Believe it or not?! Mississippi Kills Legislation Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence.
Commentary by Mary E. Latela @LatelaMary April 30, 2016
“In Mississippi, an abused spouse must remain in a violent marriage, according to the state legislature. A bill that would have made domestic abuse grounds for divorce died in the state senate last week. And the decision shocked victims’ rights advocates around the state.” @MatthewTeague. I cannot describe my anger and disappointment after reading this article in The Guardian, but I’ll explain why.
Let’s see. In Mississippi, one in three female spouses is assaulted by her husband. Anyone who understands the cycle of abuse is aware that abusers keep abusing, and the escalation of violence destroys families, and sometimes results in the death of a good woman. Children raised in a violent home do not forget. Trauma, detachment, physical and psychological injury frequently follow them through life.
Lorine Cady, founder of the House of Grace., a shelter for abused women, says that the law will be introduced again next year. In the meantime, Cady said, women – and some men – will continue to live in abusive marriages, waiting for the law to offer them an escape. “It’s so painful but yes, that will happen,” she said. “I see it all the time.”
Leaving an abusive marriage is not only difficult, but it can be dangerous. Authorities say that a woman is most in danger after she leaves the home, and before safe haven can be established. In Connecticut, Tracy Thurman sued the Torrington (Connecticut) police for violating her constitutional right to equal protection when they ignored her calls for help after vicious attacks by her then husband. Her case was settled for $1.9 million in 1985!
In 2016, states are still in charge of most of the family law statutes, and Mississippi is a generation behind. Tragically, if people wait for the law to change, they may not survive to seea legal system that protects a victim of abuse from her spouse.
We do not tell a person experiencing an assault by a stranger to wait a year. We cannot allow a married person to wait… even another day!
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