Domestic violence can happen anywhere to anyone of any race, religion, culture or economic status.
That ugly reminder shocked Lima residents Thursday when they awakened to news of a horrific, unthinkable double-murder in the Sherwood subdivision off Cable Road.
This is a neighborhood that could be described as a picture of Middle America. Homes are well-manicured, many being lived in by the same family for 30-plus years. It is a place where summer nights find neighbors visiting along its tree-lined streets, and daytime hours see their children enjoying a community swimming pool, especially during this all to hot July of 2012.
It’s a place where driveways empty on Sunday as people head off to church.
Domestic violence isn’t suppose to happen in homes like the one at 9 Beaumont Place. That’s where Carlin Glenn, 46, and her daughter Andrea, 20, lived. The Glenns were “quiet ... never causing any harm.”
But harm found them.
It came from a husband and a father at 4:15 in the morning. It ended in their deaths and his suicide. A 17-year-old son was left physically unharmed; we can only hope the same will some day be said about his emotional well-being.
Signs of abuse
We’re not sure exactly why this tragedy happened. What we do know, however, is that domestic violence is a problem that is too often overlooked, excused, or denied by its victims. This is especially true when the abuse is psychological, rather than physical.
We now can only hope that a victim who hears about the Glenns will find the courage to seek help. That help can be obtained by a simple call to police, a minister or hospitals. Such a call can be the first step toward a new life.
Unfortunately, too many people in abusive situations are living in denial or fear of embarrassment. They don’t allow themselves to recognize the signs of abuse. Those signs include the fear of one’s partner — the feeling of having to walk on eggshells around your partner, constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blowup. Other signs of an abusive relationship include a partner who is belittling or controlling. There can also be feelings of self-loathing, helplessness and desperation.
Impact of violence
The impact of this violence on today’s family is staggering. Consider:
• Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of 15 and 44 in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
• One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
• Police report that between 40 percent and 60 percent of the calls they receive, especially on the night shift, are domestic violence disputes.
• Witnessing violence between one’s parents or caretakers is the strongest risk factor of transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next.
• Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.
• Children who witness violence at home display emotional and behavioral disturbances as diverse as withdrawal, low self-esteem, nightmares, self-blame and aggression against peers, family members and property.
Looking in a mirror
The saddest thing of all is that we are quick to chastise someone like Joe Paterno for his inaction in reporting child abuse, yet nearly three out of four Americans know someone who has been a victim of domestic violence, and find it acceptable to look the other way.
There are no boundaries when it comes to domestic violence. It happens among the highly educated, to those living in rural areas, and to those living in upscale homes.
For the sake of our families and the growing list of victims, we cannot afford to continue to ignore this sickness.