Domestic Violence is Everyone’s Business
The tragic death of Dr. Robin Goldman of Scarsdale provides an opportunity to encourage community conversations about domestic violence and is a reminder that none of us is immune to it just because we may be educated and affluent. Domestic violence crosses all boundaries of race, ethnicity and economic groups, and we must all be aware that there are those who live in fear in their own homes and relationships.
To be active members of our community means that we cannot turn a blind eye to those people trapped in an abusive relationship – by recognizing the warning signs of a neighbor, friend or relative who may be in an abusive relationship, and taking steps to help that person. It is important to note that an abusive relationship can and often exists where there is no physical violence. Instead, the hallmark of an abusive relationship is the power and control by one partner over the other, with the threat or implied threat of violence if the partner decides that he or she will no longer submit to the controlling relationship, or when the controlling partner thinks that he or she is losing control over the other partner. It is often at this turning point that the abuse can escalate.
Some warning signs of an abusive relationship are:
- Monitoring their partner’s whereabouts, emails and social media activity;
- Threats or implied threats of violence if the partner doesn’t follow the rules established by the abuser;
- Controlling the finances and keeping the other partner in the dark about the family’s finances;
- Isolating their partner from friends and family;
- Threats towards or actual physical abuse of a family pet.
Our goal, then as friends and community members, is to acknowledge the warning signs for what they are – red flags that a relationship is unhealthy, and to endeavor to help the abused person.
What you can do:
- Start a conversation within the community and become informed about domestic violence;
- Learn about confidential and free resources in Westchester County for victims of abuse;
- Be supportive of those in need;
- If you are abused, you should not be embarrassed to seek the help you need, through the courts and community services.
For Robin Goldman, there may have been no warning signs of the tragedy to come, but for many women, the signs are there if we recognize them, and once we do, we must take action to assist those in need in the hopes of preventing other such tragedies from occurring in our community.