The CDC recently released their new investigation into the contributing factor to female homicides in the United States. The statistics are grim. Over half of women are murdered are murdered by an intimate partner or former intimate partner..
If you are reading from Umbrella’s local area here in Vermont, you may be more aware of that statistic then you were last month. Molly McLain was a sweet, caring young mother living in Essex County, Vermont. After being granted a restraining order not even two weeks ago, she was making strides to better her life. She had just been accepted into nursing school (pursuing a dream of hers) and had recently reconnected with old friends who she had been isolated from. She had just baked brownies and dropped them off at the Essex County Sheriff’s department with a “thank you” note for all that they did to help her and her two children. Yet senselessly, she was murdered by the man who once vowed to love and protect her. The details are chilling (warning)-Molly of Essex County was chased out into her street, shot and stabbed by her husband, Jason McLain, who then dropped his kids off at a neighbors (it’s unclear what the children witnessed) and committed suicide in their home. Molly and Jason’s two children were both under the age of 5.
Someone please tell me, just how does a child who is not even 5 yet even begin to understand that Daddy killed Mommy then killed himself? It’s something a child should never have to try and understand. It’s something that should have never happened.
Molly is not alone this week. In Washington State, a man killed his estranged partner (who had a restraining order against him) and her mother, then led police on a high speed chase before killing himself. And oh, did we mention, their two children were in the car with him? A 12 year old and 3 year old that reports say were “unharmed” (although again, just how a child might be ‘unharmed’ by the murder of their mother at the hands of their father I just do not know)
These deaths continue to point to an issue that we are facing here in America. Domestic violence is killing mothers. It’s killing women. It’s killing innocent, kind people who have done nothing wrong. We’ve known this for years now as even in the late 90’s researchers documented the great risk for homicide was during pregnancy. Even in the early 2000’s we finally acknowledged that murder (usually by an intimate partner) was the leading cause of death for pregnant woman. Here we are nearing 20 years later and the same thing that was killing mothers and women then is still killing them today.
It’s hard for me to close this blog. What words do you say when sometimes the issue seems so deep in our culture. The death of these two women this week has reminded me that we cannot grow discouraged. We cannot quit. There are too many women and men and children whose lives are on the line for us to simply give up. These recent deaths are reminders that we need to do more. We can’t keep letting this happen. So I will close with this, the words of the Commissioner of Public safety, Thomas D. Anderson as he responded to Molly’s death. May we, like him remember that we must do more!