The Voyage of Captain Obvious

Grading is satanic

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Domestic Violence

Well, it's becoming increasingly evident that violence in our culture starts at home--people who grow up in violent households are disproportionately those who commit violence whilst out in the world. Even when considered independently of the obvious and horrific suffering that the victims of domestic violence must suffer on a daily basis, the continuing presence of hosehold abuse is a malaise on our society.

Yet we do nothing. And yet few even discuss the issue. Everyone would just prefer to let it go away.

So, anyway, I have a somewhat drastic proposal to attempt to adress the problem. In most states, in order to get married, a couple needs to get a blood test and a liscence, at the minimum. Why not require a domestic violence screening? Why not require the couple to sit down with a case worker or a judge or someone, together and seperately, and see if there are any warning signs present, and to inform the couple about what their options are, with respect to contacting the police, shelter infrastructure, and the like? It would require very little of the government, and there would at least be the potential of helping some people out.

I realize that this would hardly be a panacea--it wouldn't do anything to help the unmarried victims of abuse, and it wouldn't do much to help those who bait and switch in their relationships. Fucked up systems of manipulation are hard to break, and limited counseling would probably not empower many people. But we need to do something. An idea like this would be a start.


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