Thirteen women slain in Erie and Niagara counties since November have one thing in common: The men they once loved are accused of killing them.One problem is denial on the part of everyone.
Several of the women were repeatedly shot or stabbed by their boyfriends, husbands or exes. Others were strangled, their throats were slashed, or they were drugged until their hearts stopped.
“Even when I heard the gunshots, I didn’t think he shot my sister,” said Racquel Jansma, whose 27-year-old sister, Amy Holliday, was killed by her husband Nov. 1, the first in the bloody string of deaths. “I never thought it would have come to that. Never.”It can and does happen all too often.
The number of reported abuse cases in Niagara County has declined slightly in recent years, but according to Erie County’s Central Police Services, reported domestic incidents in Erie County have climbed by more than 1,200 cases since 2006.Another problem is that New York doesn't like the idea of self-defense. Could all of these women have defended themselves if they had a firearm? Probably not. Would all of them be dead if New York encouraged legal self-defense? We will never know the answer to that question.
Some people want to blame the bad economy, and it may have some impact.
[Linda Ray, executive director of the Family Justice Center in Erie County,] and other domestic violence experts say these kinds of outside stresses do not turn people into abusers. But they can make an already abusive situation worse.A lot of people are calling for more police action, and while there is probably more that they could do, the truth is, when someone is bent on violence, the police can't do much. They get called after the fact.
But the original point is true. Something is very wrong when people think that love is best expressed by killing a person. That isn't love. What do we need to do to fix this?