Letters to the Editor

Join the effort against domestic abuse

The month of October was dedicated to domestic abuse awareness. It also was the month dedicated to the memory of those who have died and those that continue to endure this crime.

Domestic abuse continues to be one of the most devastating issues affecting the modern family.

Our city of Kent is not immune. In 2011, there were 1,370 incidents of domestic abuse reported.

It is time to call our elected officials and ask them to re-authorize the Violence against Women Act. This is the act that was first authorized in 1994. VAWA is due for reauthorization by Congress before the end of 2012. Funds from VAWA are administered by the Justice Department and Human and Health Services.

There is evidence that a lot of work has been done by agencies across our state to eradicate this problem even though the crime continues to cause havoc.

Research shows that the majority of victims are women, with children as unintended victims. Some schools of thought contend that men are victims, too. While this argument may be true, women who are victims of this crime are far too many for us to invest much energy on men victims.

Most of all, it is important to hold perpetrators accountable whether they are men or women. Intimate partner violence takes place behind closed door. This makes it very difficult to track all incidents.

It is also reported that many incidents go unreported to law enforcement for fear of retaliation by the perpetrator. In some instances, women fail to report the abuse as the Mandatory Arrest Laws result in the only breadwinner going to jail leaving the family without economic means.

When all is said and done, it is once again important to hold all perpetrators of the abuse accountable.

The next step is for all of us to do your civic duty and take part in the campaign to re-authorize VAWA. Join the campaign on Facebook and log into PassVAWA2012.

– Josephine Karanja

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