Rawlings, Kunkle Dispute Cause of Domestic Violence During Food Bank Debate

Categories: Campaign News
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Okpa, Kunkle, Natinsky and Rawlings at North Texas Food Bank debate this morning
There was a rather interesting exchange between mayoral candidates Mike Rawlings and David Kunkle at this morning's mayoral debate at the North Texas Food Bank. And it began with a question posed to all four candidates (including, of course, Ron Natinsky and Edward Okpa) by moderator Janet Davis, one of the food bank's consultants, on behalf of one of the audience members -- Angela Walker, the executive program director for residential services at The Family Place.

"As mayor, what message would you relay to the citizens of Dallas as it relates to domestic violence?" Davis asked the foursome. "How would you move us to a violence-free society?"

As you'll hear in the video clip that follows, Natinsky was up first, then Okpa; both gave perfectly thoughtful answers. And then Rawlings spoke, at first addressing the "heroes" on the front lines who deal with the victims of domestic abuse. Then, as you'll hear at around the 4:36 mark, the former homeless czar says, "The root cause of domestic violence is poverty -- the struggles they find in their lives -- and the only answer is economic growth." Jobs, he said, provide the "answer to the small issues that happen in a family's home."

"I want to disagree with Mike," said the former Dallas Police chief. "The cause of domestic violence is not poverty. It's control, and one way people exercise control is through the use of violence."

I asked Walker for her thoughts on both answers.

And she said: "Chief Kunkle was correct in stating the root cause of domestic violence is power and control, but Mr. Rawlings had a point in addressing the poverty issue. That's why many women stay -- because they don't have the resources to leave. They are stuck there, and many of the women and children who are homeless are there because of domestic violence, having to flee their homes to be safe. So both of them had some correct parts to what they were saying. But my intent was to get the issue of DV addressed and hope the candidates and whoever becomes mayor will continue to address it. We want the message elevated and want more comunmity awareness -- not just getting the victim help but also addressing the abuser."

The entire exchange between all four men is below.
Dallas's Mayoral Candidates Address Domestic Abuse
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14 comments
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Just the facts, ma'am
Just the facts, ma'am

In one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speeches to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference he said “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.”

One of the main ways an abuser maintains "control" is financially. The abused are in need of power - economic power to be exact. You cannot leave an abuser and take children with you without the financial means to flee and live independently. If you have children, how are they to be kept safe if you cannot find shelter, have no access to financial means other than through your partner, and how do you keep your abuser having access to you or your kids? If your kids go to public school that's 8 hours where they can easily be found. Without financial independence to move away and start another life, it is hard to break the violence and dependence cycle. While Kunkle is correct about the abuser, he says nothing about how to end abuse or how one who is in the cycle can become free of abuse.

McCrae
McCrae

Of course Cullen Davis may disagree with Rawlings on this issue. As might Walker Railey.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

"Jobs, he [Rawlings] said, provide the "answer to the small issues that happen in a family's home." So domestic violence is a little issue, just liked a stopped up toilet? Who knew?

I guess a job would be solution for a formerly unemployed abuser, that way he/she would be out of the house at least 8 hours a day 5 days a week, reducing the abuse possibilites from 168 hours a week to only 128 hours a the week.

Anna
Anna

Well, "little issue at home" excuse me MIKE RAWLINGS...my vote is for Kunkle. Who is Mike Rawlings anyway...pathetic.

elbueno
elbueno

Rawlings is proving to be more and more one-track-minded. And Natinsky is just awful...

Please, can we just go ahead and elect Kunkle?

jfpo
jfpo

So Chief Brown says women just need to dress like Angela from The Office to avoid being sexually assaulted while Rawlings believes the key to avoiding physical abuse is more money.Got it. Now if we can just get more women dressing like Angela from The Office to lure more corporate business to town with taxpayer funded incentives, all will be good. That and a toll road, of course.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

http://www.dallasnews.com/news...

Meanwhile Fire Chief Burns counts on his Uniform to pick up the foxy ladies .

L_Streets
L_Streets

Again as I always ask, why haven't we fired Burns yet? He has cost the city millions in legal fees to which the city will eventually have to settle with Siri. Is it that Suhm can't admit defeat about hiring Burns or is it that she hates firefighters? I think I also heard she hates puppies and the elderly. Okay that's an exaggeration, just puppies.

Clancey
Clancey

Common knowledge, there's no domestic violence amongst rich folks.

Kunkle likely won't need a runoff.

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

Rawlings apparently has it figured out. Heroes vote, victims don't.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Kunkle is right and I gotta wonder why in the world Rawlings thinks domestic violence only affects poor people. In the 1990s, I was a volunteer court advocate for The Family Place and saw plenty of victims from middle and upper income families. It was my morning assignment as court advocate when a young Vietnamese man put a gun to the head of his young Vietnamese wife seated next to me as we waited for an interpreter to arrive to assist with her court hearing. He then shot himself. Both died, leaving a young girl without parents. It was not about money. It was ALL about control.

Just the facts, ma'am
Just the facts, ma'am

Economic power in a domestic violence situation IS control. Even the wealthy abused wife who flees needs to go through a divorce process to fully claim her right to the marital assets. You want to face your abuser in court and risk being murdered? It is not surprising to see the data which shows that good number of the domestic violence murders happen right about the time the divorce papers are filed. Unless you are super wealthy with your assets to spare, anyone fleeing their home typically is relying on a bank account to finance their departure. If you have children it is even more complicated. Go into any domestic violence shelter and you will see victims from all economic walks of like. Domestic violence causes homelessness for the displaced victim - and typically economic poverty during the period that the victim goes into hiding and seeks safe shelter. Rawlings actually makes a valid point that should not be dismissed.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

What! Economic growth is not the answer to all problems?!?! I guess Rawlings thinks only those with money woes are in abusive relationships.

So now that Kunkle shows is brain is working, how does the DMN take care of that?

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