Posted by Elizabeth Schön Vainer
Language matters. How the media and all of us use language to describe incidents of violence relates to how we understand what actually happened.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence says it for us all:
A violent double homicide should never be called a “domestic dispute.” Calling abusive, violent, threatening, or lethal behavior "disputes" or "fights" – as if both parties are equally involved – redirects attention away from the abuser’s actions and minimizes the life-threatening danger of domestic violence.”
The media continues to speculate that today’s (Saturday) shooting was the heartbreaking result of a “domestic dispute.” While the shooter’s motive remains unknown as of this writing, the media has the responsibility to use language and terminology that adequately reflects the reality of this case.
JF&CS joins the nation as we mourn these senseless deaths. We and many other domestic violence programs are available to help you or others who are victims of domestic abuse or violence. Call or email us and we can offer information, resources, and support.
And call a spade a spade – domestic abuse or violence is when one person repeatedly exerts control over another and when it results in murder, it's murder.
Domestic violence related homicides can be prevented.
Elizabeth Schön Vainer is the program director of Journey to Safety, the JF&CS response to domestic abuse. Elizabeth is pleased to bring her many years of experience collaborating with multidisciplinary teams to investigate child and domestic abuse to Journey to Safety and JF&CS. She believes that only through collaborative efforts can we truly serve our clients. Elizabeth has a BSW from the University of Tel Aviv and a MS in Organization and Management from Antioch University.