Even if you’re not a sports fan, by now you’re likely to have heard about Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who took his own life after shooting the mother of his child nine times, resulting in her death.
While the entire situation is a tragedy on many levels, Diana Reese of the Washington Post notes that coverage of the situation has focused on Jovan Belcher’s suicide, leaving Kasandra Perkins as the seemingly forgotten victim of a homicide at Belcher’s hands.
A friend of Perkins told the Kansas City Star that the couple had argued because she had attended a Trey Songz concert Friday night and then gone out for drinks with friends. She didn’t get home until 1 a.m. Other rumors have surfaced that Perkins wanted to leave Belcher and take their child. A Kansas City police spokesperson has said that the couple had a history of arguing, although no reports of physical violence have surfaced.
Wading through the tweets, Facebook comments and news reports, I’m finding that Perkins has been overshadowed by Belcher. People are forgetting that he’s not just the victim of violence at his own hand (I think it’s the tweets that hint he was suffering from depression and that’s why he killed himself that irk me the most). He killed his girlfriend and the mother of his child.
“This was a murder and a suicide,” Sharon Katz, executive director of SafeHome, a domestic abuse shelter in the Kansas City area, told me. “We’re losing sight of the victim….We’re hearing a lot more about Jovan than Kasandra.”
For a little additional perspective, an average of three women die every day in our nation as victims of domestic violence.