A willful desire for peace

My topic this week may or may not be on the political front.

While some can argue a political point regarding the issue, it should be bi-partisan in nature.

I’m speaking of all forms of domestic violence.

I have received both cheers and jeers regarding the points made in previous columns, and I expect the same here.

Regardless, at the end of the day, I hope we can all agree domestic violence in all forms should cease to exist.

In most (nearly all) domestic abuse instances, it occurs when a man abuses a woman. I use the term “man” very loosely, since in my opinion, any male who abuses a female is hardly a man at all. However, if you are in an abusive situation, you should seek help but most importantly, get away.

I am no counselor nor do I have extensive training, but in my experience as a witness for others, I rarely see a change for the better.

I have 20 years of management experience and have had hundreds of employees reporting to me over this period, so I have seen quite a bit. I made my career by being a “people’s” manager, one who understood life sometimes gets in the way of work.

My door was always open for my employees; you could come to my office and discuss your latest statistics or last night’s ballgame. It was more than managing a business, it was about managing people.

With so many employees, I, unfortunately, had to see some who were abused at home. This led to absenteeism, decreased morale, turnover and several other consequences with a negative end. My employees knew I had their back in such situations, as I understood it was not their fault. I would overlook absenteeism, I would get HR involved — in some cases security — and I would work with the employee to get the help they needed.

The rub here is that I would do this once. I provided support. The company provided support. Coworkers in the unit provided support.

It was now the expectation that the employee would do their part and get away from these conditions.

Now, before you think I’m saying “you get what you deserve” by going back, I’m not. Not even close. What I am saying is get away from the situation. There is no excuse for a person to be treated in any violent way.

On the political front, more should be done than simply releasing public service announcements.

I realize there is a lot going on to prevent domestic violence, but is it ever enough?

Let’s pass tougher laws that will lead to tougher punishments. This is what I call “getting what is deserved” and I stand behind this statement.

Although rare, there are times when the male is abused in a relationship. Such instances usually involve verbal and emotional abuse and while no physical violence is present, it is still harmful, especially when children are involved.

This is where legislation comes in again.

Believe it or not, there are actually some good guys out there. I know, crazy thought, right? There are men who value family, love their children and while divorced, continue to be highly involved in their children’s lives and not because of laws that require it.

Our legal system as well as society needs to stop automatically assuming the male was at fault, as it is not always the case. What is right is right and the fair rights of both parties should always be considered.

To sum it up, our community faces too many problems that require a lot of time, initiative, discussions and money in order to resolve.

The definition of domestic violence begins with the word willful and when someone is willing to commit such offenses, they can and must learn to stop.

No one should ever experience any form of abuse. If you are, I urge you to seek help or call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

As quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks Russel Wilson stated, “The more that we choose not to talk about domestic violence, the more we shy away from the issue, the more we lose.”

Political enthusiast Will Collins is a Kentucky native who has called Winchester home for nearly the past 20 years. He can be emailed at wrcollins70@gmail.com.