Thomas Broderick, a Jersey City cop, was arrested while on duty after his wife filed a domestic violence complaint against him. I certainly don’t know the details of this particular case and I won’t judge this police officer as guilty since an investigation has not yet even begun.

Regardless of the guilt or innocence in this specific case, domestic violence unfortunately has become too commonplace. Teris Casco of Jersey City was beaten to death by her husband, Edward Casco. During one of my internships, I worked (somewhat indirectly) with battered women. Their stories were both horrifying and inspirational. Hearing so many stories, though, continues to sadden me to this day.

The single most memorable incident concerning domestic violence occurred when I was at the municipal court with a friend of mine whose husband was facing his own domestic violence charge. A police officer spoke with him casually and asked what he was charged with. After hearing the answer, his response was, “Oh, is that it? That’s not a real charge,” and the two of them shared a hearty laugh.

If Broderick is indeed guilty, hopefully his service in the police department does not shield him from the full scope of justice. If law enforcement officers don’t take domestic violence seriously, private citizens like Edward Casco won’t take it seriously. And victims like Teris will continue to suffer.

UPDATE: Just after posting, I ran into another article in which Gregory Bullock brought up to seven women home to repeatedly kick and attack his 7-month-pregnant girlfriend. One doesn’t have to go far to discover yet another incident of domestic violence. Not a “real” crime? Please.

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