Comments for: More light needed — not less — on domestic violence, murder-suicides

Posted Dec. 04, 2012, at 3:23 p.m.

When people kill others it’s essential for communities to know what happened, understand the history of the perpetrators and respect the victims through remembrance. Recognizing the crime, the tragedy, the “why” and the “how,” is how towns and cities learn. Knowledge is the impetus for new laws and new ways …

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  • Anonymous

    The major problem with the paper’s coverage of the Belcher case is readers were inundated with story after story after story about Belcher’s football days at the University of Maine and of how everyone at Maine knew him as a good guy. The stories did not focus on Belcher’s run-ins with university police. In fact, one story stated that a search of the paper’s archives turned up no incidents. That story could have been held until the “new” information came to light.
    Furthermore, there has been scant information in this paper about Belcher’s girlfriend, and little information about why Belcher apparently got a free pass from the university for destroying public property in response to anger toward a relationship.
    Where are the stories about how abuse can go undetected not only by those who know abusers, but those who know the abused? Where are the stories about how there really is no way for mental health care providers to predict violent behavior? Where are the stories about what one should do when one suspects a loved one is either abusing someone or is involved with someone with a history of abuse?
    And where are the stories that point out the obvious: Domestic abuse shouldn’t really be all that surprising, considering that living in close proximity with someone and having a strong emotional attachment to someone is more likely to result in violent outbursts, as opposed to a stranger going off the deep end with you?
    The paper’s focus in the Belcher case has been too much on football and how supposedly nice he was when he was at UMaine.

    • Anonymous

      Exactly- well said Ryan and thank you.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, you caught that. The Univ of Maine initially said there were no incidents while he was at the University. Then later they reversed that, claiming that they did not find it at first because his name was spelled differently in files, or something like that.. Quite a stretch.

      And that recent tragedy in Alton……Scott Reed had just been seen at Acadia Hospital if I recall correctly, and released. So it is as you say. Mental health providers don’t seem to be able to detect much of it either. Very despairing and desperate situation.

  • Anonymous

    It indicates just how pervasive violence, largely against women, is.
    Intimate partner violence resulted in 1,336 deaths nationally in 2010….

    Those numbers indicate how rare it is, not how common. 1300 deaths is a vanishingly small number in a population of 330 million – compare it with 33,000 dead in 2010 in traffic accidents, for instance. Does anyone cite ‘pervasive’ traffic fatalities?

    Yes, one death is one too many, etc. and so forth, and that’s even true. But give the ‘pervasive’ a rest: for the vast majority of us, spouse abuse is simply unthinkable.

  • It does make a difference that he was an NFL star. It does not make him less guilty or culpable, but it does help to put pieces of puzzles together. These “kids” who are outstanding athletes leave High School and got to top colleges, not because they are Einsteins, but because they can run fast, hit home runs, and throw 60 yards. When colleges fight over these kids, they can’t offer them money because the NCAA won’t let them. So they have these kids come to “parties” where wine, women, and everything else they could possibly want given to them. When you get whatever you want, whenever you want, including women, your attitude about them changes. The word “no” from a woman is no longer an acceptable answer. I do not believe this man killed himself over a woman, I believe he killed himself because he knew killing the woman would end his career. So yes, it does matter that he was in the NFL, had he been born without the athletic gifts we was born with, this never would have happened.

    • Anonymous

      Student-athletes who are heavily recruited are paid — by getting a scholarship that gives them free room and board and free tuition.
      But no, it makes no difference that Belcher was a pro football player. It makes it newsworthy, yes. But as I said in my earlier comment, the paper’s coverage offered little to no substance on the issues surrounding domestic violence and too much rehashing of irrelevant football stats and people saying he was such a nice guy.

      • I think it is cute that you are naive enough to think the scholarship is the only perk these big student athletes get. The scholarship is a given no matter what school they sign with. It counts for nothing.

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