Within days after the death of Jill Ulmer, victim of domestic abuse, Shane Edward Sipes of Fayetteville was arrested on a felony charge of third-degree domestic battery. It is his second offense.
I’ve written about domestic violence before, having seen much of it over the years. Violence between spouses, violence between family members, much of it carried on before the eyes of children, who learn that this is acceptable behavior.
No amount of excuses or apologies can erase the memories or the mark left on a child who has seen family violence. They don’t just forget about it, or see it as an aberration.
Violence crosses all social barriers; you can’t look at a couple and be able to tell if abuse is going on.
Some sobering statistics can be found at:
In 2007/2008 55 women were murdered as the result of domestic abuse in Arkansas. We always seem to be hovering in the top 10% range nationally as far as such deaths go. In addition, Arkansas is first in the country for deaths among Black women due to domestic violence.
We are in the top three in the nation for women seeking protective orders.
Maybe it’s time for a Domestic Abuse Registry.
Why not, when a couple apply for a marriage license, have their names run through the system, and if either one (because men can be victims of abuse as well) have been convicted of domestic abuse, let the prospective partner know about it?
Why should we leave it up to a sort of demented Honor System, in which the abuser may or may not tell their new spouse of their past?
You can’t prevent the marriage, but at least someone will know that there is potential danger ahead. That’s a step in the right direction, at least. And if the registry is available to the public, even those who are just considering living with someone outside the bonds of marriage will have access to the knowledge.
Quote of the Day
He who throws mud only loses ground. - Fat Albert
Domestic violence: Blame the victim, as usual
Fayetteville writer D.R. Bartlette has written a provocative piece about the death of Jill Ulmer on her blog, which can be found at: