Should domestic abuse get more attention?

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

I believe that the current US system in place for dealing with domestic violence is broken and needs to be fixed. It is a complex and at times difficult to address domestic violence, but our country goes overboard to address issues it deems serious. Can we honestly say our country is doing the best it can to combat domestic violence?

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.”

The expansive definition of domestic violence should help illustrate the complexity of coping with such a widespread issue. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the concerns regarding the system currently in place to deal with domestic violence seem to be rising.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

Another NFL player, this time New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, is in the headlines following the release of reports of domestic violence claims from his now ex-wife. The NBA regular season will start in a few days, but Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison will not be available for the first 8 games as he serves his suspension for domestic violence against his girlfriend. And as excited as Chicago Cubs fans are to be in the World Series, it is possible the last outs of the series could be recorded by their closer Aroldis Chapman, who began this season serving a 30-game suspension for allegations of domestic violence against his girlfriend.

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These athletes garner extra scrutiny for their acts of domestic violence but the issue itself is unfortunately still viewed as a task too large to handle. While the question on many people’s minds is how do we put an end to domestic violence, the greater question is why don’t we treat domestic violence the way we treat child abuse and neglect?

Attorneys and law enforcement officials often assert that their greatest challenge in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of domestic violence is lack of evidence or cooperation from the alleged victims. This is an understandable roadblock, however what is incomprehensible is that the federal or state government has not found a way to circumvent this obstacle. We have countless examples in this country of people finding a way to address serious concerns.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation's first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation’s first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Take for example the case of Mary Ellen McCormack. Mary Ellen was born in 1864 in New York City, but due to her father’s death and mother’s inability to care for her, became a foster child at the age of two. Her foster-mother Mary Connolly, was eventually investigated and convicted for abuse of Mary Ellen which included daily beatings, malnutrition and numerous malicious and neglectful actions. This landmark case in 1874 for child abuse was largely made possible because of laws that existed against the inhumane treatment of animals. That’s correct.

Henry Bergh and Elbridge Thomas Gerry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped ensure that Mary Ellen was removed from her foster home before the trial and handled her legal case as well. After having success with the case, and having formed the ASPCA in 1866, they helped form the first child abuse and neglect agency in the country, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).

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This story highlights the struggles America has had in providing systemic protection for those in need in our country. The formation of the NYSPCC in 1874 was a positive step for beginning to deal with child abuse but it would take another century for the federal government to enact legislation on the issue with the passing of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974.

There is no disputing the difficulties associated with trying to help people dealing with domestic violence but there needs to be greater urgency in the matter. For those brave enough to seek help, they are faced with limited options. A restraining order is not accompanied by around the clock police surveillance or protection. Shelters and hotlines are helpful but they require the victims to assume all of the initial risk in seeking assistance.

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There should be a statewide agency for domestic violence that is modeled after each state’s child protective services to allow the community to be better equipped to assist those in need. These agencies should investigate, monitor, and take action against allegations of domestic violence in the same manner they are supposed to for child abuse. It is clear the criminal justice system alone is ill-equipped to make the strides necessary to drastically reduce domestic violence. The time has come to move past creating awareness and start creating solutions.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Fall TV season features a diverse mix of storylines, black roles, formats

Venerable Actress Viola Davis is riveting as the lead in her prime time series.

Venerable Actress Viola Davis is riveting as the lead in her prime time series, “How to Get Away with Murder,” which has enjoyed impressive ratings since its September debut.

By Carmen Glover

As the fall television season settles into a routine, one inescapable truth has emerged: When black actors are given solid scripts and unshakeable support, they rise to the challenge and not only succeed but they thrive.

Kerry Washington leads an all-cast team of stars in the popular drama series, "Scandal."

Kerry Washington leads a versatile team of stars in the popular drama series, “Scandal.”

To the surprise of no one, “Scandal” returned on September 25 with a slightly retooled cast but timely and meaty roles to go around. Lead actress in the series, Kerry Washington, fresh off her marriage and the birth of her first child, leapt right into character and has re-engaged her audience. On the activism front, she has been front and center in promoting Domestic Violence Awareness Month with the Purple Purse campaign, an effort to strengthen he financial circumstances of women who are living with domestic violence, so that they can develop a financial plan to leave their abusive situation.

The cast of the engaging new ABC sitcom "Black-ish"

The cast of the engaging new ABC sitcom “Black-ish” show range, humor and comfort.

Venerable actress Viola Davis has taken the television screen by storm, stomping out the competition in the compelling drama “How to Get Away with Murder” which provides a rich tapestry of roles that allow a range of actors and actresses to shine in prime time. Executive-produced by Shona Rhimes of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy fame, “How to Get Away with Murder,” offers a thrill ride that is riveting to the last drop, episode after episode.

The guys have a great time on the set on "Real Husbands of Hollywood."

The guys having a great time on the set on “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” now in its third season.

Then there is “Black-ish” starring Laurence Fishbourne, Tracey Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson. The comedy tackles another aspect of the African-American experience that strikes a chord in the hears of many blacks who confront a lot of the situations that the characters encounter on the comedy. In the comedic vein comes the third season of ” Real Husbands of Hollywood ” which was developed as a spoof of reality shows but has now mushroomed into a credible, humorous take on the friendships formed between comedian Kevin Hart, rapper Nelly, actors Boris Kodjoe (currently in theaters as the lead in “Addicted”), Nick Cannon and a host of friends who pop in from time to time for another layer of levity and fun.

Cast of "If Loving you is Wrong," contend with an appallingly weak script, lack of clear direction and poor character development.

Cast of “If Loving you is Wrong,” contend with an appallingly weak script, lack of clear direction, disjointed delivery and poor character development.

The most disappointing show of the season is unquestionably, Tyler Perry’s new offering for OWN “If Loving you is Wrong.” Each week, viewers tune in hoping in vain to see evidence of a well-developed script, believable rather than stilted, forced, acting and a storyline that is plausible. Without fail, each week viewers are left asking: What on earth is this nonsense?

Charles Malik Whitfield of "The Temptations" fame, and April Parker Jones who plays his love interest on "If Loving you is Wrong," seem to be the only pair with credible acting skills on the set.

Charles Malik Whitfield of “The Temptations” fame, and April Parker Jones who plays his love interest on “If Loving you is Wrong,” seem to be the only pair with credible acting skills on the set.

For viewers who enthusiastically embraced Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” the letdown of “If Loving you is Wrong,” is palpable and with each passing week it becomes clear that Perry needs to go back to the drawing board and develop a script that has substance, flows easily and is relatable. He also needs to get actors who have range to join naturals Charles Malik Whitfield (“The Temptations”) and April Parker Jones.

“Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” and “Black-ish” all appear on ABC on Thursdays at 9:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m., respectively, while “Real Husbands of Hollywood”  and “If Loving you is Wrong,” appear on BET and OWN on Tuesday at 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., respectively.–OnPointPress.net.

 

Weekend Bulletin: Events calendar providing awareness and spice

Compiled By OnPointPress.net Staff11996659-domestic-violence-awareness-month

October 1-31:  National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic Violence (DV) has been in the news a lot recently due to NFL players being involved in graphic DV incidents. But DV is not limited to athletes. DV victims live in constant fear for their personal safety and often struggle with planning their escape. Many are terrified to share their plight. Call the following numbers for help: National Domestic Violence Hotline (800)-799-7233, (800)-787-3224 (TTY); Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) Tel: (800) 656-HOPE; Safe Horizon (212)-385-0357

 

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October 1-31: October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women are encouraged to get mammograms and focus on early detection for the optimum care. Find a walk near you by visiting makingstrideswalk.org.

Circle of Sisters is a two day entertainment and self-help event hosted at the Jacob Javits Center October 4-5.

Circle of Sisters is a two -day entertainment and self-help event hosted at the Jacob Javits Center October 4-5, 2014.

October 4-5: Circle of Sisters returns to New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center for a combination of self-help seminars, music, vendor display, fun and family interaction. See performers such as Tank, Tyrese, Johnny Gill, Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Tamar and Vince. Listen to panel discussions led by TVOne’s Roland Martin, and many more. Jacob Javits Convention Center, 655 W. 34th St. New York, NY 10001.

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October 4: Co-op City hosts a college fair to break down the college application process. The fair targets two groups: Students in grades 3-6 (accompanied by an adult)will be seen from 10:00 a.m-12;00 noon, while students in grades 7-12 will be seen from 12;00 noon through 6;00 p.m. Location 177 Dreiser Loop Auditorium, Co-op City, Bronx, NY 10475. 

October 3-31: New Movies such as Nas’ “Time is Illmatic,” “Gone Girl,”  join movies with good buzz such as Denzel Washington’s ” The Equalizer,” Idris Elba’s and Tajiki P. Henson’s “No Good Deed,” and Liam Neeson’s “Walk Among the Tombstones.” Check local listings for movie times.–OnPointPress.net.