Dear Hillary: The Quincy Solution Must Be part of Your Campaign
In 1995, Donna Shalala, the Clinton Administration Health and Human Services Secretary spoke at Harvard University about the success of the original Quincy Model. She was joined by Attorney General Janet Reno in a newspaper column advocating governmental reforms based on the successful practices in Quincy. New research demonstrates the enormous human and financial benefits available by implementing the best practices that proved successful in communities like Quincy, Nashville and San Diego. The Quincy Solution will empower women and children by dramatically reducing domestic violence and child abuse. It is hard to imagine an issue that is more in keeping with your career and your purpose in running for President. Please look at the Quincy Solution and make it a central tenet in your campaign.
In Quincy, District Attorney Bill Delahunt, who later served as a distinguished Congressman noticed that virtually every inmate at a nearby high security prison had a childhood history that included domestic violence and often sexual abuse. He believed if he could prevent domestic violence it would reduce all crimes and this is exactly what he achieved. A county that averaged 5 to 6 homicides enjoyed several years with no murders.
The successful practices in Quincy included strict enforcement of criminal laws, protective orders and probation rules together with practices that made it easier for victims to leave abusers and a coordinated community response. Although at first blush it would seem like this would increase our already excessive prison population, the opposite is actually the case. Abusers know how to control their behavior which is why they don’t similarly assault other people in their lives and treat partners well at the start of the relationship. In Quincy and other successful communities they saw these crimes were no longer tolerated so they stopped committing them. I have noticed in the batterer classes I teach that the men pay close attention to how judges respond to other abusers. When courts and prosecutors are strict, abusers know they can’t commit their crimes in that community. Children exposed to domestic violence are far more likely to commit crimes when they grow up so the Quincy Solution results in reducing our prison population.
ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Research
The ACE Studies are medical research from the CDC that can be used by doctors to diagnose and treat patients who may be experiencing medical problems caused by childhood trauma. Prevention is an even better use of this research. The essence of the ACE Studies is that children exposed to domestic violence, child abuse and other traumas will suffer more illnesses and injuries and live shorter lives. The children are also more likely to engage in a variety of harmful behaviors like crime, substance abuse, self-mutilation, dropping out of school, prostitution, suicide and for boys to abuse future partners and girls to be abused by future partners.
Fear is central to domestic violence as abusers use a variety of tactics to scare and intimidate their partners to do what he wants. This fear leads to stress that is associated with many of the health risks caused by ACEs. What we now call domestic violence and child abuse has been tolerated for thousands of years and our present level of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness and so many other illnesses and social problems are based on acceptance of domestic violence and child abuse. The ACE Research demonstrates the enormous benefits available by preventing domestic violence and child abuse and the Quincy Solution provides proven practices to prevent these catastrophic consequences.
The ACE research was used to demonstrate that the United States spends $750 billion annually on health costs related to domestic violence. When we consider the crime costs and failure of victims of abuse to reach their economic potential, this country is spending over one trillion dollars to tolerate men’s abuse of women. This should be understood as an unintended abuser subsidy. The human costs of tolerating domestic violence should provide strong incentives to adopt best practices to prevent so many tragedies. How can we possibly continue to tolerate abuse when the Quincy Solution that prevents domestic violence and child abuse will save rather than spend substantial financial resources?
Consider how this impacts people who have no direct connection with domestic violence. Union members now must spend their own money to contribute to health insurance costs caused by our tolerance for domestic violence. Their employers have to pay extra for health insurance which could otherwise be used for profit, investment and wages. In other words, workers received less in wages and absorb more health costs without the Quincy Solution. Domestic abusers are the most dangerous criminals for police officers. Teachers must take time out of class work to help students traumatized by abuse. Workers face harder jobs for less pay because of the abuser subsidy.
Businesses in the United States spend $158 billion on health insurance costs related to domestic violence. They also receive less productivity from workers impacted by abuse and have higher security costs. When these losses can instead be used for profits, increased wages and investment, the entire economy will benefit.
PLEASE HILLARY; THE QUINCY SOLUTION IS FOR THE CHILDREN
Your remarkable career has long focused on protecting women and children. Domestic violence doesn’t just kill women. Many survivors never reach their potential because of the controls placed on their lives by abusers. The ACE research demonstrates that the harm to children from domestic violence and child abuse is far greater than we ever imagined. Contrary to many mistaken assumptions, physical assault is not necessary to impose enormous consequences.
The Quincy Solution is based on proven practices that have been successful in diverse communities that chose to take domestic violence seriously. It is also based on good scientific research from some of the most credible sources such as the CDC and U.S. Justice Department. It can bring enormous benefits to the United States and can be implemented in every other country.
The Quincy Solution is a new and innovative plan that provides enormous benefits. You have the platform to make the public aware of the benefits it will provide. As President you can help change millions of lives for the better while stimulating our economy. Most of all millions of children will live longer and healthier lives. Isn’t that why you entered public service? And Charlotte will be so proud.