Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Publish Day - murder close to home

I had a column all ready to go on Sunday night. It was a happy piece intended to put a lovely little exclamation point on our vacation. But then I watched the 11 o'clock news. They led with a story about the murder of a young woman mere blocks from my home. Her ex-boyfriend was arrested outside the aquatic center where we take the kids swimming.

It played on my mind as I tried to get to sleep, and was still troubling me in the morning. I decided to pitch the happy-happy column and write a new one. The result, Slaying shatters illusion of safety, was published in today's paper.

Through the magic of a small tagline at the bottom of all of my printed columns that includes my e-mail address, I already know that writing this was the right thing to do. It's hard to explain how it feels when you receive poignantly worded messages from close friends of the victim. I don't feel at all good about this horrific tragedy. But if words can bring comfort, it was worth it.

It's too late for Laura Wilson. But if additional coverage of domestic violence can prevent even one future murder, can incent someone to step in and stop the cycle in even one case, then perhaps words really are more powerful than weapons.

10 comments:

Steve said...

Carmi,

I'm continually impressed by the way you broaden the issues by explaining them in the context of the larger society while at the same time bringing them home to your readers through your own experiences.

"When you threaten her, you threaten all of us".

Thank you

HippyChix said...

What a wonderful article, one that will surely make everyone think a bit differently about the effects of domestic violence.

Bravo for using the pain you feel to help others, once again. You really are an amazing writer, one that touches so many lives - both in your blog and in your work.

I'm blessed to share the journey with you.

Peace,
HippyChix

JodiGalore! said...

Great article. So close to home. I'd have to say that your message needs to be heard by so many people out there and it unfortunate the amount of people who never pick up the paper or watch the news. However, my aunt told me once that she didn't bother to do either anymore because it's always about something terrible and heart breaking....

Veda said...

Carmi, this got me thinking. Pop on over for my response.

Excellent article, btw. And I don't think you should feel too differently about your neighbourhood. Only new fear should be if your family happens to be in a wrong place/wrong time sort of thing. Otherwise, those sort of things really are pretty self-contained, I think. They're intermingled everywhere, no doubt, but they tend to "implode" rather than "explode" - yano? Feel better...

twenty something said...

Nicely written Carmi.

Domestic violence to this day remains one of the most horrible occurences between people. Thanks for sharing that article.

Jef said...

Nicely done.

debby said...

Very well written. Such a sad tragic issue.

Joan said...

The mentality that violent men have that "If I can't have her, no one can," is just frightening. I don't know if it's me or what, but it seems like these type of crimes happen all the time.

I'm sure Laura Wilson is looking down on you and thanking you for drawing attention to her plight. Perhaps you got someone thinking with your words and prevented a potentially horrible thing.

Sharon said...

I used to be a journalist...I had to cover the murder, and resultant due process in the courts, of a woman who was brutally murdered by her ex-husband. Well. Every murder is brutal but this was particularly bad. It was a difficult thing to cover.
The mentality "If I can't have her, no one can" is something I'm more than familiar with. It's good that you spoke out on this subject. You would be suprised how indifferent the police/judicial system can be sometimes. I once had a magistrate lecture me on what was and what wasn't domestic violence: supposedly, if my ex-husband threw a brick at me and missed, that was not domestic violence; if it did hit me, it was.

On a totally unrelated note, thank you for commenting on my blog. I appreciate that...

Moogie said...

Thank you Carmi. It was a wonderful, well thought out article. It opened my eyes in more ways than I can describe.