Consequences of dating older man

Police told the press that the two of them had had a “dating relationship.” The upshot: It’s safe to say that for every domestic-violent murder that makes national news—whether because of its brutal nature, victim tally, school setting, or something else—there are hundreds of small incidents in our own backyards that barely receive coverage.

Often, when a domestic incident or murder-suicide occurs in a community, officials reassure the public that no one else is in danger and the matter quickly fades.

And a woman who’s been on several dates with someone doesn’t always qualify as a girlfriend or “intimate partner.” But data made available in recent years tells a dark story: In 2015, according to the non-profit Violence Policy Center, which relies on FBI homicide numbers, 1,450 women were killed by a man they knew.

To break the data down more specifically in terms of relationships: A searchable online database funded by the Justice Department says that in 2013—the most recent year available—in 36 states reporting information, 322 men killed a wife, current girlfriend, or ex-wife.

Are men encouraged to get mental health counseling in the same way women are?

(A Dallas Morning News story about the Plano mass shooting in September noted that in 2015, 158 women in Texas were murdered by an intimate partner, climbing steadily from 102 women in 2011.

And those 158 murders claimed 19 collateral victims.) It’s hard to get an exact number of “estranged” spouses and girlfriends murdered each year by partners or ex-partners in this country, as the FBI and CDC collect data in different ways and don’t always label the relationship between victim and perpetrator for public consumption.

Of the many important issues that should be at the center of national consciousness right now—and not just because October is National Domestic Awareness Month—finding new ways to anticipate or head off domestic violence killings should be a priority.

There are so many issues that could be woven into the discussion, putting aside for a moment the hot-button topic of gun access: What’s the best way to counsel someone who wants to leave an increasingly dangerous relationship?

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