Last week, a Tennessee man stabbed his wife and her father in their Brentwood home. The wife died from injuries, and the father-in-law sustained critical stab wounds before grabbing a gun and fatally shooting the man.
This was not the first time the man had shown violence. In 2011, he attempted to strangle his ex-wife. As a result of the incident, his ex-wife sustained injuries to the neck and a broken arm. According to news reports, he pleaded guilty to domestic violence. He served one year under supervised probation and attended a court mandated program for domestic violence abusers. The two later divorced in 2014.
Almost 12,000 women were murdered by their partners between 2001 and 2012. Many of these women’s partners also had a history of domestic violence. According to the Center for Court Innovation, almost 45 percent of abusers charged with domestic violence were charged again with domestic violence within two years.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence believes two things must occur for someone with a history of abuse to begin to change:
- A period of intense individual therapy to determine what instigated the person’s abusive nature and develop necessary coping skills.
- A permanent ability to take responsibility for his or her abusive actions, in which the abuser no longer puts any blame on the partner for causing the abuse.
Authorities have not released any additional information surrounding the events leading up to the deaths in Brentwood last week. However, what readers might take away from this tragic event is the reminder that every incident of domestic assault should be taken seriously. This could be through receiving intensive therapy, criminal penalties or a combination of actions. Preventing repeat offenses will be crucial in protecting the safety of victims and the freedom of alleged abusers.
If you or someone you love is a victim of domestic violence, consider calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline for valuable support and guidance.