By Jessica Brodie
With the plethora of bad news we hear almost daily, it’s tempting to tune it out, rationalize it away, think it only happens to “someone else”—or even turn off the news altogether.
But as followers of Christ, as children of God, we cannot afford to harden or shield our hearts from tragedy. We must hear with open ears, see with eyes wide open and do what we can to stand up and help whenever and wherever possible.
This month, October, is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And sadly, South Carolina ranks fifth in the nation in the rate of women murdered by men, with a rate of 2.01 per 100,000, according to the new Violence Policy Center study, “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2017 Homicide Data.”
South Carolina has ranked within the top 10 states for the rate of women murdered by men every year since the center began tracking this issue in 1998.
The study used data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Report and found that nationwide, 92 percent of women killed by men were murdered by someone they knew and that the most common weapon used was a gun. Of the victims who knew their offenders, 62 percent were wives or other intimate acquaintances of their killers. Nearly 11 times as many females were murdered by a male they knew than were killed by male strangers.
This is not acceptable, and the Bible calls us to do something about this.
Proverbs 31:8-9 says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (NIV). Jesus, in Matthew 25:40, says, “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
If you suspect someone you know is a victim, talk to her. Ask how you can help. Call the authorities. Urge senators to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. See what your church can do to get involved or whether domestic violence shelters in your area could use donations or support.
Your silence and your inaction could be deadly. Together, we can do something to help.