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'Three Steps' Needed To End 'Scourge' of Domestic Violence, Argues NYT's Kristof

'Three Steps' Needed To End 'Scourge' of Domestic Violence, Argues NYT's Kristof

March 11, 2014 — Domestic violence against women is a "scourge" that can be "more unsettling to talk about than colonoscopies" and "so stigmatizing that most victims never seek help," New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes.

"Far more Americans, mostly women, have been killed in the last dozen years at the hands of their partners than in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan," according to Kristof. The issue "deserves far more attention and resources, and far more police understanding of the complexities involved," he argues, adding that addressing it "should be a national priority," rather than a "fringe concern."

Although "[s]ometimes there's a perception that domestic violence is insoluble," it is actually an area where the U.S. has made "enormous progress," according to Kristof, who notes that the public and law enforcement now see the issue differently than a few decades ago.

However, "[t]hree steps are still needed," he continues. "First, we must end the silence," and, "[s]econd, we must ensure that police departments everywhere take the issue seriously before a victim becomes a corpse." Finally, "offenders should be required to attend training programs like the one run by Men Stopping Violence," which encourages men "to be brutally honest in examining their shortcomings in relationships" (Kristof, New York Times, 3/8).