PRAYERS FOR ZOEY

The sad statistics –

Domestic violence against women is a disturbingly common occurrence in the United States. Estimates from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) indicate that from 1993 to 1998, women were victims of violent crimes by their intimate partners and average of more than 935,000 times a year. During this period, intimate-partner violence comprised 22 percent of all violent crimes against women. Although firearms are used in a relatively small percentage of domestic violence incidents, when a firearm is present, domestic violence can and all too often does turn into domestic homicide. Congress, recognizing the unique and deadly role firearms play in domestic violence passed the Protective Order Gun Ban in 1994. The law prohibits gun possession by a person against whom there is a restraining or protective order for domestic violence. In 1996, Congress passed the Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Gun Ban, which prohibits anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or child abuse from purchasing or possessing a gun.

An analysis of female domestic homicides (a woman murdered by a spouse, intimate acquaintance, or close relative) showed that prior domestic violence in the household made a woman 14.6 times more likely, and having one or more guns in the home made a woman 7.2 times more likely, to be the victim of such a homicide.

Seventy-two percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner (spouse, common-law spouse, ex-spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, or ex-girlfriend/boyfriend). Of these, 94 percent were females killed by their intimate partners.

Having a gun in the home makes it three times more likely that you or someone you care about will be murdered by a family member or intimate partner.

 

Like so many of you – the news that Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend and the mother of his child – Kasandra Perkins and then shot himself in the head was beyond disturbing.  I’m still saddened by the tragedy and obviously we have more questions than answers.  But what truly makes me sad is every time I think about their beautiful little baby girl – Zoey.  Whenever they show her I almost feel like crying because she will never know her parents. She won’t ever be able to grab her mommy’s hand or jump into her daddy’s arms.  She will never get to run home from school and share with her parents stories about her day or ask her dad to go with her to the “father-daughter” dance.  She will never be able to look out in the audience during one her dance recitals and see her parents smile back at her to calm her nerves.  Then there is the advice every girl wants from her mom about make-up, hair and boys. Shopping for her prom dress, learning to drive and one day getting married; she was unfortunately cheated out of all of those things and so much more. It’s those childhood memories with our parents that we truly cherish.

Now don’t get me wrong – I’m sure her family (on both sides) will shower her with tons of love and take good care of her. But it will be different and when the day comes she has to hear “the story” of what happened to her parents – her little world will never be same.  I’m sure she will go through a range of emotions from sad to mad and like us wondering why?  It’s times like this we all have to start thinking about the “Zoey’s” of the world.  How many kids are left orphaned because someone was upset or angry and then reached for a gun?  We all have to take responsibility and stop looking at the “politics” of the matter but start looking at the faces that look like Zoey’s – the innocent victims. She’s only 3 months old now but one day she will grow up and she shouldn’t have to live in a world where we are constantly talking about violence and debating about violence at the hands of guns.