, Newburyport, MA

June 10, 2014

Much work needed to stop domestic violence

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I have to take issue with the editorial in The Daily News, “Jared Remy trial exposes roots of favoritism.”

I certainly agree he received favorable treatment and his parents may have enabled him by not intervening earlier with his behavior. But Jared Remy was able to escape prosecution because he had the very best legal defense available. The same can be said for anyone with means, without regard to Jared’s father’s celebrity. Domestic violence is an epidemic, and until we view it that way, situations like Remy’s will continue to occur.

The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center in Newburyport has developed strategy for extreme violence cases, where they collaborate with local law enforcement, probation, district attorney’s office and local hospitals to identify the most dangerous domestic violence cases in the community and offer a coordinated effort for domestic violence response and better options and support for victims. There has not been a homicide in their nine-town service area for 10 years since this team accepted its first case. They identify people like Jared Remy with the help of their collaborative local team and monitor those dangerous ones so that they are not released as Remy was.

Domestic violence is a male issue. This case reminds us that much work still needs to be done to prevent domestic violence against women and girls.

We need to hold offenders accountable for their actions and as parents, and a community, raise boys who are respectful toward women.

We can all make a difference in combating this blight on our humanity by being diligent if we see it happening, lending support to anyone we know to be a victim and by teaching the next generation that this is not acceptable behavior, so this cycle of obscene violence is no longer tolerated in our society. Doing nothing is not an option.

Dick Bazirgan