Sunday, March 3, 2013

Murder at Home and Returning Military: In his own words

Murder at Home and Returning Military

Returning Iraq war vet Benjamin Sebena age 30, ambushed and murdered his wife (top photo below), Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena also age 30 in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve 2012 while she was on duty. Domestic Violence is critical to us all on yet another level.

Slain Officer Jennifer Sebena
Reporter, Dan Egan of The Journal/Sentinel captured the video of returning Marine, Benjamin Sebena before his church who had posted the video on YouTube took it down. Click the http link below to see the powerful 10 minute video of Benjamin Sebena (pictured below) in his own words describing in detail the effects of war he experienced. Benjamin Sebena, states that while in Iraq, he watched 50 of his friends die; He himself killed people including a child who tried to kill him.
Returning Marine Benjamin Sebena charged with wife's murder.

The video, was made for Elmbrook Church's No Regrets Men's Conference in 2010. The video is compelling as Benjamin Sebena talks about his experience as a Marine in Iraq and how the church helped him after his two tours of duty were finished.  Happier times are seen in the photo of Jennifer and Benjamin below, however, a lot more help for Benjamin was greatly needed.

Benjamin said, "I came back home to Wisconsin and started spending more time with Jen and our love flourished. We became actually infatuated with each other and then one day I asked her if she would be happy to spend the rest of her life with me and she said yes."
As we know today, the experiences of Benjamin in Iraq, came home with him and the devastating effects of combat continue to have wide-spread Ripple of Consequence on many who knew them.

Consequences for victims are wide and they include domestic violence, sexual assault, murder and murder/suicide to name a few.

Benjamin Sebena said, "We're trained to kill. We're trained that death is OK. Wasn't trained how to deal with the death, but we're definitely trained to kill."

As an Advocate and practitioner in the field of violence against women, I ask myself, what role did we as a Nation and communities play in failing both THE Jennifer's and Benjamin's in this country? You see, this is not an isolated case. There are many other such cases around the country.  We often do not make the link between military and domestic violence because we don't get the information. What is concerning is the fact that too often, we are not linking and/or the media is not reporting in cases of murder, shootings and aggravated assaults...that the perpetrators in these incidents have military backgrounds.

It must be addressed...What can we do better to heal the wounded returning and save the lives of others at home? Reality Check Folks: There are returning vets already home and more are coming. What Benjamin Sebena describes in his video is not isolated to him.  Did we prepare for this? In addition to that, we must ask ourselves, what about the returning Contractors who are working right along side deployed Military personnel?
We can't forget about them.

More to come!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This is soo deep. And very thought provoking. Scary at the same time.


Rape in the Military, Domestic violence, sexual violence, murder, sex trafficking