We often hear the comment that "cultural factors" can be blamed in part for domestic violence.
It was repeated again at a roundtable discussion on the subject recently in Charleston.
"Cultural norms" must be changed to reduce domestic violence, commented Judy King Smith, chairwoman of the state Department of Health and Human Resources Family Protection Board.
Many people probably react to such statements in disbelief. Few can imagine a "cultural norm" that excuses domestic assault in any of its permutations, including male against female violence or attacks by women against men.
But it happens. During just one 60-day period this year, 11 females and one male were killed by domestic violence in West Virginia. Many more were injured seriously.
Too often, even those who condemn domestic violence hear the screams from next door, see the bruises on a high school girl, or shake their heads over the drunken attack by a spouse - but do nothing to prevent recurrences.
In some ways domestic violence is tolerated, even encouraged. Some popular music is an example.
Let's be clear: Domestic violence is never all right - and anyone aware of it has a duty to report it to the authorities.