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The realities behind domestic violence in Washington

Domestic violence, as the term implies, refers to an act of aggression in the home. A topic such as this one must be taken sensitively because it deals with traumatic events in individuals’ lives, which most of them would want to bury in their past. It even discusses experiences that led to deaths of hundreds maybe even thousands of innocent people. Those who bear witness to such experiences – of calling names, swearing, hitting, battering, causing injury, leaving bruises and scars, and worst, death – especially the victims themselves will forever carry with them the burden of dreadful memories.

But the sad fact is that domestic violence does not only occur in a few selected places, in contrast, it happens everywhere in the world. The even sadder part is that many of these victims are families whose parent is a pole officer, the very person whom we should turn to for protection from abuse. Truly, this is a matter to be dealt with worldwide. We cannot just, as they say, turn the other cheek and feign that all is well while our sisters (and brothers) are being downtrodden. Around the world, there have been thousands of victims crying out for help, and the numbers have not diminished.

This paper, focusing on Washington State alone represents only a minute percent of the world. However, it aims to encourage the people of this nation and of this earth to not sit back and let this unacceptable crime to happen. The citizens should be responsible for their own safety and the safety of their neighbors. It is due time for us to take action and fight domestic violence. A home no more: The realities behind domestic violence in Washington David and Crystal Brame were pillars of their Tacoma, Washington community.

He was a successful police chief; she was his lovely wife and mother to two children. But Crystal was keeping a terrible secret—David Brame had been physically and verbally abusing her for 13 years. When she finally filed for divorce in February 2003, Crystal feared for her life was. Her sister Julie and brother-in-law David say he used the police department to harass her into coming home. David Brame became obsessed with getting Crystal back. In April 2003, he approached her in a parking lot, shot her in the head and then killed himself—all in broad daylight.

(Winfrey, 2003). The above section was taken from The Oprah Winfrey Show last October 2003. As I read through the short narrative summary of the David and Crystal Brame tragedy, I could not help but cry. It behooves me, how a well-educated person with a flourishing career can be capable of beating up and even killing the person whom, when they were wed, he swore his heart and soul to. He promised her a life of devotion, shelter and protection in front of the society and he broke that promise.

How could it be possible for anyone to murder their own flesh and blood? Also, the police are assumed to give us safeguard from harm. But what happens when it is from them we need protection from? What are the police doing about domestic violence? What can we do as aware citizens? Life is indeed like journeying towards the horizon. No matter how long we have travelled or how many people and how much knowledge we have met and gained, we can never reach it. It seems like we can never get to that point where we can see beyond what is now and perceive the future.

Still, we are on that constant journey, hopeful that what we see next will teach us good lessons and let us put one happy step after another. Most of us perhaps have dreamt of the latter. All of us may have even dreamt of having a good career which will provide for a complete and prosperous family. Regrettably, not all of us are fortunate enough to attain such fate in life. As in the case of Crystal Brame (now renamed Crystal Judson), her dreams of a happy marriage turned into a nightmare when her husband, then police chief, David Brame became an abuser. And the worst part is, Crystal Judson is not alone.

According to the 2005 Crime in Washington State Uniform Crime Reporting Project, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (2006) and Domestic Violence Fatality Review data, 359 people were killed by domestic violence abusers in the Washington State alone in a mere 9 ? years (January 1, 1997 and June 30, 2006). Also, stated that in the year 2005, a woman’s current or former husband or boyfriend murders her 50% of the time. The data below (Table 1) shows a comparison of domestic violence-related fatalities in Washington State beginning from January 1, 1997 to June 30, 2006 and July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2006.

A noted total of 113 people died due to domestic violence from July 2004 to June 2006. This number includes 83 homicide victims, 26 abuser suicides, and four (4) cases in which abusers were caught in the act and was killed by law enforcement officers while threatening lethal force against the officers or a victim. A staggering 93% occurrence declares that domestic violence abusers or their associates killed their homicide victims. They include domestic violence victims, their children, friends, and family members.

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