Today the San Antonio Express-News reported a 36 percent increase in aggravated family violence cases in San Antonio since January. Yes, you read that correctly.
Am I shocked?--yes!, deeply shocked and saddened. Am I surprised?--no, not at all. Not when community leaders openly brag about committing acts of criminal abuse against their family members as they do in their comments on this blog. Not when they openly threaten others with acts of domestic abuse and violence as they do in their comments on this blog. Not when their followers openly do the same in their comments on this blog. And certainly not when they all openly hold parties to celebrate and brag about the committing of these acts.
Why does this happen, and why is it escalating so rapidly? Certainly flawed morals, ethics, and attitudes of the perpetrators and participants are involved. The "I don't want to get involved" attitudes of bystanders, whether out of laziness, ignorance, or fear, is another huge factor. So is rampant substance abuse.
However, I believe the biggest root cause of this increase is the rampant corruption that currently exists in local law enforcement at all levels. It's a well-known fact that most abusers don't stop until they start facing negative consequences from their actions; in fact, their abuse usually gets worse over time. When abusers know the right people around here, law enforcement can't or won't take action to stop them, and they brag about getting away with their abuse. This only empowers them and makes following them attractive to insecure others. (I hope you see the parallels to bullying and stalking here!) Rumor has it that a significant number of local law enforcement officers are in fact seriously abusive themselves.
Loved ones of victims and supporters of domestic violence prevention organizations are doing a good job of calling attention to the scope of the problem through vigils, press releases, publicity, and the like, but until the root causes of domestic abuse, domestic violence, bullying, and stalking (which are all related problems) are addressed, and victims receive actual help instead of being turned away or the "run-around", I predict the numbers of victims will continue to climb dramatically.
On a more positive note (I LOVE positive notes!), I'd like to thank the Hispanic gentleman who saw me struggling with heavy feed sacks at the store today, came over, and loaded them for me. His kindness was much-appreciated. (Boos and hisses go out to the other people who were sitting in nearby vehicles watching and laughing.)