EDITORIAL: Crimes show need for strong CADA

Two horrendous crimes this month serve to remind the Whidbey Island community how important it is to have an organization such as Citizens Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse (CADA).

Last Thursday in Freeland, a man used a shotgun to kill his fiance and her mother and wound two others. Then he turned the gun on himself.

On June 16 in Oak Harbor, police had to shoot and kill a man who was intent on stabbing his wife to death. She survived, but only because the police did what they had to do in a moment of crisis.

Both incidents were clear cases of domestic violence. Although they were extreme examples, domestic violence is hardly unusual in Island County. Police seldom go through a day without dealing with spousal battering or threats of such violence. Women are almost always the victims, and they need help before it comes to a violent confrontation. That’s why we need CADA.

CADA has gone through a rough transition since its board decided to replace its long-time director earlier this year, but its employees and volunteers are still working hard to serve their community. The organization works closely with police agencies and provides resources and shelter for women who feel threatened. Through the years, CADA’s efforts have no doubt saved many lives.

However, recent crimes of violence shows there is still much work to be done in this area. Women who are threatened should have all the resources they need to feel secure. With its experience and contacts, CADA must be the lead agency, but to make improvements it will need more help from the community.

We simply can not allow men to abuse and kill women and children. Everything possible must be done to stop it. Community groups and governmental agencies need to rethink their priorities to address this life-or-death problem. All should do more to make sure CADA has the resources it needs to better protect women.

A donation to CADA would be an appropriate memorial to the most recent victims of domestic violence in Island County. Checks may be sent to CADA, P.O. Box 190, Oak Harbor WA 98277.

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