The Editor:

It has become apparent that our little island is realizing the extent and damaging effects of domestic violence.  We have seen in the last year two murders that may be rooted in this horrible crime.  We as a people need to come to grips with the realization we can no longer look the other way when men are abusive to there partners.

The crime we see today on the streets may be related to the abuse our boys are seeing at home.  A woman with one voice may not be able to do anything, but together with a thunderous voice we can work together to be safe, make a change and have our children our sons and daughtesr grow up in a healthy, safe environment.

Citizens, we need to work hand in hand to break this cycle and come up with a plan to educate the youth that beatings and forced sex is not love or compassion.  That your man must love you because he hits you instead of leaving you is not what marriage or relationships are about.

Often victims believe, and have been told by their abusive partner, that the abuse is their fault. Remember that the abuse is not your fault and you can’t control it by changing your own behavior. But you can change your behavior to better protect yourself when abuse happens. Even if you are not ready to leave your partner, or even if the violence hasn’t escalated yet, you should consider a safety plan.

You can’t control your partner‚s abusive behavior, but you can take steps to protect yourself from harm. Whether you decide to stay or end the relationship, you should consider creating a safety plan. A safety plan is a personalized and practical plan for reducing your risk of being hurt by your partner. It can help you avoid dangerous situations and know the best way to react when you are in danger.

Sometimes, the best way to keep yourself safe is to call the police. This is especially true if you feel like you are in immediate danger, if you have been injured, or your restraining or protective order has been violated. While you may be hesitant or afraid to call the police, they may be able to give you help and protection when you need it the most.

When the police arrive, get the officers’ names.  Ask the police to take pictures of your injuries and interview any witnesses. Insist that a report be filed and get the report number. If they refuse to take a report, go to your local police department and file one yourself that day or the next business day.  On the next business day, call the police department to get the name and phone number of the detective or investigator assigned to your case. Call that person to get more information about your case.

If we all do this, the police will get the message and the abuser will also begin to get the message that this is serious and that the people of the Federation will not stand for this any longer.

How many have to die or become injured before we wake up and acknowledge there is a problem here.  Where are our leaders on this issue?

Ways to know if you’re in an abusive relationship:

* Gets extremely jealous or possessive?

* Accuses me of flirting or cheating?

* Constantly checks up on me or makes me check in?

* Controls what I wear or how I look?

* Try to control what I do and who I see?

* Try to keep me from seeing or talking to my family and friends?

* Have big mood swings – getting angry and yelling at me one minute, and the next minute being sweet and apologetic?

* Make me feel nervous or like I’m “walking on eggshells”?

* Put me down, call me names or criticize me?

* Make me feel like I can’t do anything right or blame me for problems?

* Make me feel like no one else would want me?

* Threaten to hurt me, my friends or family?

* Threaten to hurt him or herself because of me?

* Threaten to destroy my things?

* Grab, push, shove, choke, punch, slap, hold me down, throw things or hurt me in any way?

* Break things or throw things to intimidate me?

* Yell, scream or humiliate me in front of others?

* Pressure or force me into having sex or going farther than I want to?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship.  Keep a mindful eye or GET OUT!  Remember that a woman is more likely to be injured, raped or killed by a current or former partner than by any other person.

The Federal elections are coming soon, I hope that the leaders who say they are for reducing crime will look to better educate the public and even school children how to respect women. People of the Federation, ask your leaders their views and solutions to combating domestic violence.

And men if you are an abuser look at your victim and ask yourself if your mother would be proud of you!

For more info about domestic violence and ways to help yourself or other go to www.breakthecycle.org

Jane Doe