Domestic violence crimes continue to rise in Orange County while little or nothing is being done for the victims. Victims go day to day wondering if they will live to see another day and knowing there is nowhere to turn.
Orange County residents, often a cold lot, too frequently come out support of domestic abusers. An example is a man in Northeast Santa Ana named Mark who frequently beats his wife. Going day to day, having to cover for her husband’s violent attacks is only one thing the wife has to endure. Her daughter is often under threat from the husband and the mother has to protect her. The couple gets checks of about a thousand every two weeks, but the husband confiscates them and uses them as he pleases, refusing his wife food, clothing, soap or necessities. If she gets food out of the refrigerator, she is at risk for death or least a beating.
Some abusers can be innovative. Instead of settling for nearly killing his wife, the husband works to gain support. He sends out hundreds of emails to their mutual friends degrading his wife and frequently announces that many of the recipients think he should punch her out.
Where are battered wives to turn in Orange County? Not to the police, who don’t care. Not to social services, who refuse battered wives food because of their husband’s income. Not to abuse shelters, which have too many restrictions of what women have to leave behind to be accessible to most women.
Not to their families. Their daughters often want to get away and sons are future batterers in training. In the example above, if you see the manner in which Mark’s son Alex speaks to his mother, it is clear that he considers her a second class citizen as well.
The big misnomer about abused women is that they are weak. Often they are protecting others and willing to give up their own lives for those they love. Many of these women feel they have no personal value. Therefore, they consider themselves only worthy when they are helping or protecting others. When the abusers receive all the support this feeds into the abusers’ claims that their wives are worthless and deserving of beatings.
Battered women should be honored and helped. More needs to be done to free these women. The job market is kinder to abusers than to victims of domestic violence. This is something that needs to be changed for Orange County to lose its image as the domestic violence capital of America.