Georgia should be last
Everyone always waits with anticipation when the national poll rankings come.
This is obviously true here in Georgia, when fans begin the big debate over where their football team sits preseason.
Another poll recently came out, placing the state of Georgia 12th in the nation. However, the state actually dropped two spots from the previous year. Anyone would say that’s bad, but, in this case, it’s actually good. The irony continues — it is still a black eye on the Peach State.
According to the 2013 Domestic Violence Fatality Report, Georgia remains one of the top states in the nation when reviewing statistics of men killing women.
Last year, 116 women died at the hands of an abusive spouse or boyfriend. Fortunately, that’s down from 2012, when 128 deaths were reported. Over the last 11 years, the number of family violence deaths was 1,300. There’s already been 14 reported so far in 2014.
Coweta County is not immune. And the statistics show we also have a serious domestic violence problem.
Just this week David Bennett, 49, pleaded guilty to nearly killing his girlfriend with baseball bats as his choice of weapons. In November, Tasha Lynn Buchan was found dead and decomposing in a Newnan home. Her boyfriend, Rodolfo Chacon Reyes, 34, pled guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter.
Domestic violence victims are not just women, either. Richard L. Earhart was killed in February and his son, Justin Lee Earhart, 31, was charged with murder.
Furthermore, Coweta County 911 received almost 1,300 calls in reference to domestic violence. The county’s Solicitor’s Office prosecuted 271 cases under the Family Violence Act. The District Attorney’s Office handled another 75.
Fortunately, this community has taken a proactive role with several organizations providing shelter or other services for women and their children. Yes, children. Too often we forget the impact domestic violence has on kids. According to the latest report, in 45 percent of the 2013 fatalities, the abuser and victim had at least one child together. That child witnessed the homicide in 18 percent of the cases.
Domestic violence is unacceptable. It is imperative that this community continue any and all efforts to ensure our county and state come in last in the rankings for this report. People need to become proactive and get involved when there is even a hint that a friend or neighbor is being abused.
Let’s work together to “win” last place is this poll.