really, it was learned at home. Now, whole programs have been injected into our schools as a means of helping build good character in our students.
Perhaps within our schools, with concentration given to building mutual respect and finding better ways to problem solve than through violence we will witness a decline in the incidences of domestic violence in later years. Obviously, any and all efforts will stand a far better chance at meeting with success when and if parents and guardians see the value of signing on and being part of the solution.
Thursday's summit is but one step. We hope it is followed by many more.