07 December, 2012

The Other Side of Saturday's Tragedy

Kasandra Michelle Perkins was killed Saturday morning by her boyfriend Jovan Belcher, linebacker for The Kansas City Chiefs. Kasandra was the mother of three-month-old Zoey. She was also a victim of domestic violence. Since Belcher committed suicide in front of his coach and the Chiefs' manager, the story have been about him and his promising football career cut “tragically short”.

The Chiefs held a moment of silence for domestic violence victims before their game on Sunday. But that moment seems to be the only reference to why Kasandra was killed. Even Kasandra herself has become a footnote, often only refereed to as 'his girlfriend' in most stories. While Belcher's name grips headlines, most news stations can't even take the time to learn or say her name - Kasandra.

Kasandra Michelle Perkins leaves behind a daughter. She leaves behind family and friends. She had great desires for her life. While some rage about the importance of gun control or the culture of violence within the NFL (a topic to be discussed among all professional sports to be sure!), we make Belcher the headline instead of the woman whose life he cut short.

Say her name - say her name and state what was done to her. Kasandra was killed by her boyfriend. Let's mourn the mother who will never see her daughter grow up. Let's mourn for Zoey who will never know her mother's smile, laugh or get to experience the hundreds of things a girl does with her mother. Let's make Kasandra and how domestic violence ruins lives the headline, not the career cut short by a man who couldn't control his emotions. His suicide shouldn't be headline; her murder is where we need to focus. We need to learn victim's names and celebrate their lives instead of focusing so much attention on their perpetrators and letting their victims become just a footnote.

We choose to remember Kasandra to say her name and mourn the life taken.