Letters to the Editor: October 13, 2004

Guest Columnist and Guest Columnist

Victims never to blame for violence, abuse

This letter is being written in response to the most recent murder in Wood County of Sandra Smith. Domestic violence is a pattern of physically and emotionally controlling behaviors one person exerts over another to gain power. These behaviors make it difficult for a woman to leave her situation or reach out for help. Many people may believe that domestic violence is only physical, but that is not the case. Other forms of domestic violence are verbal abuse, emotional abuse, financial/economic abuse and sexual abuse.

Some women may believe the abuse is her fault. Abuse in any form is never the fault of the victim. It is the abuser who has the problem (not the relationship) and it is only the abuser who can stop the violence.

Leaving a relationship is one of the most dangerous times for a woman in an abusive situation. Battered women more often need medical attention after or while trying to leave an abuser then when remaining in the relationship.

About 75 percent of the calls to law enforcement for protection and help regarding domestic violence occur after separation from abusers. Sadly enough of the women murdered, over half of them have been killed by their partner after leaving the abusive relationship. This does not necessarily mean women should stay in an abusive relationship, it just shows one reason why a woman may not leave her abuser–the extreme fear of her partner.

Most of us have someone close to us who has been or is in a violent relationship. They need our support. Sandra Smith did nothing wrong, she did not deserve to die. Nor do any other women in an abusive relationship. My heart and prayers go out the Sandra’s family and friends during this most difficult time.



In honor of Superman, be heard and vote

Superman is dead. This is a day that could never come.

I’m a typical college student. I put off doing my papers, cram for my exams, head out to parties and vow to go to the Rec Center more often. Every semester I make the same promise to myself: Lose ten pounds, read ahead in class, and get involved in fun activities. Unfortunately every semester I seem to only manage to fulfill one of those three things. Why is this? We are creatures of habit and it is most convenient to do what everyone else is doing. Seriously, how many upperclassmen do you know that actually read ahead in their classes? It just doesn’t happen.

The most awesome thing about being a transfer student where only half your credits count is that if you’re me, you get to take freshman level classes as a senior. What’s so great about this? As many of you have probably heard, look at the word fresh in freshmen.

They have clear minds to stay pure or become corrupt. They are naïve, and freshmen are able to decide for the first time in their lives how they stand on life’s important issues. And so in my freshman-level intro to Philosophy class, I have learned some techniques to question myself to see where I stand on many issues. Not where I think I stand, but where my heart lies uncontrollably.

Often we agree with what we think we should agree with simply because it is the easy way out. Often this is good enough, but not now. In probably the most important election ever, we must decide which contender will lead the United States to a promising future, not simply a promising present. As you can see I acknowledge that many of you already know who you will vote for, but I am asking that you look deep down and really look inside.

Christopher Reeve, who died over the weekend, never gave up. It is crucial that as the election comes, we too do not become apathetic. I urge you no matter how comfortable you are to investigate all the candidates and then with an open mind, select the one that you agree with the most. Please vote and show you care, I’m sure it’s the one thing we can do now to show Mr. Reeve that we respect his good fight.