The Edmond Sun

October 25, 2013

OUR VIEW: Even one death by violence is too many


The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — A recent study highlights the rate of women killed by men in 2011. In this study, Oklahoma ranked third in the nation with 38 women killed that year by men, often their partners. In 2010, there were 27 women killed by men in Oklahoma.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and the statistics are sobering. The study by the Violence Policy Center, a national nonprofit educational organization, highlights nationwide there were 1,707 females murdered by males in single victim/single offender incidents.

While we do not believe the study has statistical validity due to its analysis methods, we do appreciate the nonprofit bringing attention to this societal problem.

Because the truth is, no matter how Oklahoma ranks in female deaths per 100,000 population, even one death of this nature is one too many.

A step in the right direction is the recently announced completion of a $15 million capital campaign by the YWCA to build a new women’s shelter, which is desperately needed in this area.

Far too often, a woman becomes fatally at risk when she tries to leave an abusive lover. That person suddenly realizes they are losing power over their victim. They would rather live without their victim permanently than knowing she is somewhere safe and out of their control.

It’s a sad commentary on how we as a state and nation are failing to produce adults who can face their problems, who can have empathy for another human being and who can resolve difficulties without resorting to violence.

Edmond is not immune to domestic violence.

Last year, city officers responded to 1,193 domestic in progress calls, according to the Edmond Police Department’s 2012 annual report. In 2011, there were 1,078 domestic in progress calls compared to 904 in 2010 and 1,075 in 2009.

It’s time to bring more awareness to this issue that impacts our mothers, our children and their future generations. We support the efforts of Attorney General Scott Pruitt and his predecessor Drew Edmondson in highlighting the need for more education and societal support to those who find themselves in violent situations. We thank all those who gave to the YWCA’s capital campaign and encourage more donations like them to help provide a safer future for women in Oklahoma.

Locally, organizations like Edmond Family Counseling are just a phone call away for those who need help. Jackie Shaw and her team are available at 341-3554.

Other resources include Oklahoma’s free confidential Safeline 24 hours a day at 1-800-522-SAFE (7233). It offers assistance in 150 languages for safety planning and referrals to crisis centers, shelters and other state resources. Online sources include YWCA Oklahoma City at www.ywca.org and okdvhelp.com.

Help someone you know make that phone call. Perhaps you’ll save a life and create a better future.