Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Article on triple homicide imbalanced

The following letter to the Editor, written by Leah Feldman, Project Coordinator, Universal Response to Domestic Violence, was published by the Poughkeepsie Journal on October 25, 2011.

After a tragedy such as the recent triple homicide in Westchester County, it is hard for family and friends to accept that their loved one could commit such a crime. It is far easier to point out victim flaws as a way of blaming the victim for the atrocities committed against her. We assume that the victim is to blame for what happened, or worse, that the victim deserved it.

The article "Westchester murder-suicide described; friends suggest wife's 'belittling' of husband played role," (Oct. 20) is an imbalanced article that does not take into consideration any perspective from the victim's family.

When a man kills his wife and children, why do we look for her faults? Why do we ask how she drove him to it? It is easy to say that the relationship was toxic. It is easy to say the victim had flaws. No matter the reality of their relationship, no matter the stimulus, there is no justification for homicide as a response.

While we do not know the reality of this couple's relationship, we do know that domestic violence is a pattern of power and control, and we do know that the ultimate control is taking someone's life. Domestic violence is an epidemic in our society, claiming the lives of many women and children. We must look to end this epidemic by holding people accountable for their actions, not by pointing fingers at the victim.

Leah Feldman

Project Coordinator, Universal Response to Domestic Violence

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