When you donít call it domestic violence, you support the myth . . .
. . . that there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it.
. . .
Insisting that this murder or others like it are "unthinkable" or "shocking" is another way of saying that no one could have predicted it. (He was such a nice guy! A family man!) Itís a dangerous lie that allows us to wash our hands of responsibility when it comes to the violence that is perpetrated against women. Because the truth is that murders like this are predictable.
As Casey Gwinn, President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance, wrote,
Relationships do not go from healthy, happy, and functional to murder-suicide overnight. It never happens. There is almost always a history and there is always a pattern. Over time it will be clear that friends, family, and colleagues knew things and saw things and did not take action.
Indeed, it has now come out that Belcher had a history of violence and controllingness in relationships with women. While at the University of Maine, campus police reports were filed when Belcher punched his fist through a window during a fight with a woman and again when police were called to break up an argument he had with his girlfriend after she failed to check in with him at a designated time. Belcherís relationship with Kasi has repeatedly been called strainedóso much so that the Kansas City Chiefs provided the couple with relationship counseling. (Which is actually not the right move, according to domestic violence experts.)