Last week, we finished our interviews and filming for our documentary about High Point, NC. While we were there, a woman (and mother) was murdered by her abuser. This was the first instance of a Domestic Violence homicide in High Point where the offender had been notified, and was on the watch list.
We always knew it would happen one day. Domestic Violence is with us like a disease. There is no “cure.” But there are steps we can take to inoculate the public against widespread serious injury and homicide. This is what they’ve done in High Point. This philosophy and approach is the thesis and social commentary that drives our film. Considering this is the FIRST homicide among known offenders in 5 years, the results have been impressive. Even life-changing.
But, #EVERYDVVICTIMMATTERS. In High Point, they recognize domestic violence is a public safety issue. Domestic Violence (a.k.a. Intimate Partner Violence) crosses race, income, gender, geography – every known variable you can track.
The system is not perfect in High Point, but it’s the best there is that I’ve seen after nearly three years of working full-time on this horrific, devastating social epidemic.
This morning, I saw an alert that went out to the entire community:
“I was just asked by HPPD to rally all concerned HPCAV Associates and others who are concerned about our violence in HP to come to ElmTowers at 2pm today (7/21/17) for a Domestic Homicide Response to share with residents and our community that such violence is wrong and cannot be tolerated
… We are saddened by such loss of life.. It is VITAL that we gather to show our care, our love, our concern and our outrage against such violence.”
– Jim Summey, High Point Community Against Violence
It takes a village to address domestic violence. Imagine if the community rallied in your town every time a woman was murdered? I don’t mean with vigils, galas, and 5Ks. I mean with outrage and a call for action to end the violence. And a plan to make that happen.
Here in Central Florida, a woman (another mother) was murdered by her abuser, and it was just a blip on the nightly news. When a cop identified the perpetrator weeks later and tried to bring him in, he shot and killed her too.
Only then, the town turned upside down in a nationally televised manhunt.
What kind of message does that send? When will every community issue a mandate for zero tolerance for domestic violence? I can only hope it comes sooner, rather than later. It’s unconscionable to think it may never come.
Update: 75 people showed up for this meeting.