Reflections on Sandy Hook

(12/21/2012)

During this holiday season, our nation experienced the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.  The sorrow being endured by the families and community of Newtown is collectively shared by all Americans and individuals worldwide who remain shaken by the senseless slaughter of seven women and twenty small children at an elementary school, a setting where one would expect teachers and school children to be safe.

Sadly, we seem to have become desensitized to the frequent stories we hear about the hundreds of women and children who are killed annually in their homes, the one place where everyone should be the safest.  In the United States, between 250 and 300 children are murdered by their parents every year. Of children murdered before the age of 5, 60 percent are killed by parents.

Although mental illness can be a factor, as it was in the Newtown tragedy, murders of women and children in our communities at the hands of a family member are often a consequence of rage and deliberate retaliation. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, in 2010 1095 women were killed by their intimate partners. This is three women every day senselessly murdered not a by a crazed stranger, but by someone who professed to love and care for them.

Although domestic violence homicides are senseless and heartbreaking as the tragedy at Sandy Hook, they are not a rare occurrence. In Las Vegas in 2012 the headlines were full of cases of young women killed by a husband or boyfriend. In some cases, the children in the home were murdered as well. For example, the murder of 30 year-old Veronica Erazo-Alderado was accompanied by the murder of her 3 year-old daughter Sabrina. Then there was the incident in April where a little 9 year-old boy showed up at his school to report that his dad had just killed his mother and sister. These were just a few of the local families forever traumatized by the senseless acts of domestic violence.

There is no one answer that will solve societal issues as complex as domestic violence homicides and mass homicides.  But some perspectives can be found in what Safe Nest therapists teach in Batterer’s Intervention. 

Violence is a choice.  No one can force another person to be violent.  Violence is a tool of anger, resentment and oppression designed to shock and oppress others.  You do not receive respect from the use of violence. You receive fear.

Respect is given and not earned. Fear is not respect. Although someone may treat you with deference out of fear, you still don’t have respect.  When we operate from a place where all people are respected regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, and national origin, then the use of violence against others to instill fear or oppress cannot exist.

These perspectives are not solutions but they form a foundation for individuals and society to bring us closer to being safe, in our public places and our homes.

[Look for our upcoming blog on how Safe Nest prevention programs work to reduce domestic violence] 

I think confidence is the sxieest thing. If a guy can have a killer swag and not so cute in the face he becomes SUPER sexy! Oh and I am a sucker for football player bodies, not the players particular (had some bad experiences) but there bodies are just
I think confidence is the sxieest thing. If a guy can have a killer swag and not so cute in the face he becomes SUPER sexy! Oh and I am a sucker for football player bodies, not the players particular (had some bad experiences) but there bodies are just Whew like Flo Rida that body is sexy! Ok I got off topic a lil lol
(January 29, 2013 ~ 2:53 AM)
By Mardee

I read your ponstig and was jealous
I read your ponstig and was jealous
(January 29, 2013 ~ 1:03 AM)
By Melissa