I am so compelled to write a letter to the editor that I’ve written three versions and have sent just this one. All three letters reference the article of Dec. 13, 2013, “No jail for assault.”
My first letter was filled with anger, disbelieve and disgust that there are still those that feel it’s OK to hit and even beat a woman.
My second letter was aimed at the judicial system. I felt it had to be broken, so broken that two men were sent on their merry way by promising anything to be free. How can such violence be a first time occurrence? I am lost trying to understand that the punishment fit the crime. It is fairly common knowledge that the victims frequently ask for forgiveness for the abuser out of fear. This is the cycle of abuse. Why was the victim allowed to intervene and influence the court?
Finally, I called my daughter. She listened as I raved at the injustice, expressed my disdain for those who allowed this to happen and used my ugly words to describe what should be done. Then she said, “Mom, you are a Christian.” Needless to say that stopped me in my tracks. I knew I needed to start that third letter to express what was in my heart.
The editorial in the Payson Roundup, “When is it all right to beat a woman?” carries the message that abuse cannot be allowed. “So let this community make this clear: No man worthy of the title should EVER strike out violently at a woman or a child. We measure the worth of a man by his self-control — and by how well he protects those weaker than he. Sometimes, a man may fail this test and disgrace himself. Then he must accept responsibility — something else a real man does.”
We as a community must do the right thing and be the advocates for the victims. I praise the message to our town and pray we will each find a way to prevent future acts of violence. There is never a valid excuse to abuse anyone, ever.
My name is Donna Lahti and I am board president of Time Out Inc. For those who may not know about Time Out, we are a non-profit organization that helps those who are going through and have gone through domestic violence. We see the reality of abuse daily in the faces of far too many woman and children.
Together we work to help heal the wounds and prevent the crime of violence by breaking the cycle. It is clear there is more work to be done in educating not only the abusers and victims, but also for those that possess the influence to prevent and punish the crimes. I pray for our leaders, law enforcers and educators to have the wisdom, guidance and courage to be the power of change.
We are blessed by our volunteers, supporters and friends.
We are grateful for the efforts to protect our women and children and especially those brave enough to stand up against domestic violence.