Our hearts are heavy following the news of the tragic shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. As our nation mourns for loved ones lost and sends well wishes for a full recovery to those wounded in the attack, we are reminded of the impact domestic violence has on its community.
According to authorities, the Sutherland Springs gunman had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who attended the church where the tragedy took place. In addition, he was court-martialed from the U.S. Air Force in 2012 on domestic violence charges against his wife and child, and later discharged for “bad conduct” in 2014.
Although we may never know what caused this individual to go on a mass shooting, we do know that mass shootings never occur spontaneously with no prior indication.
According to an analysis of F.B.I. data on mass shootings from 2009 through 2016 by Everytown, in at least 54 percent of mass shootings, the perpetrator also shot an intimate partner or relative.
We as a community need to understand the root cause of why an individual abuses, exerting power and control over their intimate partner, and in this case, escalated to a mass shooting.
Human Options works every day to break the cycle of domestic violence and this includes working with children growing up in homes with domestic violence.
Helps us continue raising awareness of this very important issue by requesting a presentation from our Community Education department for your school, organization or business. If you or someone you know needs help, contact us on our 24-hour hotline at 877-854-3594.
Together, we can work toward putting an end to DV.
Maricela Rios-Faust, MSW, LCSW, CFRE
Human Options CEO