- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 2, 2010

It may be hard for some to fathom how two people who were once deeply in love, married and had children together could wind up being involved in a lethal situation culminating in domestic violence but, sadly, it is a fact of life in today’s world (“Police: Man stabs, kills wife at Walmart,” Nation, Feb. 16).

A clear example of domestic violence victimization is illustrated by this story, in which a man in Suwanee, Ga., allegedly stabbed his wife to death during a heated custody exchange of their two children.He also reportedly stabbed himself and was subsequently arrested. The couple’s two children were present when the incident occurred.

The cycle of violence emanates from power and control issues, and it can escalate over time and intensify to the point where it has the potential to become deadly.

Children who are raised in violent families and witness abuse or are themselves abused are scarred for the rest of their lives. They often live in fear and are embroiled in a dysfunctional and emotionally unhealthy environment. It is not uncommon for them to model the behavior they have witnessed.

For the two children who witnessed this horrific incident, the trauma will be significant and the loss of their mother, deep. Children are like sponges; regardless of their ages, they absorb the impact of their surroundings in ways they are capable of and the effects can be profound.

For individuals who are involved in an abusive situation, they must take immediate steps to extricate themselves from the situation and seek intervention and assistance. For victims who stay with the grand illusion that somehow things will simply change for the better, they are operating under a false assumption that can greatly enhance their level of danger and ultimately lead to their demise.

Karen L. Bune

Victim specialist, Domestic Violence Unit

Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office

Upper Marlboro, Md.

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