Domestic violence a reality for University of Minnesota

Two recent deaths in the University community should make us remember the toll of domestic violence.

Last month, death once again became a stark reality in the University of Minnesota community. On Tuesday, Aug. 10, two former students died as a result of domestic violence.

Within the United States, one out of every four women will experience violence by an intimate partner during her lifetime. In this particular case, it was two graduates from our University who were slain, a woman, 25, who graduated in 2009 and her husband who had received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 2001.

Women who are between the ages 16 and 24 are most likely to be victimized by an intimate partner. Domestic violence involves people in what should be loving relationships. It affects all who have been humiliated by violent acts or threatened by hateful words. This tragic event is an important reminder that intimate-partner violence is a significant public health issue and that ending gender violence needs to be a top priority.

It should also be a reminder to all of us to be aware of what we observe around us. Each of us needs to determine how we can be committed to acting as an ally and reinforce the importance of being respectful to all of our peers and colleagues. It is an act of compassion to reach out and offer support and resources to those who we come in contact with who may be experiencing violence and abuse in their lives.

As a caring community, we want to honor the victims of this senseless crime, and we extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ family members and friends.

Jerry Rinehart , Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jamie Tiedemann, Director Aurora Center for Advocacy and Education