To the Editor:
All of us at 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc. are saddened by the recent death of Tamara Seidle, mother of nine children, reportedly well-known and liked throughout the community. There is no disputing the fact that gun shots fired by her ex-spouse, Police Sergeant Philip Seidle, were the cause of her death and that this incident was in the presence of one of Tamara’s young children. This act of domestic violence was witnessed by many in broad daylight on a busy street in Asbury Park.
For most incidents, domestic violence is rarely so public, rarely witnessed by so many. Yet it happens every day, everywhere, without regard to socio-economic status, race, religion, ethnicity or education.
Leaving an abusive partner is often the most dangerous time in that relationship. Women are 70 times more likely to be killed in the month after leaving than at any other time during the relationship (United States Department of Justice, National Crime Victim Survey, www.domesticviolence.org). Newspapers reported that the Seidle’s divorce was just recently finalized.
Domestic violence is an underreported crime, with many victims either too afraid or ashamed to step forward, but authorities estimate that as many as one in every four women is injured by domestic violence at some point during their lives. This kind of crime is of particular concern to residents of Monmouth County, which has the second highest number of reported domestic violence incidents in the state, with over 5,000 reported offenses each year.
In Monmouth County there is help available at 180 Turning Lives Around, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. 180 offers 24-hour hotlines, emergency shelter, family court assistance, safety planning and trained advocates who accompany survivors at police stations, hospitals and family court.
Victims can get information to help them break the cycle of violence by calling 732-264-4111 (toll-free 888-843-9262). The hotline for sexual assault is: 732-264-7273 (toll-free 888-264-RAPE). Additional information is available on our website: www.180nj.org.
There is no acceptable reason for violence and abuse. If you or someone you know needs help please reach out to us.
Our thoughts are with Ms. Seidle’s children and family.
Anna Diaz-White, Executive Director
180 Turning Lives Around, Inc.