Thankful for domestic violence courseOn Dec. 17, I had the...

LETTERS

January 04, 1998

Thankful for domestic violence course

On Dec. 17, I had the privilege of attending a course on the Violence Against Women Act. I would like to extend my appreciation to Carroll County Sheriff John Brown for hosting this course and giving me the opportunity to attend. It was made possible by a grant from the state of Maryland.

Retired Capt. Tony Bell, who currently teaches on criminal justice and domestic violence at Prince George's Community College, was the instructor.

The course was developed to standardize the policies and/or procedures for handling cases of violence against women. As a lay person, I found the course both informative and helpful in better understanding this critical issue.

Circuit Court judges in Carroll County have stated that the number of domestic violence cases has increased 360 percent since 1993.

Since 1996, the number of ex parte orders and protective order hearings have increased 51 percent and 46 percent respectively. To the general public, that number is shocking.

However, Captain Bell opened his presentation by saying that the increase is good. It indicates that more women are learning that they do not have to be victims. It also shows that public awareness is increasing.

Domestic violence is a tragedy that affects us all. The good news is that the cycle of violence can be broken.

The person who commits the violence can be helped, but the time to do it is before someone is hurt. I encourage everyone to learn the signs of domestic violence and to get involved. It may save someone's life. For more information, contact the Carroll County Domestic Violence Program on 410-876-1233.

W. David Blair

Manchester

The danger to Haiti a columnist left out

Jonathan Power's column on the dangers to be faced in Haiti's future ("Beleaguered Haiti's future is full of dangers," Dec. 10) had a glaring omission: The country's population is going to double in just 18 years.

The Haitian prime minister recently told U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs Tim Wirth that the most important problem facing his country was it "cannot sustain its population of 7 million people, yet in 18 years we will double to 14 million."

With its farmland eroded or covered with shanty towns, the people are desperate.

Most are reduced to dependence on food brought in by relief organizations.

G. Houghton Huppman

Manchester

Pub Date: 1/04/98

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