On December 1, 2012, Jovan Belcher, linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs, shot Kasandra Perkins, his girlfriend and mother of his baby daughter Zoe, nine times, killing her then killing himself. Three months later, Rihanna confirmed that she and Chris Brown reconciled approximately four years after he severely beat her by, among other things, shoving her head against a car window, punching her face repeatedly, including her left eye, and biting her on her left ear. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/file/lapd-details-rihanna-beating?page=4. Both Kasandra Perkins and Rihanna are two of the approximately 1.1 million women annually who are physically assaulted, including raped and murdered, by an intimate partner. http://www.lovetakestime.com/art-domesticviolence.html. They are victims of domestic violence – “a pattern of coercive behavior that is used by one person to gain power and control over another.” http://www.vaw.umn.edu/documents/inbriefs/domesticviolence/domesticviolence.html.
It should be inconceivable that home is not a safe haven and a loving partner is someone to be feared. Yet, that is life for those 1.1 million women and many more who keep the abuse hidden. The abused may staunchly protect the abuser, but he often gives himself away. Although any male – no matter his education, financial wherewithal, or ethnicity – can become the perpetrators of the approximately 21,000 domestic crimes against women taking place weekly, http://www.lovetakestime.com/art-domesticviolence.html, his intimidation or threats, superior feelings, stranglehold domination, total financial control, isolation of his partner or verbal or emotional abuse are but a few of the telltale signs of the brutality lurking within. http://www.ncadv.org/files/DomesticViolenceFactSheet(National).pdf
Once that violence erupts, the likelihood of it exploding again and again are extremely probable. The more frequent the abuse, the more severe it becomes until the abused is in mortal danger. http://www.lovetakestime.com/art-domesticviolence.html. Sadly, there’s no longer hope for Kasandra, but there’s still hope for Rihanna and the myriads of others like her. An abusive relationship can be transformed into a safe and secure relationship, but only after hard work by both partners. They must seek professional help. She to grow in self-esteem and assertiveness, and he to accept responsibility, be held accountable, and learn new ways to cope with anger and resentment. http://www.lovetakestime.com/art-domesticviolence.html.
At the very least, Kasandra’s death should make us, the silent bystanders, more aware of the hidden abuse among us. We must recognize a cry for help and then be ready and willing to intervene promptly. Otherwise, Kasandra and so many before her will have died in vain.