Your otherwise outstanding series on domestic violence in South Carolina falls short in one serious respect. Invariably, the children of violent parents are described only as a number. They might as well be potted plants in the home.
In the Feb. 10 story about the two murders and suicide on Wadmalaw Island that left three children orphaned, nothing else was mentioned about them.
What have they been witnessing for years as that family’s violence was tracked by law enforcement since 2010? What will happen to them now?
In many cases of domestic violence, innocent children are as traumatized and as victimized as a spouse. I hope your excellent reporters will do a follow-up series on children in violent families.
Pediatricians, family-court judges, psychologists, guardians ad litem, teachers, police, all know these children and can tell you about them. The children themselves have heartbreaking stories to tell and need not be identified by name in a report.
Please write about the repercussions of living amid domestic violence: How often does spousal abuse coincide with child abuse? How many children who witness spousal violence suffer depression or become aggressive with peers or siblings? How many teenagers who use illegal guns to shoot each other come from violent households?
Please tell the rest of this terrible story, and not just to educate the public. Reading about the damage done to children raised in an atmosphere of anger and violence just might impel a battered spouse to find the courage to leave an abuser, or a battling couple to understand the permanent harm they are doing to their children.