The disappearance of a Cohasset mother of three who has been missing since January 1, once again has highlighted the tragic, but undeniable, reality that a woman in the United States is more likely to be killed by an intimate partner than by a random stranger or anyone else in her life.
We realize that her husband, who presently is under arrest for misleading police in their investigation into her disappearance, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, we would note that the circumstantial evidence at this point that has been reported in the press points overwhelmingly to her cold-blooded murder by a man with a sociopathic personality.
(The husband is awaiting sentencing in federal district court on felony charges stemming from his theft of artwork from a college roommate’s family and subsequent forging of that artwork that duped buyers. In addition, according to news reports, he also allegedly bilked his father out of a substantial sum of money and then, when his father cut him out of his will, took items from his father’s estate.)
A woman is beaten every nine seconds in the U.S., totaling more than five million incidents of domestic violence among U.S. women aged 18 and older every year, resulting in nearly 1300 deaths and two million injuries, in communities both rich and poor.
To put it another way, more than three women are killed by their husbands/boyfriends (or ex-es) every single day in America.
This incident also has highlighted that domestic violence crosses all socioeconomic levels. It was another incident in 1978 in Cohasset, the small and extremely wealthy community on the South Shore, when a woman was shot by her husband, who in turn shot their three young children (all of whom survived) before turning the gun on himself, that led to the law that allows a victim of domestic violence to obtain a restraining order (commonly-known as a 209A order) to keep her abuser away from her.
This sad incident further highlights that women are most at risk to violence during separation from their intimate partner — and that was the case for the Cohasset woman, who had bought a home in Washington, D.C., where she had taken a job and planned to move with her three boys, while the husband awaits a lengthy federal prison sentence for his financial crimes.
We will reiterate that the husband is presumed innocent until proven guilty in this matter. However, regardless of how this sad and tragic incident plays out, it has shone the spotlight on the scourge of domestic violence — now known as Intimate Partner Violence — that still pervades our culture despite decades of awareness and changes in the law at the state and federal levels.