I learned of this tragedy from my friend Marissa. Marissa works countless hours providing education to individuals about domestic violence. She contacted me while I was driving north to Orange County-her devastation rang through the phone receiver. Her words remain solidly in my mind, “We need to create legislation that makes domestic violence punishable in a way that makes people think twice…we need to write our elected officials…when will it end.”
After we hung up, I tuned into the local radio where the commentator was reporting about the incident.
He actually said:
“It’s one thing for the guy to kill his x-wife, but all these other people too? Senseless.”
This is exactly the kind of comment that sets us back.
Nothing about this tragedy is acceptable. There is a 7 year old boy who went to school this morning after kissing his mom goodbye, who now is motherless. His father? Behind bars for allegedly killing his mother. In short the boy has been stripped of his family. Why? Because we live in a society that refuses to address the very real implications of domestic violence, people who perpetrate domestic violence–often kill. The idea that abuse is a private issue is an age old problem and candidly it is time to not only talk about it, it’s time to create solutions.
We should be outraged that 8 people are dead today. We should be outraged that South East High School student Cindi Santana, at 17 years of age, is dead after her ex-boyfriend, Abraham Lopez, allegedly stabbed her on campus two weeks ago.
If these countless incidences that end in loss of life don’t outrage us? What will? It is time to end the silence on domestic violence, it is time to create real and actionable solutions. If not now? Then when?
*feature photo credit: AP Photographer Chris Carlson