Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Returning To The Scene of A Love Crime"

Delores Joseph, 31 and the mother of 3 children ages, 3,12 and 14, left her home and ran to the store. She told her children “I’ll be right back.”

On March 5, 2009 in a canal police discovered the 31 year mother, murdered.

Five days prior, police arrested Joseph’s husband, Dwayne “Keke” Joseph, on domestic violence charges stemming from separate incidents involving Delores Joseph. He is charged with aggravated assault, false imprisonment and second-degree battery are among the charges this coward faces.“According to news accounts the couple separated in September 2008, according to a letter from Delores Joseph’s family. Shortly afterward, Dwayne Joseph allegedly returned to the home and vandalized Delores Joseph’s car and then her rental car, the family letter stated.“Delores returned home one night, and Dwayne jumped out of the closet and attempted to assault her,” the letter stated. “Delores defended herself with an iron.”The couple eventually reconciled their differences until Feb. 7. While the two were leaving a Mardi Gras ball, he allegedly turned on her and began beating and choking her in the backseat of a car. One week later, Dwayne Joseph allegedly held Delores and her friend at gunpoint. The two were able to escape unharmed. Delores Joseph and her children spent three days at a shelter”

There are enough violent episodes in their relationship to see all the bells and whistles. Yes, I realize it is easy to say, because the woman is gone. But maybe somewhere in cyber land we can learn from this tragedy.

You may know a Delores, Mary, Roberta or Renee. This person could be a friend, relative co-co-worker or neighbor. Almost daily we read about these tragedies after the fact. What are we doing to help families in these situations? This issue of domestic violence perpetrated homicide continues to be an epidemic without adequate solutions on a case by case basis.

Women return back to the scene of the crime. “Returning home” they love the person who is abusing them. There are not in love with being beaten, kicked punched and almost killed. They love the person with whom they began their life’s journey. A woman thinks and believes the person will change. What they don’t see is that once they are chocked, kicked or a gun pulled to their temple, if they escape in one piece, they should never, ever return.

The abuser has already laid the foundation. The phrase, “if you leave, I will find you. If I find I will kill you is difficult for many women to believe. A woman doesn’t really see the person she loves being capable of murder. But how can they not see? On Friday’s Oprah show as they were discussing Rihanna and Chris Brown, she hoped the couple would seek professional counseling. That the couple would spend time apart and work through the problems. And Oprah and her panel made interesting observations in the matter. I wonder if the next we read about Rihanna the headlines will read “No More Music.”

My mother was no different. It didn’t matter much what my father did to her. In the end, just before he put the cold barrel of the gun to her head, she loved him. And, at the same time my mother feared him. But, she always said “I have things under control.” She did not. Nor do any of us in a violent relationship.

You cannot control the actions of another person. No one can.

But you can get out. All if you have to do is believe anything is possible.

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