A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence – Domestic

Go Lean Commentary

This is a simple fact: countries are comprised of communities; communities are comprised of families; families are comprised of individuals. So if there are defects in individuals, then there could be consequences to families. In turn, a debilitated state of the family can imperil the state of the community. There’s no doubt, Failed-States are comprised of failing communities.

What defect among individuals and families, therefore, should “we” be alarmed with? Domestic Violence!

CU Blog - A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence - Domestic Violence - Photo 1There is no way to justify domestic violence. (This is not referring to corporal discipline of children, but rather wife-battering). Believe it or not, people still try to rationalize, excuse and shift the blame relating to domestic violence.

No more!

There are certain ethnic groups where domestic violence is more prominent than others. Sadly, our community – Latin America and the Caribbean – needs to be more “on guard”. Many times, men in our society feel that it is their honor to discipline their wives … as they see fit. This is a continuation of the series on the history of interpersonal violence; this is commentary 3 of 3. It relates to the Caribbean homeland and to the Caribbean Diaspora in the North America today. The historic issues addressed in this series are:

  1. Duels
  2. Street Violence
  3. Domestic Violence

While we all want to live in a society free of crime, we are more concerned about being free of violence; no one’s honor should come at the expense of peace. This is innately assumed in the Social Contract between governments and their citizens. We all consider the curtailing of violence in society as a measurement of good civilization. It is one way in which we may judge societal success: simply, less interpersonal violence = success; more violence = Failed-State.

There is an evolutionary survival instinct: we all want to be physically safe, but many times, we are slow to apply this instinct to women in our lives; many times we feel that they must simply endure. No more! See Appendix VIDEO below.

CU Blog - A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence - Domestic Violence - Photo 2It has been a long, hard road, overcoming these attitudinal defects. This attitude has been ingrained in many societies for a long time. However, the effort to reform and transform these bad practices have made some traction. The World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna, Austria, in 1993, and the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in the same year, concluded that civil society and governments must acknowledge that domestic violence is a public health policy and human rights concern. The US responded accordingly…

The Violence Against Women Act – see Appendix Reference below – was developed and passed as a result of extensive grassroots efforts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with advocates and professionals from the battered women’s movement, sexual assault advocates, victim services field, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, the courts, and the private bar urging Congress to adopt significant legislation to address domestic and sexual violence.

It has been a long, hard road, overcoming these domestic violence attitudes in the Caribbean. But overcome, we must! The Caribbean must catch up with the rest of the modern world in this regards; otherwise we lose … all around. We will continue to suffer societal abandonment due to “push and pull” factors. Domestic violence is a “push” factor; messaging of the transforming attitudes towards domestic and gender-based violence in North America is a “pull” factor. Many victims may want to flee their Caribbean homelands for refuge.

This commentary is 3 of 3 in this series considering the subject of interpersonal violence. The previous commentaries addressed issues of importance for mitigating interpersonal violence in our homeland. (This is not a consideration of military or terrorist violence; these are separate and distinct discussions). This commentary is a discussion about assuring public safety, so it must therefore address domestic violence abatement as it considers reducing other criminal activities.

Remediating and mitigating crime is a study in the “Art” and “Science” of violence. This academic study of the subject of interpersonal violence can be very practical. It can help to relieve pain for many of those suffering. It identifies reasons for violence: Need, Greed, Power, Justice and Honor; and how to re-program a community’s attitudes and expectations. The history of changes in community attitudes about domestic violence is well-documented. There are role models and advocates who have worked tirelessly to reform and transform their society. We appreciate their efforts and successes, and seek to emulate them here in the Caribbean. Consider the case of one American organization in the State of Georgia and its founder Julia Perilla:

Organization Profile: Caminar Latino
Organization Profile – Mission
The mission of Caminar Latino is to create possibilities for Latino families affected by violence to transform their lives and their communities.

Organization Profile – Core Values
1. Safety for Latinas and their families
2. Community-Driven Solutions
3. Individual and Community Transformation
4. Organizational Excellence

Caminar Latino or “Latino Journey” carries out its mission by creating safe spaces for each family member to begin their journey towards non-violence. Caminar Latino is Georgia’s first and only comprehensive domestic-violence intervention program for Latino families.

Organization Profile – Our Founder, Julia Perilla
CU Blog - A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence - Domestic Violence - Photo 5Dr. Julia Perilla, our founder, has received scores of awards and is considered a leader in her field but if you ask her, her life, her work rests on a simple philosophy: listen. In 1990 she listened when a Catholic sister talked to her about the problem of domestic violence in her community. That year she started Caminar Latino. Perilla didn’t have a background in dealing with these issues, a fact that gave her pause but she realized that the women would tell her what she needed to know. That’s why in 1993 Perilla and Caminar Latino started a children’s program. And why in 1995 they began programming for men.

”The women were the ones who told us what was needed.” Perilla says. They asked Perilla for help with their children and they asked Caminar Latino to not neglect the men. Perilla listened when the women said “you have to make sure the men are getting all the information that we are.”

In describing her work, Perilla uses words like “collective” and “collaborative.” She’s quick to smile and insists, she’s no expert, she just listens. Her insight and wisdom has led Perilla to help countless of families in turmoil and along with the work, she’s also picked up some impressive accolades.

Perilla has consulted with the Centers for Disease Control, The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. She’s advised Georgia’s Commission on Family Violence and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, to name just a few. Her work has appeared in dozens of journals and garnered awards from her peers.

In 2005, just ten years after she obtained her doctorate in Psychology, Perilla was honored by the Georgia Psychological Association as their Woman of the Year. More recently, she was invited by Vice President [Joe] Biden to a dinner commemorating the Violence Against Women Act; [see Appendix Reference below].

In addition to writing and conducting research, Perilla also teaches. As faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University, Perilla relishes her role teaching classes on the ethics of psychology. She also heads up the National Latino Research Center on Family and Social Change. On campus her door is always open to students and she routinely mentors Goizueta Scholars. In 2011 her work was recognized with the Carl V. Patton President’s Award for Community Service and Social Action Outstanding Faculty Award. 

In all facets, Perilla manages to work with a smile because as she puts it “I never work alone.” Whether it’s sharing a laugh with her colleagues or accompanying one of Caminar Latino’s young people to speak at a conference, Perilla says she always learns as much as she teaches. Her life, her work, is “a dream come true.” She is now keeping busy mentoring the next generation of Latina/o scholars who can continue to work from a human rights and social justice perspective.
Source: Caminar Latino – Organizational Website for Civic Organization – retrieved February 17, 2016 from: http://caminarlatino.org/profile-founder-julia-perilla/

CU Blog - A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence - Domestic Violence - Photo 3

The book Go Lean … Caribbean asserts that to elevate Caribbean society there must be a focus on the region’s economic, security and governing engines. While the book primarily targets economic empowerments (jobs, investments, education, entrepreneurship, etc.), it posits that security concerns – threats to public safety – must also be front-and-center along with these economic efforts. While the subject of domestic violence falls on the member-state side of the separation-of-powers divide, the Go Lean book details a jurisdiction of monitoring and metering (ratings, rankings, service levels, etc.) local governments and their delivery of the Social Contract, (i.e. Best Places in the Caribbean To Live …). This too, is within scope of optimizing the region’s governing engines.

The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate the region’s economic, security and governing engines; these are the 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to better ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance, with a separation-of-powers between member-state administrations and the CU federal government (Executive facilitations, Legislative oversight and judicial prudence) to support these economic/security engines.

The Go Lean/CU roadmap is specifically designed (Page 23) to address the societal defects that harm and endanger people in Caribbean society with interpersonal violence, using these security mandates:

  • Adapting the Community Ethos: Public Protection over Privacy
  • Whistleblower Protection
  • Witness Security & Protection
  • Anti-Bullying and Mitigation
  • Intelligence Gathering – Video Surveillance
  • Light Up the Dark Places – Eliminate the figurative and literal “shadows”.

The quest of the Go Lean movement is to elevate Caribbean society above our dysfunctional past. Surely, we can message to the community that our wives, daughters and mothers need protection too. So many other communities have done so in the past; we can do it as well in the Caribbean.

Right now, we are failing … miserably!

It is a reality that many from the Caribbean have emigrated to US cities. One particular frontier city that has benefited from Caribbean homeland abandonment is Miami, Florida. But the experiences there is that many of the defective attitudes towards interpersonal and domestic violence have immigrated with the subjects. See a Reference Source here:

Florida’s Domestic Violence Statistics
In 2014, 106,882 crimes of domestic violence were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies resulting in 64,460 arrests. During fiscal year 2014-2015, Florida’s certified domestic violence centers provided 546,658 nights of emergency shelter to 15,397 survivors of domestic violence and their children. Advocates created 109,045 tailored safety plans, provided a total of 297,669 hours of advocacy and counseling services, and received 130,776 domestic violence hotline calls from individuals seeking emergency services, information, and safety planning assistance.

Many more survivors of domestic violence are not reporting their abusers to the police or accessing services at domestic violence services due to reasons such as shame, fear, or being prevented from doing so by their abusers. For this reason, we may never know the true extent of abuse in our country and in our state.

See here, the exact number of domestic violence services provided in just Miami-Dade County for the last fiscal year numbers are available for, 2010 – 2011; notice the Black-and-Brown distributions in this community:



White, non-Hispanic



Black, non-Hispanic






Asian American



Native American



Middle Eastern












Summary Source: http://www.fcadv.org/floridas-domestic-violence-statistics retrieved February 17, 2016.
Table data: http://www.dcf.state.fl.us/programs/domesticviolence/publications/docs/DVData2010_2011.pdf

This above reference/data brings to mind a familiar (and sad) Caribbean expression:

You can take the man out of the island, but you cannot take the island out of the man.

The goal of this Go Lean/CU roadmap is to confederate all of the Caribbean – all 30 member-states – under a unified entity to provide societal solutions for the local region. We must abate the practice of domestic violence; no “ifs”, “ands” or “buts”. We must help the abused … and the abusers. The CU security goal is for public safety, to optimize the societal engines to ensure peace and security for all regional stakeholders.

The successful execution of this roadmap should result in the creation of millions of jobs and the growth of the regional economy. New funding would allow for grants to the member-states and their local communities to provide more remediation to these abused ones and the cooperative abusers in their neighborhoods. Communities can reform and transform; this is an accepted fact, aligning with the economic principle quoted in the Go Lean book (Page 21), that “Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices and Incentives”.

This roadmap fully envisions the integration of shepherding – leadership – for the Caribbean region’s economic, security and governing initiatives under the same organization: the Caribbean Union Trade Federation. These points are pronounced early in the Go Lean book (Page 12) with these opening Declaration of Interdependence statements:

x.   Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices of criminology and penology to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xi.   Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii.  Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state …

xiii. Whereas the legacy of dissensions in many member-states …  will require a concerted effort to integrate the exile community’s repatriation, the Federation must arrange for Reconciliation Commissions to satiate a demand for justice.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including piracy and other forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

The Caribbean appointing “new guards”, or a security pact to ensure justice and public safety will include many new community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies. Consider the sample list here:

Community Ethos – Economic Systems Influence Individual Choices Page 21
Community Ethos – Consequences of Choices Lie in Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Security Principles Page 22
Community Ethos – Ways to Manage Reconciliations Page 34
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Tactical – Vision – Forge a Single Market economy Page 45
Tactical – Confederating a non-sovereign union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Homeland Security Page 75
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Justice Department Page 77
Tactical – Separation of Powers – CariPol: Marshals & Investigations Page 77
Tactical – Separation of Powers – Witness Protection Page 77
Implementation –   Start-up Security Initiatives Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Foster International Aid – Security Assistance Page 115
Implementation – Reasons to Repatriate – Security Optimization Page 118
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Planning – Ways to Improve Failed-State Indices – No Unchecked Violence Page 134
Planning – Lessons from the American West – Law & Order Lessons Page 142
Planning – Lessons from Egypt – Lackluster Law & Order affects Economy Page 143
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Governance Page 168
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Leadership Page 171
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Justice Page 177
Advocacy – Ways to Reduce Crime Page 178
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Gun Control – Suspend Rights for Domestic Abusers Page 179
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Mitigate Terrorism – Include a focus on bullying Page 181
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Intelligence Gathering and Analysis Page 182
Advocacy – Ways to Impact the Prison Industrial Complex Page 211
Advocacy – Ways to Protect Human Rights Page 220

The movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean have monitored the activities throughout the Caribbean neighborhood, and commented accordingly. Other subjects related to domestic-related crimes and security empowerments for the region have been blogged in other commentaries, as sampled here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7179 SME Declaration: ‘Change Leaders in Crime Fight’ for better outcomes
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5307 8th Violent Crime Warning to Bahamas Tourists – The Need for Better
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5304 Mitigating the Eventual ‘Abuse of Power’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5238 #ManifestJustice – Lessons for the Prison Eco-System
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4863 A Picture is worth a thousand words; video, a million to expose corruption
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4308 911 – Emergency Response: System in Crisis
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2994 Justice Strategy: Special Prosecutors and Commissions of Inquiry
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2709 Caribbean Study: 58% Of Boys Agree to Female ‘Discipline’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2684 Role Model for Justice, Anti-Crime & Security: The Pinkertons
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2201 Students developing nail polish to detect date rape drugs
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=809 Muslim officials condemn abductions of Nigerian girls
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=695 Abused wives find help by going to ‘Dona Carmen’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=392 Jamaica to receive World Bank funds to help in crime fight
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=273 10 Things We Want from the US – #6: Crime Watch Initiatives

The vision of the Go Lean roadmap is to make the Caribbean homeland, a better place to live, work and play. This means measurable reductions mitigating and remediation) of interpersonal violence in the region. The Go Lean book is presented as a regional solution to remediate and mitigate all crime – White Collar, street and domestic – in the Caribbean.

The book’s premise is that “bad actors” will always emerge, from internal and external origins to exploit the opportunities, with good, bad and evil intent. This is a historical fact, and is bound to repeat. We must therefore be prepared and on-guard to defend our homeland against all threats, foreign and domestic, including crimes of interpersonal and domestic violence.

We must do better. Otherwise, our homeland will continue to be abandoned. These “push” factors will continue to cause our citizens to flee their homeland for foreign (North American and European) shores, just to find refuge from the victimization.

So all stakeholders in the Caribbean – people and institutions – are urged to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap for the elevation of the Caribbean’s societal engines: economy, security and governance. We can do better; we can better impact the Greater Good for peace & security.  🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix Reference – Title: Violence Against Women Act

CU Blog - A Lesson in the History of Interpersonal Violence - Domestic Violence - Photo 4The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is a United States federal law (Title IV, sec. 40001-40703 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994) signed [in to law] by President Bill Clinton on September 13, 1994 … The Act provides $1.6 billion toward investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, imposes automatic and mandatory restitution on those convicted, and allows civil redress in cases prosecutors chose to leave un-prosecuted. The Act also establishes the Office on Violence Against Women within the Department of Justice.

VAWA was drafted by the office of Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), with support from a broad coalition of advocacy groups.[1] The Act passed through Congress with bipartisan support in 1994, clearing the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 235–195 and the Senate by a vote of 61–38, although the following year House Republicans attempted to cut the Act’s funding.[2] In the 2000 Supreme Court case United States v. Morrison, a sharply divided Court struck down the VAWA provision allowing women the right to sue their attackers in federal court. By a 5–4 majority, the Court’s conservative wing overturned the provision as exceeding the federal government’s powers under the Commerce Clause.[3][4]

VAWA was reauthorized by bipartisan majorities in Congress in 2000, and again in December 2005, and signed by President George W. Bush.[5] The Act’s 2012 renewal was opposed by conservative Republicans, who objected to extending the Act’s protections to same-sex couples and to provisions allowing battered undocumented immigrants to claim temporary visas.[6] Ultimately, VAWA was again reauthorized in 2013, after a long legislative battle throughout 2012–2013.[7]

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_Against_Women_Act retrieved February 17, 2016.


Appendix VIDEONO MORE’s Official Super Bowl Adhttps://youtu.be/tJaSj_qipic

Published on Feb 1, 2015 – Watch the official Super Bowl NO MORE ad (the first-ever Super Bowl commercial addressing domestic violence and sexual assault) and pledge to say NO MORE at http://nomore.org. The 30 second NO MORE PSA will air live during the first break after second quarter of NFL Super Bowl XLIX on February 1, 2015. Watch & share the NO MORE Public Service Announcement (PSA)!

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