To the editor:
We, the students in a Social Justice class at Iowa Wesleyan University, have taken great interest in Karyn Spory?s column ?A deadly relationship? that was published on March 10 about the death of Valerie Williams, a victim of domestic homicide. Not only is the column interesting from a reader?s standpoint, but it is also factual. We share Spory?s concern that funding must be available for programs and shelters for victims. The impact that these programs have on victims? lives cannot be measured or quantified.
As we discussed the article on campus, we realized how many people who are close to us have been affected by domestic violence. What is more, our loved ones have used these programs to escape violent situations.
As we reflected, we wondered, ?How would our lives be different if our loved ones had stayed in those situations?? As the column states, ?Domestic violence shouldn?t be a taboo topic. We shouldn?t hide our bruises and pain, or whisper and speculate why someone would continue in an unhealthy relationship.?
This is absolutely correct. Domestic violence is not something that should be ignored. It shouldn?t be swept under the rug or become normalized, just ?another domestic homicide.? Cases such as Valerie Williams? shouldn?t be just a number that people hear and then carry on with their day. It should shock people into action. This is not something that people should have to deal with, or feel that they have to carry the burden alone. This is a blight on our society, and if we as a society don?t address it the problems will only increase in number and in severity as it did with Valerie Williams. And this, simply put, will not do.
Our class went to Des Moines to share our concerns with our legislators, and we encourage others to take a stand and speak out. The state budget is currently under discussion, including allocations for domestic violence intervention funding. An email or call to your state legislators makes a difference. Let them know how vital domestic violence intervention programs are. We have created an online petition to our state legislators that you may like to sign. Go to www.change.org, click on ?Search,? and then type in ?Iowa Domestic Violence.? Do what needs to be done to address domestic violence, because if we do nothing, silence will only give the abusers more control.
Jeremy Gomez, Maddison Hiland, Dalton Kinzler, Darby Massner, Samantha Seaba, Lyndsey White and Dr. Joy Lapp