In the midst of her own domestic violence and litigation abuse nightmare, Connecticut attorney Nancy P. Tyler graciously and courageously spoke out for others walking in her shoes. Connecticut has recently had an explosion of horrific domestic violence murders. Ms. Tyler’s remarks were featured in a video and newstory by WTNH on how the Connecticut’s Gov. M. Jodi Rell intends to cut funding for domestic violence programs. What is it with female governors who don’t appreciate the value of domestic violence prevention?
I’d like to give a shout-out to the Hartford Courant for their blog “Battered Lives,” their editorial “Toughen Laws Against Domestic Abuse,” and Josh Kovner and Alaine Griffin’s extensive article “12,520 ~ and Counting: High-Profile Cases Put Spotlight On Domestic Abuse.” It’s great to see a newspaper honor their First Amendment duty to shine a bright light on systemic dysfunctions. Bravo!
Nancy P. Tyler’s Remarks At Press Conference Hosted By Domestic Violence Coalition
In 2009, domestic violence made headlines in Connecticut. I was one of the victims in those stories.
In 2010, domestic violence continues to make headlines. And although even thinking about my experience is the absolute last thing I want to do, I’m here today because I know that the legislature is in a position to take effective action against this horrific situation that destroys families and takes lives.
About a week or so ago, a West Haven woman called police about her husband. They responded and he left. Then he returned. From all reports, he killed her, then himself.
Most people have no idea what it was like for that woman, trapped in her home, with her husband threatening to kill her, begging for her life. But I do. It happened to me. So I can imagine her last moments and I pray none of you will ever be forced to live through moments like those.
The Coalition is asking the legislature to help them take action to stop domestic violence. And make no mistake about it, these deaths and the family destruction will continue, life by life, unless we all take action to end it.
Ending a pattern like this takes a commitment. I’m here to plead with the legislature to make that commitment To take a stand. To say it stops here.
We need to do everything in our power to stop domestic violence. Our society needs it. Our state needs it. But most of all, hurting families everywhere need it.
The system we currently have is flawed. It needs to be improved. And it needs to be funded. We can help make it happen.
The Coalition is presenting proposals in five areas in which they believe an investment can make a difference. By supporting their proposals, the legislature can give the Coalition and the victims they serve more weapons to fight this epidemic of domestic violence.
One vital weapon is the availability of well-staffed protected shelters for victims when they need safekeeping. We need to fund the shelters because we can’t leave victims alone when they most need the help. We have to give them a safe place to go with people there 24 hours a day people who can respond to danger or just provide reassurance, some strength to face the next day.
We have to keep up the investment in experts who can guide victims through the system so they aren’t further victimized by the very laws that were created to protect them. I urge the legislature to make the investment to assure victims they have these safe, well-staffed shelters.
Another vital weapon in the fight against domestic abuse is the education of our young people. Let’s make the commitment now to educate teens about control & power and teach them about the decency expected in a healthy relationship.
Let’s teach them that all of us have the right to control our own lives and none of us have the right to control others.
Let’s teach them that there is a decent way to have a relationship that doesn’t include emotional or physical abuse, that doesn’t include control and isolation, that doesn’t depend on submission and emotional, physical, or financial pain.
They need to understand that no abuse is acceptable in a civilized society. If we don’t take action now, more youngsters will grow up to be batterers and abusers and even more will grow up to be battered and abused.
Domestic violence should have stopped with my generation. It didn’t. If anything, it’s become more prevalent. We can reverse this horrible trend. But we need the money and the commitment to do it.
And as difficult as it is to spend money in challenging economic times, this is money we can’t afford not to spend.
Aren’t we better off spending money now to teach our children respect for each other–and themselves– rather than spending it later to deal with violence, death and the destruction of families?
Aren’t we better off dedicating money now to grow more reasonable adults than spending it later to house more convicted murderers?
Copyright © 2010, The Hartford Courant