How We Can Help Stop the Tragedy of Domestic Violence in Acadiana
Whether it's a news story we have done today or over the years, it seems to me we are hearing of a continual uptick in the number of domestic violence cases. When you scan the daily arrest reports for the Acadiana parishes you'll find there is not a day that goes by that there aren't multiple domestic violence arrests across our area.
Here is just one terrible example of the all too often situation of domestic violence in our community. I wrote the story so we can share what we can do to help.
In July 2021 there was an incident of domestic violence that happened that resulted in the death of a 5-year-old child, and I just feel helpless. Everyone in America is innocent until proven guilty, but the allegations and results of this situation leave me feeling helpless.
The girlfriend of 49-year-old Derwin Hamilton alleges that while the two were arguing about separating, Hamilton doused her and also his grand-nephew with a liquid and set them on fire. The boy died, and the woman ended up in critical condition.
I'm not an idiot; I know there will always be domestic violence because we don't live in a perfect world, but can I do something to help?
Why Doesn't She Just Leave?
I spoke with Billi Lacombe, Executive Director of Faith House, about attitudes that people still hold about domestic violence. She says the number one question that she hears is, "Why doesn't she just leave?". Lacombe says domestic violence can be hard to understand if you haven't experienced it or know someone close to you who has.
Lacombe says the question needs to be for the abuser. And that question is, "Why are you abusing another person?" She says domestic violence perpetrators systematically take away your self-worth.
They wear you down to the point that you feel completely worthless. They can also terrorize you physically, harm your children, or threaten to harm them, and victims are constantly in fear.
Domestic violence is an extremely complex situation. And it can be so difficult to understand it if you are not familiar with it. I mean, think about it, if you had a friend who started berating you, treating you badly, and then beating you up, would you hang around with them? Heck no!
But in a relationship, there are so many other dynamics that come into play. I encourage everyone to do what Lacombe asks. She wants people to try to have an open mind and try to learn about domestic violence. That's why I'm writing this story.
I don't know what to do about domestic violence, and in the past, I've said some things really wrong when I should have been listening to the person who was being hurt, so I need to keep learning, and I'm asking you to learn along with me.
In addition to reading this story, I hope you click on some of the links that I have here with an open mind. I am all about personal responsibility, but this is different. Someone needs to ask the perpetrators why THEY DON'T HAVE PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY NOT TO HARM ANOTHER PERSON.
If you want to learn more, click here, keep reading this story, and if you need to talk to someone, call 888-411-1333. If you're in immediate danger, call 911.
Lacombe shares with us ten things we can do to fight against domestic violence.