Today, another couple wiped out. The number of murders suicides of family members have increased. Familicide numbers have grown significantly over the past thirty years and there is no sign of those numbers decreasing. This is not a gun control issue it is a mental health issue. In many cases these are people who are distraught at a divorce or break up and occasionally financial pressures. We can blame the individuals who commit these acts but honestly what good does that do and how does that help prevent these acts, by others, in the future? We could pass blame on a lot of things, society, corporations, lack of religion or whatever reason we could think of and still not deal with the real issues.
Fact is, there is no one reason or person to blame. We should not be blaming anyone technically. Solutions are what we need. Real, workable solutions that deal with the underlying fundamentals of the problems. Most cases of familicide are committed by men. One of the issues that cause men to lash out violently is that as a society we try to force men into certain roles and positions in the family structure. In the traditional familial role, men are the providers and women are the caretakers. For starters, this puts a lot of pressure on the women as they now have to maintain the house, manage the children and handle many of the daily repetitive tasks that are needed in a hustle and bustle world. This pressure is not being dealt with by the man who comes home from work and all he wants to do is relax. So eventually the problem builds and a break up occurs and the levels of resentment and anger are high on both sides. Blame is placed on the others and frustration takes over and then violence erupts.
Society pushing men and women into roles are not all of the problem. Many times issues among family members are left unattended or ignored. The high pressure demands for success help breed an atmosphere in the home of shifting priorities and focus. The focus is not on the family and how the career goals and family goals coincide but on personal and individual success. It can be the “keeping of with the Jones” attitude or the ambition to succeed at work over others. Some cases, I am sure are also from the other extreme where the focus is too much on one individual in the family or family as a whole. Whatever the specific focus, there is a lack of balance and that lack of balance creates and increases issues.
Each case is unique and dealing with specific issues or causes will not stop the violence. What will stop the violence is people getting and family getting the help they need. We have to stop the stigma of “family counseling” that prevents people from taking advantage of it. We need to look at the family laws that create an imbalance in the rights and privileges that occur after a divorce. We need to take a super hard look at our society that helps breeds this type of violence. Overall we need to start teaching good coping skills to our children and ourselves to help deal with the pressures of relationships. The violence has to stop. We can’t ignore it any longer.