By Carol Kientz - Turning Point
Wednesday, February 8, around dinnertime, the Marion Police Department was called to the scene of a homicide on Bartram Avenue. On Wednesday, February 29 two men were indicted on felony charges in what court documents states was a murder-for-hire. Bo Cook was charged with complicity in aggravated murder and Raymond Bertuzzi was charged murder in the death of Amy Aldrich.
Why is Turning Point concerned? Amy was in relationship with Cook with whom she shared a child. This was the ultimate act of domestic violence! The domestic violence murder of a woman and/or child is an occurrence that often makes an entire community sit back and realize that, yes, domestic violence is everywhere, even in our seemingly peaceful communities.
People in this community don't want to believe that domestic violence happens here. It's understandable. No one wants to believe that a woman or child has been abused or murdered by a loved one. But our community needs to understand that domestic violence does occur everywhere, even here.
We can't let our guard down. We can't pretend that nothing bad could be happening in the homes of our community. Some of the worst batterers in private are the most charming in public.
We are often asked the question, "Why doesn't she just leave?" While there are many reasons a victim might choose to stay with an abuser, one of the main reasons is fear. Women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of a severe injury or death than those who stay.
Domestic violence can be lethal. We must call it what it is. When these murders occur, the media very seldom calls them domestic violence. Unfortunately, when batterers murder their partners, these tragedies are usually portrayed as unintentional "crimes of passion" caused by the man's intense love for the woman and inability to live without her. Murder is, however the ultimate expression of the batterer's need to control the woman's behavior.
Available statistics present a chilling picture of the potential lethality of male violence against their female partners. FBI data indicate that 30% of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
Don't let Amy's death be in vain. Remember them and remember all the other victims of domestic violence homicide. As a community we must take a stand and work to break the cycle of violence. Together we can make a difference in the lives of those living in fear and violence. Let's not let another family suffer the loss of their loved ones in such a senseless manner.
Turning Point is a non-profit agency. Funding comes for a variety of sources including the United Way, the Crawford/Marion ADAMH Board, and the Delaware/Morrow Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.
Turning Point offers a 24-hour hotline for victims of domestic violence. If you or someone you know needs help or if you would like more information, please call (800) 232-6505 or (740) 382-8988.
Carol Kientz is the Community Education Director for Turning Point