There is a cruel irony to the situation anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman finds himself in. As the director of CeaseFire Illinois, Hardiman forged a unique partnership with the city of Chicago to help curb street violence in a couple of stricken neighborhoods. While police and CeaseFire differ on the reasons for the drop in violence, the fact is that the murder rates in those areas are down.
In early June, though, Hardiman was arrested and charged with domestic battery. The 50-year-old and his 47-year-old wife Alison reportedly had an argument that resulted in bruises, a cut and a swollen lip for Alison. This week, she filed for divorce.
The divorce petition accuses Hardiman of "extreme and repeated mental cruelty" resulting in ireeconcilable differences. It appears that the two have tried to work things out but, in the end, the marriage cannot be saved. The petition notes that reconciliation would be "impracticable." It is unclear whether the couple has any children. They married in 2003.
As it turns out, this is not the first time Hardiman has been charged with domestic battery. In 1999, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor; he was sentenced to one year of court supervision. The victim in that case was his first wife, not Alison.
Alison's petition asks that she be granted sole ownership of the couple's home. She also asks for her portion of the couple's marital assets. Shortly after her husband's arrest, the court issued an order for protection against him.
There are enough editorials circulating now, particularly opinion pieces pointing out the different ways society treats gang violence and domestic violence, that we won't add to the number. That is not the purpose of this blog. The Hardimans' situation is just all-too common for us not to discuss it at all.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "Former CeaseFire director's wife files for divorce," Deanese Williams-Harris, June 19, 2013