The States of Jersey Police Six Month Crime Review for January to June 2009 has a Section headed “Offences Against the Person”. Offences included in this category include domestic abuse, child protection, murder, street violence and disorder.
The States of Jersey Police “dealt with” 491 domestic incidents compared with 431 in the first half of 2008 and 365 during the same period in 2007. So 2009 has seen 19 cases a week “dealt with” – almost 3 every day. (Exactly two per day two years ago.) But these are only the cases “dealt with” by Police. How many other cases are unreported and endured? And what does “dealt with” actually mean? Have the perpetrators now changed? Changed for good?
Offences against the person are all the more frightening when they are ‘domestic’ – in the home. An old song went, “You always hurt the one you love, the one you shouldn’t hurt at all.” What drives domestic violence? In Jersey?
Herod Antipas was the Rome-appointed puppet ruler of Galilee and Perea in AD 30. The district of Galilee was (and is) 80 miles north of Jerusalem. Perea adjoined it to the East – and Perea bordered on Nabatea, the capital city of which was the well-known Petra, the ‘rose red city half as old as time’.
Petra was flourishing in AD 30 – and, in fact Herod Antipas found his first bride there, the daughter of King Aretas of Nabatea. But he ditched her in favour of his brother’s wife, Herodias. A very popular preacher at that time, John the Baptist, spoke against this domestic ‘violence’. (Yes, violence is not necessarily physical.) This is what happened – the italics (not the underlining) are the translated record of the man named Mark writing in AD 65.
· And Herodias wanted to put him [John the Baptist] to death.
· But she could not, for Herod feared John ....When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed, and yet he heard him gladly. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his nobles and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. For when Herodias’s daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests. And the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you want to have, and I will give it to you.”
· And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, up to half of my kingdom.” And she went out and said to her mother, “For what should I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” And she came in immediately with haste to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
· And the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
· And immediately the king sent an executioner with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. (Why this violence?)
Herodias wanted violence – for her own good. Herodias’ daughter, Salome, was asked to name what she wanted for herself. Herodias and Salome then both wanted violence. Herod wanted to keep face and therefore did violence. Is ‘I want’ / ‘you want’ / ‘they want’ the driver of domestic violence in Jersey?
But look at the words in bold above. Jesus also wanted to. He wanted to make a man clean, inside and out. Because the man wanted to be clean.
Was this unclean man changed? Changed for good?
PS Herod and Herodias were soon discredited - by Salome’s brother – and died in exile in Gaul (France).