Maine has a criminal history to be envied. We have the lowest violent crime rate in the country and the lowest prison incarceration rate per capita in the country. However we are horrified, and should be, by the proportion of violence in our state that is domestic violence. Of the 31 Maine homicides in 2008, 65% were domestic violence related. Of the 25 murders Ain 2009, 35% were domestic violence related. The proportion has continued to improve steadily since the 2008 mark, but it is still much too high. And last month we were all shocked when an 37-year old estranged husband murdered his kindergarten-teacher wife, 8th grade son and 6th grade daughter before committing suicide.
[People were shocked that he was out of jail on bail after being jailed for violating a protection from abuse order. He had been charged with threatening his wife and children in June of 2010. He was prohibited from possessing a gun, yet he obtained a shotgun to commit the crimes.]
So I listened with interest to last night's news. Our governor [who I have often criticized on other issues] was actively calling for the immediate resignation of a man who is one of the state economic advisors high in state government policy. Why? He was arrested on charges of domestic assault last weekend after neighbors called the police disturbed by the loud arguments next door. Saying "Domestic violence is a serious crime with far-reaching consequences" the governor insisted on the man's immediate resignation from the man's influential position. By this morning news reported the man had indeed resigned [although he maintains the charges are all a "misunderstanding" ].
I am sure some will be shocked and complain about innocent until proven guilty etc., but I am pleased to see someone take a firm stand of zero tolerance. I have heard it said that it is up to men to make it clear to other men that domestic violence will not be overlooked or ignored. I don't care who or when or where or why as long as people speak up and take action to stop this slow motion disaster. And while we are at it, let us remember the other victims of domestic violence.... the children.
Without domestic abuse, most foster parents would have empty beds.
What a wonderful dream ...
Imagine a day when it is not Borders going out of business,
but foster parents
.... no longer needed.
I am a lifelong educator, writer and author, a foster, bio, and adoptive parent, happy mom of five daughters, Grandma to six, Nana to four, and church and theater musician. Oh yes, and all-round optimistic, crazy lady.