Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Love lies bleeding: tragedy hits three times this week in the Portland area-UPDATE: it's now up to six times in the past month

Love lies bleeding
The first news arrived a week or so ago: three bodies were found dead in their house in Southeast Portland, victims of a double homicide/suicide. Let me translate that for you: a man killed his girlfriend and their child. It was troubling. Troubling to think things could be so bad that you’d have to take your own life, but to make it triply as bad, you had to kill the ones you loved, as well.

Just a few days later, a husband tracks down his estranged wife at work and using three guns, opens fire, killing her, injuring others, then retreating to the bathroom and turning one of his weapons on himself.

But last night’s news trickled in: three bodies were found in a Portland suburb home. Once again, victims of a suicide/double homicide. And once again, a man kills his wife, child and himself.

Three horrible situations, eerily similar, all within the same week. Is it stress? Is it economics? Is it inability to deal with emotional stress and break-up? I don’t know the answer and I’m sure each of the situations above are unique, specific, but obviously in the end they are tragically similar. I’m not blaming the guns, though they certainly didn’t help.

But in the end? Men please. Get some help. Talk it out. Use your brains not your weapons, and stop killing women and children. In the ultimate end? Men who kill the women in their lives are the ultimate cowards. And it’s pissing me off.

If you’re pissed too, join me in giving $7 a month to the Portland Women’s Crisis Line. I just signed up, and you can too. It's easy, it's on-line, and I'm determined this holiday season to put more beauty and love and money out into the world for every bad, ugly thing I see or encounter. Join me?

UPDATE: Today's news on December 2nd brings the count of these incidents to 6 in the past month. 6 TIMES IN THE LAST MONTH IN THE PORTLAND AREA. There's something wrong here.


Jennifer said...

I'm going to sign up....This is so bad and it is so the man thinking okay I'm not in control of my life so I will just kill my family, Why do some men think like this? Yes, these men need to get help fast! This is not okay and I can just feel these women and children living in fear everyday until one day it's all over. Very Sad!

Nessnix said...

Really glad someone's thinking about the links between these types of things. Though violence against women has, quite obviously, been around for ages when we see an uptick in our community so distinctly similar to one another we all need to question what is happening.

Prior to the recent Rihanna interview- I was floored by the amount of men and women who thought she somehow deserved it, showing up on youtube. I was also stunned at those men in my life that I normally consider to be sensitive, saying things like, "He apologized and I think he means it and if Rihanna can forgive him than we all should to- who are we to judge." Obviously, there was some real ignorance at play in terms of knowledge of domestic violence and there was also their desire to not appear judgmental.

But here's what I say: someone needs to use some judgment. When you have a woman that has been trained to believe these things are normal or not that bad either through being raised in an environment of violence (like Rihanna was) or through being so broken down psychologically as a person, these women are not making the best judgments for themselves. We all need to step in and help and speak the truth whenever we can.

I watched it first hand with my mother and now my youngest sister and even when you are this close it is hard to reach them. It's hard to make them see the danger they are in. But we have to try because violence against women and children is a legacy we pass down generation to generation. Chris Brown grew up watching it happen to his mother as did Rihanna. My father watched it happen to his mother, himself and his siblings and though he NEVER wanted to commit these kinds of acts- if he was drunk it was dangerous and he passed down that expectation of violence and the equation of it to LOVE to my youngest sister. (She has been in a very bad situation for over 11 years with a man she's had to call the cops on and had a restraining order against for trying to kill her. . .yet she is back living with him.)

This has to stop. This culture of violence hurts everyone- not just women. Sadly, I don't think it will change until we all realize that and are willing to stand up for everyone's right to safety.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention LeLo.

Magpie Ima said...

I was just shaking my head over this morning's Oregonian and fighting back tears. Thanks for writing and helping me think clearly about this. You are right--the way to combat the ugliness is to fight back with generosity and kindness. Donation will be made shortly.

Guess how I decided too shake off these morning blues? I tried your jam filled scones--they're in the oven now, crowned with my apricot-vanilla preserves. Can't wait!

Thanks for making things brighter on this sad, grey morning.

weese said...

or... you can do what I do.
don't watch the news.
i have much greater peace now.

bemused said...

I came upon the traffic jam near the Freddy's in Tualatin on my way to an appointment on Tuesday. It was about an hour after the shooting. I saw the police blockade, the lights and the commotion and thought "oh, there must have been a really bad accident." It wasn't until I arrived at my appointment about a mile away that I learned what had happened. How tragic and senseless!

They reported on the news last night that the husband had called the police a few days earlier to find out how to legally transport guns in his car. I turned to my husband and said, "He wanted to make sure he wasn't breaking the law while driving to kill his wife?!?! Are you kidding me?!?!" What a snapshot of how far from rational thought he was.

Sadly, that is so often the case and why these situations are so hard to detect, much less to prevent. And even when we are aware of horrible, dangerous situations, we still may be powerless.

Nessnix, a very dear friend of mine was once married to a man who abused her. She did not grow up with abuse, nor was she the shrinking violet type. When I learned the truth of her marriage (we lived hours apart at the time), I was shocked. If someone I'd always admired as a strong, self-reliant woman, could become a victim, then anyone could. It was an unnerving revelation.

This must change, this must stop. Thanks, lelo, for your post and your call to action.

My heart goes out to their children. I just can't fathom what they are experiencing and how this will affect them the rest of their lives.

Jack Bog said...

I think the Army base shooting had a lot to do with this. It gave people ideas. Awful.

Best Wishes, Marie said...

i think your suggestion is a good one. so many of the women are in a pickle. i remember reading an article in the oprah magazine last year where a woman had a restraining order but the man came and tried to kill her and did kill her daughter.

often the women try to work at some fast food joint or something and the men go there and kill them.

again, not to blame anyone, but credit card companies jacking people's credit rates who are paying their bills on time. jacking them up to 20 percent is also not helping things.

i think we can all give our partners a pat on the back. i think most people are feeling like they are not doing all they thought they would be doing this year. even though the same amount of effort if not more is being put out.

compliments do not cost a dime, lets give those out !! along with a few smiles.

A Lewis said...

I keep thinking about the children, the kids! Where were they? What did they do when they found out? Are they okay today? I can't believe the pain and heartache for them.

Katie said...

I'm with you - I'm not sure what this dark cloud is, but I can sense it also. I certainly hope that this gratuitous violence involving innocents is over.

idigress said...

Thank you for this post. This has been weighing heavily on my heart. I was a child who has seen domestic violence, and it is such a lonely place to be, for everyone. The rage of the father consumes the family. Sometimes, you feel like you can't even fight back. Donating to causes that can help women is really the way to try and spread the message of hope. What has happened this last week is disgusting, and UNACCEPTABLE. We, as a community, have to say no more.

Grace Peterson said...

Here, here! Pisses me off too.

And the Bethany shooting was just around the corner from an identical shooting a year ago. TRAGIC.

In today's world there IS help available. Mental health professionals and medication... I know it's not cheap and if you're scraping pennies together to get a meal on the table, [what table?] it can really hurt. But anything is better than ending it all.

We've got a bunch of streetside pan handlers making the rounds in town. I want to roll down the window and say, "Soup kitchen's just around the block."

LSL said...

I just love this post, as difficult as it is to read and think about. We must. And the Portland Women's Crisis Line is one of the things I'm most proud of when I think of Portland. Thanks for linking them!

Grace Peterson said...

Hi Lelo~~ Thank you for your comments on my blog. Maybe wit will strike again someday. LOL

Tonight's news: Vancouver, ANOTHER homicide, suicide. I've no doubt that these are dometic violence situations at their absolute worst. My goal is to make sure my daughters know how to spot an abuser and stay the hell away. Far away.

Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph really sums it up. We need to raise the level of awareness so that men can access help more easily and without the stigma frequently associated with seeking mental health counseling.