Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
In this final chapter, we begin with a discussion of the long-term empirical trends in VMIR. In general, these data lead to the conclusion that rates of VMIR are declining. This conclusion not only applies to the long-term historical patterns, but to the most recent past as well. It makes sense that this would be the case, as awareness and concern have grown. We simply pay more attention than we used to, and the declines are in many ways a sign that we care.
These trends, however, should not make us complacent. As we have maintained throughout this book, women, children, and the elderly are still more likely to be victimized in their own home than they are on the streets of America’s most dangerous cities. We argue that this is a sign that, while we care, we do not care enough. There are many signs that we, as a society, simply do not value the protection of vulnerable populations as much as we should.
What can we do to help? Perhaps the best place to start is by taking a stand against mass media content that glorifies violence. Concerned citizens can choose not to support or condone violence, despite the wider culture’s apparent acceptance of violent materials. We can choose not to watch or to buy these products, and we can encourage others to do likewise. We can also choose not to condone violence in our own families. Spouses and siblings can choose not to hit one another, and parents can choose not to hit their children.
The opportunities for involvement are limitless. We can give of our time and money. We can work to limit opportunities. We can intervene when intervention is required. We only need to keep our eyes open, look for opportunities to advocate, and look for opportunities to serve.