Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Domestic Violence

There's a woman in a group I belong to who just doesn't get it. When we talk about cuts to First Steps, "Lexus" says that the money has to come from somewhere. When we talk about tsunami relief, she insists that Americans gave more than anyone else in the world, despite all evidence to the contrary. And when we discussed a horrible case of domestic violence that hit way too close to home, she was right out there blaming the victim.
Police said Alexander, 38, shot his wife, Kelli L. Alexander, 35, and April Wheeler, 29. Kelli Alexander was staying with Wheeler and her husband after leaving her husband last month.

This was a horrible, manipulative man. He was rich and powerful, well-connected and controlling. He abused his wife and their children for 10 years. Despite his threats, she took their 3 little children and left him. She had a restraining order against him. She was filing for divorce. He was trying to manipulate everyone into believing that she was the bad guy. He was active at church. He was calling mutual friends and asking them to pray for him. He was telling everyone how he was a changed man and how he was trying to get his life back together. The family were all planning to be at a local Catholic church on Friday evening for a Lenten fish fry.
When Kelli Alexander drove up in the family's Ford Expedition SUV, her husband blocked her way with his GMC Denali, Myer said. Alexander got out and there was some sort of argument before Alexander chased down and killed his wife with a 9mm handgun, then returned and shot April Wheeler, police said. Wheeler was following Kelli Alexander in a minivan, Myer said.

The family friend said the Alexanders' three children "saw it all." The oldest daughter, who is in third grade, "saw her daddy shoot her mommy," the friend said. One of the children told her, "Mommy's dead, Daddy shot her," the friend said, but she's still not sure the children understand their parents won't be coming home from the hospital.

Another member of my Tuesday morning group was a close friend of the Alexander family. Her kids are friends with the newly orphaned kids; the boys play on the same hockey team. We were all sympathizing with her and discussing how this situation has been effecting the kids.

Lexus said, "What does this tell us about ourselves as women, that we put up with this kind of abuse?"

We were all pretty stunned, but several women rallied with solid responses about how Kelli Alexander was trying to leave her husband and how if he really wanted her dead, the system simply couldn't protect her.

Lexus said, "But even from their first date, she should have known that there was something not right with that man."

Well, Lexus, this next entry's for you.

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