GUEST EDITORIAL: Is It Time To Treat Violence as a National Emergency?
Each day in the United States women are victims of all types of violence at the hands of men – murder, domestic abuse, sexual assault – yet too often as a nation we take little or no notice.
But on occasion, for some of us, the violence hits home and can no longer be ignored.
My daughter, Jessie, was 19 when she was raped and murdered in our home by a friend. Her death left me stunned, shocked and filled with anguish, yet also inspired me to do all I can to prevent such horrors from happening to others in the future.
During her brief life, Jessie developed a strong social conscience. Ironically, her biggest cause was women victimized by male violence. Her legacy, The LOVE>hate Project (www.ligth.org), is dedicated to ending violence against women and inspiring people to choose love over hate.
Essentially, we would like to see violence against women treated as the national emergency it is. Sadly, not only has male against female violence been going on since the dawn of mankind, but often the attacker is a spouse, boyfriend, ex, or someone close.
Nearly one in four adult women have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC also reports that 16 percent of women have experienced some form of contact sexual violence from an intimate partner, such as rape, sexual coercion, and/or unwanted sexual contact. And 10 percent of women report they have been stalked by an intimate partner.
(Men can also be victims in these situations. For example, the CDC reports that one in seven adult men have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner.)
Certainly, violence against women is a large societal problem that won’t easily be solved, but here are ways to begin the process:
The bottom line is that it’s too late for Jessie, but not too late for millions of girls and women – if we educate, motivate and inspire people to end the violence.
My question is: How many more Jessies will there be before we get the job done?
About Dr. Buck Blodgett
Dr. Buck Blodgett is the author of A Message from Jessie and is the Founder of The LOVE>hate Project. He also has been in family chiropractic practice since 1996 and is founder of The Chiropractic & Wellness Group, and Wellness Drs. He and his wife, Joy, were the parents of Jessie, who was murdered when she was 19. Since her death, Blodgett has worked to end violence and to educate, motivate, and inspire young minds to choose love over hate. He speaks nationally in schools, conferences, and prisons.
NOTE: Editor Vic MacDonald has been on vacation. His editorials will return on August 31.