We are deeply troubled and heartbroken at the recent acts of domestic terrorism and hate in our country in the last few weeks. Pipe bombs and suspicious substances sent to media and various political figures, the senseless murder of two innocent African-American women in Kentucky and most recently the horrific shootings at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that took the lives of 11 Jewish people and injured several others.
These incidents were clearly fueled by hate, racism and anti-Semitism, themes which continue to plague American society. What is also known, in at least the pipe bomb and Kentucky incidents, is that the accused perpetrators were first perpetrators of domestic violence.
One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience some form of physical violence in their lifetime. More than 5 million children annually are exposed to domestic violence and suffer short and long term devastating effects. Research shows that nearly half of mass shootings are committed by individuals who first perpetrated domestic violence. As we struggle with answers about how to prevent future incidents of violence, the challenge for our community today is establishing stronger norms and policies that make violence and discrimination in all its forms unacceptable in society.
Next Door Solutions firmly believes that peace in our community begins with peace in our home. For 47 years we have been working to end domestic violence in the moment and for all time here in the Bay Area. We stand in solidarity with our community, particularly our African-American and Jewish brothers and sisters, and recommit ourselves to work harder to ensure that we end violence in all its forms and that we do everything possible to eradicate hate and discrimination as these are the impetus to the hate crimes and violence erupting throughout our country today.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the devastated families who have lost their loved ones. May peace be restored and may their memories be a blessing.
Hillary Weingast, Chair – Board of Directors
Esther Peralez-Dieckmann, Executive Director
Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence