Guest Column

Peace on Earth Begins at Home


A mother and her 15-year-old daughter were slaughtered with a hammer and a rope in their Raritan home on Friday. Police arrested the mother's boyfriend who was found sleeping in his car. The suspect has a long criminal history, including an aggravated manslaughter conviction, for which he served 8 years in prison.

My heart is heavy when I think of the last minutes of these victims' lives. I can hardly stand to think of the pain and grief of their loved ones.

The media doesn't report this as Domestic Violence. Instead, it's reported as a double homicide that speculates on the behavior of the victims that may have led to their brutal murders. I won't mention specifics because they are rumored and completely irrelevant. There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, murder and brutality.

Sign Up for E-News

This year in NJ, we've read about a woman murdered by her ex-boyfriend in her driveway with a machete, a woman suffocated at home by her estranged husband while their 15-year-old daughter was in the next room, a sister and brother shot to death by the sister's fiancé, a man who slashed his wife's face with a kitchen knife after she told him she wanted a divorce, a mom shot dead in the street in broad daylight by her ex-husband while their daughter watched. These are only a handful out of approximately 50 Domestic Violence related deaths in NJ this year.

Domestic Violence causes two million injuries per year in America. Domestic Violence killed more than 1,300 people in America last year. Horrific crimes against humanity are committed by intimate partners every nine seconds in our cities, suburbs and our rural countryside. The victims are poor, wealthy, students, women, men, children, your age, your parent's age, educated, all religions, atheists, all skin colors. They are members of your family. They are your neighbors. Your friends. Your colleagues.

When does this qualify as a public health crisis? What will it take for us to say that we've had enough? When can we stop blaming victims? When will we stop pretending that a restraining order will stop a madman from killing his family? When can we put violent criminals behind bars and keep them there? When can we fund education about healthy relationships for our teens?

Dedicated counselors, advocates, social workers and volunteers will continue to care for victims. It's just not enough. Victims of abuse hide in our shelters with their children while their abusers live freely. Lawmakers and family court judges should visit shelters and look into the eyes of victims and children who live in fear with strangers because they are not safe at home.

How long will we live with the inadequate laws from 35 years ago when people are murdered by their intimate partners every day? Minor amendments to the current laws are just that. We need tough laws for these criminals. While we'll never eliminate Domestic Violence or stop all criminal behavior, let's agree that the status quo is unacceptable. Then let's work on a real solution to combat the prevalence of Domestic Violence. We will not tolerate Domestic Violence.


Wishing all peace at home,

Christine M. Schaumburg
Executive Director
Resource Center of Somerset


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Giving Back: Learn How to Help Victims of Sexual Violence

February 22, 2018

Every year since 1984, trained volunteers with the Union County Rape Crisis Center have helped victims of sexual violence through the emotional, medical and legal aftermath of trauma. New volunteers are welcome to join the next series of training classes beginning on Thursday, March 22.

No previous experience in crisis counseling is necessary.

“Over the years our Rape Crisis Center ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 4, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Staatskapelle Weimar

Arts & Entertainment

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, April 7, 2:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

Arts & Entertainment

East Brunswick Public Library Holds South Asian Community Day of Wellness

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ— On Saturday, March 3, Cancer Support Community Central NJ Jersey (CSCCNJ) will be hosting a Day of Wellness at the East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center, ). This program is part of CSCCNJ’s South Asian outreach initiative, which is made possible by the Shri Krishna Nidhi (SKN) Foundation.

The Day of Wellness is being offered at no ...

Library Hosts Program On Joint Replacement Surgery

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital partner to present the special medical program “Considering Total Joint Replacement in 2018” at the library on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Lead by board certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Kayiaros, the program gives a brief overview of arthritis of ...

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb

Prayers the Devil Answers by Sharyn McCrumb (Altria, 2015)


Years later, after the tragedy, someone remembered the Dumb Supper and what had happened there. That was the cause of it, they said, because the ritual wasn't a game after all. It really was magic, but magic has rules, and she broke them. Even when they call it a 'senseless tragedy,' people always try to find a ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

EBPD: Safeguarding Students, Staff, and Residents in the Public Schools

February 20, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The East Brunswick Police Department, in cooperation with the East Brunswick Board of Education, will be assisting the school security staff by providing police officers at our township public schools. It is the goal of the East Brunswick Police Department and the East Brunswick Board of Education to safeguard our students, staff and residents at our schools on a daily basis ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...