Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shannon Burke's Repentance

I am a firm believer in the argument that God can change a repentant heart. But I also believe that it is wise for a victim of domestic violence to take a significant amount of time (a year perhaps?) before letting their abuser back in the home. It is so easy to believe that the person you love means it when they say they're sorry. And I honestly believe they're genuinely sorry. But "sorry" doesn't mean that the abuse won't happen again. That's where repentance comes in.

Repentance is more than just feeling regret about one's behavior. It means that one turns from sin and dedicates themselves to amending their life. The evidence of genuine repentance is something that has to be seen over a long period of time - not just a few weeks. And it requires the abuser to be willing to be transparent with those who are holding him/her accountable for their behavior. Finally, their intimate partner cannot serve as their accountability partner.

I am concerned for Catherine Burke's safety during this period. Fox35 News reported yesterday Shannon Burke Seeks Reconciliation. It is far too convenient for Burke to blame alcohol for the incident that landed him in jail. Attending AA for 100 days is commendable, and I hope he continues in the program. But it's the tip of the iceburg and it does nothing to address the issue of power & control that is the root cause of domestic violence.

PASCH (Peace And Safety in the Christian Home) is a wonderful organization that deals with educating the faith community about the issue of domestic violence. I hope and pray that the Burkes' marriage counselor is familiar with the dynamics of DV and how religion and faith are sometimes used as a smokescreen that abusers use to get back in their partner's good graces. I'll also reiterate something I wrote after the July hearing when Judge Alva granted contact - both parties need to have individual counseling.

I would hate to add Catherine Burke's name to the list of DV homicides in our community.

1 comment:

  1. There is a study that has shown only 1% of abusers completely change their beliefs and never abuse again. Can people change? Absolutely. But should you bet your life on it? I'd hope not. Power and control act much like a drug. They can not be cast aside in a moment to never rear their ugly heads again.There is no switch to shut off the abuse. There is only time and what is done with that time. To truely be "sorry" one must be completely accountable.