At a Soroptimist meeting last night one conversation turned to the recent Skidmore lockdown. It sounds like campus officials and the SSPD worked diligently to protect not only the student who was the target of this threat, but also the campus and our community. Our local Soroptimist club has had a long-term, passionate investment in helping domestic violence victims. One member said to me, “Wow, this was an unusual incident in how it escalated to such a crisis.” I immediately said, “No it’s not…we hear about coercion, about threats to cause serious injury every day!” But in one sense she’s correct. This incident was a headline story in the newspaper… that’s not an everyday occurrence. So why wasthis different? It’s the same fear/terror … the same calculated threat to control … same sense of powerlessness to know when/where the abuser may strike… what’s different?
This one became public; it’s that simple. A campus was on alert for the safety of all students and the community members surrounding the school. Lately we’ve seen too many tragic examples when personal violence has spilled into public areas, causing devastating tragedy. At DVRC abuse victims often say they spend their lives walking on eggshells around the abuser so the violence doesn’t erupt. In some sense we’ve become a nation that’s walking on eggshells around the issue of violence… we’ve seen too many instances with senseless and unpredictable deaths.
Domestic violence isn’t a women’s issue… it isn’t a private issue…it affects all of us. Yesterday that message resonated very close to home. Let’s heed that message now… we have to work together to END abuse, not just in our own relationships, but in our community. This tragedy was averted… and the next one?
Later this week look for more posts about what YOU can do.