While in my garage looking for something I heard a chilling scream. I ran outside to see where the sound came from and saw a young woman with a baby in her arms running across my front yard.
I rushed after her and ushered into my house. She barely spoke any English but she was able to say clearly, “He’s trying to kill me.” I called the police and learned that this woman who I had never met before was my neighbor of a year, and her husband was the man who she ran away from fearing for her life.
Crime is contagious. It’s one of the main reasons why parents fight against violence in movies, refuse to expose their youngsters to video games or music that promotes acts of harm against others. Violence in all forms is against the law. If a child harms animals at a young age, they are thought to lack empathy. Lack of empathy is a telling sign for all sorts of dangerous personality disorders such as sociopathy leading to murder, but research shows that may not be the case.
A psychiatrist once told me that murder is unpredictable, especially when it comes to domestic violence. In fact, most abusers who physically harm their intimate partner will stop short of murder, only to repeat the cycle again.
The Cleveland Legal Aid Society also affirms that you can’t predict who will murder who or when, but you can look at the data to see a pattern of behavior that is chilling to the bone, especially if you are of the female gender. The data reveals women are most likely to be the victim in domestic violence homicide, and their intimate partner is to blame for their death.
The 10-year study conducted by the Center for Disease Control found that female minorities under the age of 44 are at increased vulnerability for intimate partner homicide. It’s sad. 1:3 women will be killed each day by a man she loved and wanted to love her back.
She may have tried to leave but due to financial reasons, child custody fears or sometimes substance dependency is unsuccessful. Her escape ends up being an early grave, leaving more evidence to support that murder isn’t something you can know when or how it will happen, but you can look at the circumstances and see where risk is highest, and then try to do something before things escalate and it’s too late.
Right now, there’s a shortage of options for women who may be living with their future murderer while trying to survive domestic violence in the home.
Most of the time, women of abuse return to their perpetrator six times before they leave their abuser for good, on the seventh attempt to flee. This means that as a society, it’s important to be patient with women in abuse situations and remember we aren’t just dealing with a problem, but a death threat that could be eminently nearer than presumed.