Dear editor,

I am writing in regard to the headline on the front page of the July 26 edition of the paper. It reads, "Neighbor: Victims fought often," and it appears to be a statement from the neighbor of the couple involved in the murder-suicide on Green Wilson Road earlier that week.

I work in the field of domestic violence and I take issue with the use of the plural "victims." If indeed the man murdered his wife before killing himself, then he is hardly a victim. If it turns out that she shot him, neither would she be a victim.

In domestic violence cases, there is always a primary aggressor. And while the victim might attempt to fight back and use some violence as a means of protection, it is clear in the vast majority of situations that one partner is using power and control over another.

I realize this might have been a quote from the neighbor, but I wish you had not used it in the headline. It sends a message that a perpetrator isn't culpable for their actions. I appreciate your time and attention to this matter.

Lisa Gabbard


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