Posts in "Men Stopping Violence" tag

Early Intervention and Better Judgment

That’s what we all want as parents, grandparents, teachers and coaches for our kids.

To ask for help early on to troubleshoot  any challenges, including emotional burdens.

To use better judgment when choosing which company you keep, where you spend free time and how you treat your family, as a few examples. Each act of wisdom and each show of empathy and kindness may help prevent breakdowns and crimes as revealed in the news story below about a man who could not cope with the consequences of his addiction — set in East Cobb County, Marietta, Georgia.

After studying parent/child relationships for decades, analyzing hundreds of cases involving family conflict, I can say for certain that a parent’s judgment in how he or she guides children to treat other family members has a lot to do with preventing ongoing dysfunction, including addiction, family violence, abuse in relationships, etc.

Several cases in Georgia involve someone taking a life, their own or a family member’s life, committing arson and other crimes, because that person doesn’t have the coping mechanisms needed in relationships and in deciding how to handle uncertainty and disappointment.

A Marietta, Georgia, man turned suicidal, burned down his family home, ran from police and put many other lives at risk.

This story could have turned into a much greater tragedy, but fortunately no lives were lost and the perpetrator of arson and drug use is behind bars.

 

Below: traumatized father and neighbor talks about the scene. Other neighbors led from smoke-filled, burning homes adjacent to Matt Olson’s unit. We do not yet know the total damages caused by his addiction, suicidal behavior, arson and the police chase.

 

Photography and video credit: Fox 5 News, Atlanta, Georgia

Response to AJC: Great continued Coverage on Kristofak Case

It has been a while since I first posted about the tragic murder of a woman who was a great mother, beloved church member, neighbor, daughter and friend to many.

My hope is that ultimately we will know that she didn’t die in vain, but for that to happen we are going to need to see our court system do a much better job of acknowledging danger – imminent danger and violent threats – and following through to prevent such losses as in this case.

What happened to this mother could have been avoided, and this man could have and should have been kept in jail for the sentence handed down to him, based on the facts, the evidence and the record which showed the judge knew he had been hospitalized because he was mentally unstable.

The lack of care and concern here is typical, unfortunately, in many cases where there is clear intent and opportunity to cause harm to vulnerable citizens, and especially to children. It’s just not something that is taken seriously by many judges and other court professionals. But hopefully that will change and improve in our lifetime.

Thank you to these contributors, to Men Stopping Violence and the AJC for highlighting what really needs to be changed in how we look at and respond to conflict:

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2013/01/10/when-protective-orders-fail/

This is one of the best pieces written yet on this story, so thank you to all the contributors and to the AJC for ongoing coverage.

As Director of My Advocate Center, Atlanta, GA, I am especially appreciative of Judge Hobie Jones’ comment above. It’s time to call it like we see it. …Based on the facts and patterns around this and other cases, and not as a “Monday morning quarterback” (which I agree with you on).

And it is true that this is not just a women’s issue – violence and false allegations of domestic violence affect everyone. Our focus is on the damages to children that stem from all of it. If you hurt or threaten a good parent, you are harming her (or his) children.

False allegations, as well as NOT heeding and responding to REAL violence…and NOT using the evidence or following protocols that we have in place…all put us in a downward spiral.

Family court pretends violence & abuse do not exist, except to profit from them in a way that leads to more abuse.
Family court pretends violence & abuse do not exist, except to profit from them in a way that leads to more abuse.

I knew Donna and John, but not recently, and because I didn’t cross paths again with her in time…I am both distraught and determined that we not let this discussion end without seeing the needed changes in how we respond to these situations.

There ARE pending local cases that mirror this tragedy in too many ways, so we would appreciate continued coverage and investigation. Please email for case and location details for hearings and transcripts.

Bullies, Men, Stopping Violence

A quick word on Domestic Violence – which is also Family Violence or Intimate Partner Violence:

Please take this seriously and take a chance by reaching out to someone who may be calling out for help, afraid to talk or suffering the aftermath of trying to escape the kind of bully who uses various forms of violence for control.

Richelle Carey, a board member of Men Stopping Violence here in Atlanta, Georgia where I live gave one of the best explanations to the Fox News audience today that I’ve seen on a major network about why we should learn more about this subject, why we all need to pay attention:

“This is a community problem, not just a Family problem.”  And she is 100% correct. “This affects everyone.”  Even if you don’t think it affects you, know that it does.  It affects children even when you can’t see the signs of it – even if there are no audible screams or visible bruises.   Offenders who bully and abuse are often good at hiding it and victims are often compelled to stay with and even protect their abusers.  It is just what happens.

If we are going to change the patterns that exist and put a real dent in bad behavior, it is going to take better support for those trying to break free, and it is going to take more Good Men facing the issue, taking a stand and calling out other men (while women need to call out other women who are NOT helping matters either) and showing them how to do better.   If you know me, you know why I say this:  Because our CHILDREN are watching.

Please take a moment to listen to Richelle on today’s Fox & Friends show, and learn more:  RichelleCarey.com / MenStoppingViolence.com / MyAdvocateCenter.com.  Thanks to Fox & Friends for having this fearless spokesperson on during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Richelle Carey, Men Stopping Violence on Fox & Friends