Letters to the Editor

Violence: Terrorism strikes home

I attended the Night of Peace gathering sponsored by CADA at Flintstone Park to remember those who have been victimized by domestic violence in our community. It struck me as I stood among only 25 or so members of community that we have become so self-centered that we only take action when we are directly affected. We see violence everyday on television but we don’t really see it until the victim is a family member or friend. We should be outraged that this violence continues right down the street or next door to us but we are too comfortable in our own surroundings so we stay at home rather than do something about it. The morning of June 20, 2002, brought me out of my complacency when one of my dearest friends and her daughter were murdered in Freeland as the result of an act of domestic violence.

Since Sep. 11, 2001, as a nation we have become outraged at terrorists and have vowed to stop terrorism. You don’t have to go to New York City or to the Pentagon to find victims of terrorism. They are right here on the streets of Oak Harbor, Coupeville, Freeland or Langley. They are the victims of domestic violence or terrorism in their own homes. They are verbally abused, beaten and, yes, shot to death right here.

After Sept. 11, the nation poured out millions of dollars to help the families of those killed in those horrendous attacks. Since then we have spent millions more to hunt down terrorists. We have seen unprecedented patriotism and see our flag flown everywhere. Yet right here in our own community, the organization that works to prevent domestic violence and help victims, struggles to get even 25 people interested enough to take an hour out of a Friday evening to remember those local victims of domestic terrorism.

October is domestic violence awareness month. Isn’t it sad that we have a month designated for this purpose? We need to take seriously this threat to our security and that of our loved ones. Will it take the murder a family member or friend to get you outraged enough to act? I hope and pray that it will not. If you want to help, call CADA at 675-7781.

Steve Gulliford

Oak Harbor

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