- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 10, 2009

There is nothing “reasonable” about the loss of innocent lives at the hands of domestic abusers (“D.C. police set homicide bar at 100,” Page 1, Aug. 19). According to Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, 20 percent of the city’s year-to-date homicides involved domestic violence. Making a correlation between the stressful economic climate and increased incidence of domestic-violence homicide, she cautioned that this is a trend to “worry about.” We share her concern.

During very stressful economic times, domestic abuse spikes. Domestic-violence service providers in the District are reporting increased crisis calls, more requests for shelter and a greater need for supportive services for victims and their children. As the economy worsens, calls for assistance only increase.

Research shows that nearly one-fourth of the women in the District are likely to experience domestic violence, and there may be as many as 75,000 domestic-violence survivors in the city. Yet Washington is one of few jurisdictions in the country without dedicated local funding for anti-domestic-violence programs and services. It is time for our leaders to act.

Domestic-violence homicide is preventable. We call upon government leaders to step up and make local funding to help survivors of domestic violence and their children a top priority. Lives are in the balance.

KENNETH E. NOYES



Executive director

REBECCA W. O’CONNOR

Policy director

DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Washington

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