Sheriff's Office: ‘You always hurt the one you love’
by Jim Ruth Bradley County Sheriff
Feb 09, 2014 | 633 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

When the writer penned those words, I don’t think he had domestic violence in mind at all. There are those among us who are still prone to hurt those in their own household. Yet, some get drunk or drugged up and become physically abusive to their spouse.

This abuser is usually the husband or live-in boyfriend abusing the woman of the house. Much more rare is the man being abused by the woman. Yet, it does happen, along with elder abuse and grown children fighting and threatening their parents or vice versa.

Many times the woman feels trapped in these situations because of her lack of finances, or maybe shame. Often there are children in the home, which further complicates the situation.

A retired lady laughs when she tells about having a fuss with her husband, how she gathered her two young boys and headed home to mama. Her mother was very loving and had a lot of wisdom.

Mama told her, “You made your bed, now you have to sleep in it, so go back to your husband.”

The problem is not when a couple has an argument and gets a little loud. The problem is when a threat to an individual’s well being comes into the situation.

A swift response to these domestic calls by law enforcement and sure punishment by the courts keeps many would-be abusers in check. The abuser comes to realize that he will give account when the deputy arrives on the scene. He learns he will be sleeping on a jail cot that night and maybe several other nights, until the judge deems he is no longer a threat to the victim.

We sometimes lock up both individuals when the deputy determines they were equally at fault. The deputies’ duty is to restore and keep the peace.

Sometimes it is the aggressor who calls 911 and we have to lock that individual up to maintain the peace.

A domestic call in the rural South for years has been the most dangerous call with the most fatalities for law enforcement. We train our people to be wary when answering these calls. There is always the possibility the suspect is laying in wait for the deputy to arrive.

Then, there are timesthe victim will join in with the abuser against the deputy, as they take the suspect into custody.

More than 25 years ago, before the domestic laws were strengthened, as they are today, our deputies arrested a big, young mountain of a man on a domestic charge.

He was a hardworking logging man. He was not a violent man, but he starting drinking one day and his new, young wife became frightened of him. She had never seen him in such an agitated state.

As the now retired deputy who was there remembered, the young man did not hit her. The deputies back then brought the Paul Bunyan type to jail.

The next morning the logger’s mother and older brother came to bail him out of jail. The deputy went back to tell the now sober logger his family was there to bail him out.

Well, the big man was pouting and refused to be bailed out. He could not believe that his darling, new bride would call Johnny Law on him. “He would never hurt her, she knew that.”

To my knowledge he never did hurt her and has not been back to jail for these 2 ½ decades. He apparently learned to control his anger, his drinking or maybe both.

I’ve known a number of people who have a quick temper, but they have the wisdom and power to bring that temper under control. Some have even learned to channel that anger to energize them in positive ways.

People who work with their hands can be more productive at making their living. When working in the yard or doing household chores a lot of that anger dissipates.

One man I know, who has a short fuse, realized when he got into a confrontation he was prone to become angrier as he talked. He has learned to stop talking and let his emotions settle, while the other person is talking. He will consciously talk himself out of a fit of anger by doing this.

He can then state his opinion and make his argument in a more convincing, civil way. I am not saying he reacts correctly every time, but he is working on it.

I am not a counselor, but when you lose respect for your spouse and his/her dignity, you got troubles.

If you are in an abusive relationship, get out now. There is help for you and for children today.

If you are attacked physically call 911.

If you need help in getting out of an abusive situation call the sheriff’s office at 728-7300. We will give you the number where you can obtain the help you need.

It is never right for one person to abuse another emotionally or physically in these domestic situations.

Have a good day.

Thanks for reading.