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There’s no excuse for domestic abuse

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Recently, a spotlight has been cast upon the professional sports community relating to issues of domestic violence and child abuse.  While these issues are all across the country, it is encouraging that this spotlight has brought the problem to the forefront of the nation's attention.  The responsibility lies with each one of us to broaden the focus of this attention. 

Domestic violence and child abuse are not solely professional sports issues; they are societal issues that have been swept under the rug for far too long.  Many feel like they can't judge others because they don't know the circumstances surrounding the incidents, and they haven't walked in the person's shoes.  Honestly, what circumstances would need to be present in order to make domestic violence acceptable?  The short answer: none.  No set of circumstances make intentional aggravated violence against an intimate partner or child acceptable.

The military has a zero-tolerance policy with regard to domestic violence and child abuse, hopefully a trend that is starting to be replicated.  How do we move from a society with a philosophy of "seeing is believing" to a society where regardless of whether or not the incident was caught on tape, violence when it relates to intimate partners and children is viewed as outrageous and intolerable?  Domestic violence and child abuse can leave more than just physical bruises and often it's the emotional scars that no one sees that leave the most damage.

Domestic violence and child abuse encompass four categories:  physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and neglect.  Colorado defines domestic violence, in part, as "an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is, or has been, involved in an intimate relationship."  The definition of child abuse, according to Colorado state law reads, in part, "A person commits child abuse if such person causes an injury to a child's life or health, or permits a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation that poses a threat of injury to the child's life or health."  In both definitions, there doesn't need to be a physical mark present in order for it to be considered a crime.

While the professional sports community inadvertently brought much needed awareness to the issues of domestic violence and child abuse, they also created controversy surrounding offender accountability and what steps we as a society need to take in order to combat these completely preventable and often devastating incidents. 

With statistics stating every 15 seconds a woman in the U.S. is beaten or assaulted and up to nearly 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually, isn't it time we turn our focus towards finding a solution and providing assistance for victims instead of solely providing attention and unjust glorification to the actions of offenders?

The 460th Medical Group Community Outreach Program offers a variety of classes that help provide individuals with skills relating to interpersonal communication, anger management and parenting.  Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program works by assisting couples in learning how to communicate effectively with each other.  Keeping Your Cool is a class that teaches techniques and tactics for keeping anger in check no matter what situation you may be presented with.  Finally, Love and Logic offers practical solutions for dealing with the stress and chaos involved with parenting.  Please call 720-847-6453 for additional information or to register for a class.