It’s not a surprise that the issue of domestic violence was raised at a recent Toledo mayoral forum (“Battling batterers,” editorial, Aug. 29). In 2012, Toledo police received 2,860 reports of domestic violence, and there were 14 domestic violence-related deaths.
Domestic violence is a risk factor for problems that affect not only victims, but also families and the fabric of our community. Children who grow up in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to have lower math scores, reading performance, and graduation rates. They have higher rates of depression, suicide, and drug and alcohol use.
Domestic violence has been linked to health problems such as asthma in children and heart disease in women.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, businesses in the United States lose $8 billion a year because of absenteeism, lost productivity, and health-care costs related to domestic violence.
Fifty to 60 percent of women who receive public benefits have experienced domestic violence. Our prisons are filled with criminals who grew up with violence in the home.
The problem of domestic violence can no longer be ignored. Our community needs to promote healthy relationships, to hold batterers accountable, and to provide the support and financial resources that victims of domestic violence and their children need to stay safe and to live violence-free lives.
A healthy home is the foundation of a healthy, strong, and prosperous community. I am glad that our mayoral candidates are speaking out about domestic violence and ways they will use the office of mayor to address this often-ignored issue.
Chief Executive Officer Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center Cherry Street