Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

September 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013: Letters to the editor


Kokomo Tribune

---- — Let’s say ‘no more’to domestic violence

During a recent 12-month period, 58 people died by an act of domestic violence in Indiana. And just a few weeks ago an abuser in Indianapolis shot and killed a police officer whose brave actions saved the life of the abuser’s girlfriend and her 10-month old child.

Throughout Indiana we hear stories of abuse too often. Over and over the result is women and children who need shelter, health care, food, clothes and legal assistance. Unfortunately the need always outweighs the available resources. Shelters took in 11,719 victims, but struggled to find other options for another 3,837 people when the shelters were full. And the abuse continues.

We know that domestic violence is about power and control. It is physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological. It is behavior that frightens, intimidates, terrorizes, manipulates or wounds someone.

We know we need to continue the critical work to help women in crisis and we will continue to help them one by one. But we believe it’s time to get to the root of the problem. Gloria Steinem said it best: “We are still standing on the bank of the river, rescuing people who are drowning. We have not gone to the head of the river to help them from falling in. That is the 21st century task.”

The root of the problem is this:

• We believe it’s acceptable for men to be dominant and solely in control of a relationship.

• We promote women as objects.

• Violence is tolerated and victims are blamed for it.

• Value is placed on claiming and maintaining control over others.

• We believe our family’s privacy is so sacrosanct that we encourage secrecy and silence, and we discourage those who witness violence from intervening.

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has been charged with implementing an expanded prevention plan for our state. We will work with organizations and individuals around Indiana to help people understand that prevention needs to address the root cause of the problem, and show them how to do it.

Change will not happen quickly. But it will begin when we change our thinking. It will begin when we raise boys to become men who respect their partners, when we treat our intimate partners as equals, when we tell someone when we see abuse and when we believe peaceful resolution rather than violence is the proper response.

Let’s all say “no more” to domestic violence. To learn more about domestic violence, discover how you can help and to find resources for victims, visit www.icadvinc.org.

Laura Berry

Coalition Against

Domestic Violence

Legislature should address ‘scooters’

On Sept. 5, ABATE of Indiana (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) hosted a “Scooter Summit” at Speed City Cycle in Indianapolis. The intent of this meeting was to gather groups, individuals and agencies that have concerns related to the laws that pertain to the vehicles commonly referred to as “mo-peds” and identify ways that we can work together to make improvements. Although it may seem to be a simple matter of semantics, the inconsistencies regarding the definitions, and even the names (­motorized bicycle, scooter, mo-ped, motor-driven cycle, motor scooter) are a large part of the ­issue.

The rising number of fatalities and property damage crashes point to the need for some attention to these vehicles. The lack of a clear definition and the recommendation for the General Assembly to address this was the subject of an Indiana Supreme Court case, Indiana vs. Lock. Law enforcement agencies admit the problem is growing, as there is very little enforcement under current statute. The aforementioned factors have led a number of Indiana communities to enact local ordinances regulating the use of “scooters.” The problem with that is someone can travel from one jurisdiction to another without realizing the rules have changed. All of these are reasons that this issue should be addressed statewide by the Legislature.

The recent visit to Evansville by Indiana Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, to evaluate some of the challenges presented by these vehicles, should prove useful in offering more insight into the scope of this issue.

Jay Jackson

ABATE of Indiana