Every day in the US, three women are killed by their husbands or boyfriends.
It seems like an improbable number. Like it could never happen to you, to somebody you know.
But it has.
|Christine Keith, aka Adventures of a Thrifty Mama|
But one week ago, her estranged husband went to her house, and killed her. He killed her oldest son, Isaac. And then he killed himself. The three youngest children had gone to their grandparents' house for the night- fortunately out of harm's way.
Chris taught Zumba. She gardened. She went on her local news channel to talk about food stamps, and how to eat healthy meals with a minimal budget. She was a good person, and a good mother. And now she's gone.
Now she's one of three women who died at the hands of their husbands or boyfriends that day.
There are things you can do to help her and her children. Her church has taken up a memorial fund- you can donate there to help provide for her children- sons aged 4 and 8, and a six year old daughter.
You can send clothes and toys. They have not been allowed back in their home, a crime scene, and it may be a long time before they are. They have nothing but what they took to Grandma's house the night their mother and brother were taken from them. You can send these gifts here:
Care of Ann Merrifield
East Lansing, MI 48823
And you can help more than that. You can spread the word that domestic violence, as endemic as it is, should not and must not be tolerated. That there are places those who are suffering can go, that there are resources available to them. That there is help out there.
There's the National Domestic Violence Hotline, where trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to talk confidentially.
There's Safe Horizon, which helps connect victims to shelters.
There's the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, which provides access to information, and opportunities for training and education for those who want to work to end domestic violence, or intervene on behalf of somebody in their life.
Don't remain silent. Don't close your eyes to the suffering all around you. Don't make excuses, or insist it takes two to quarrel. Just listen, offer a hand, and stand strong.
And maybe, if we all shine a light on this issue, into the darkness of abuse, maybe today nobody has to die.