Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Guns and Domestic Violence: A Case from CVAC's Files

In June, following the shooting of Rep. Scalise and several others, we posted here about the connection between mass shootings and domestic violence. In the wake of another mass shooting by a perpetrator with a history of domestic violence, we felt it was important to share a case from our files to illustrate how our advocates can intervene when an domestic abuser is known to have guns.

Victoria* filed for an order of protection against her abuser alleging both physical and emotional abuse. She shared with her Court Order of Protection Assistance (COPA) advocate that her abuser had threatened to shoot her. Victoria was granted an ex parte and the abuser was served with the temporary order. The next day Victoria’s advocate was notified by a gun shop that Victoria’s abuser had purchased a hand gun. This was made possible through a partnership with the St. Louis City Sheriff’s Office. In Missouri, such a purchase while the Order of Protection is pending is still legal. 

Once notified, Victoria's advocate contacted the victim to warn her of the purchase and to safety plan with her. She communicated that she no longer felt safe residing in the city and would be going to stay with relatives in the county. Victoria’s advocate was able to communicate her concerns to one of the St. Louis City Police detectives. The Domestic Violence Intervention Partnership (DVIP) advocate in the police department got involved in Victoria's case, as well. 

Upon losing communication with the victim, her advocates became very concerned for her safety. The DVIP advocate sent a police officer to the victim’s relatives’ home to check on her safety. Victoria was ultimately granted a full order of protection and the abuser was ordered to surrender his firearm to the local police department. She also began seeing a counselor at CVAC.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of domestic violence, CVAC's hotline is 314-652-3623.

*name and some details have been changed to protect the victim's privacy

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Real Story of Mass Violence- Domestic Violence

Last week, the United States suffered two more highly publicized shootings in which multiple people were injured or killed. At a UPS facility in San Francisco, three employees were killed and at least two more were injured. On a ballfield in Washington D.C., Rep. Steve Scalise and three others were shot, but all are expected to survive. The alleged shooters from both cases are deceased. These follow cases like the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub, Emanuel AME Church, and in San Bernadino. After any mass casualty event, law enforcement and the media will dissect the life and possible motives of the shooters. What led up to this shooting? Were there warning signs? How can we prevent another one from happening?

One important thing to note, however, is that not all mass shootings makes the news like the two did last week. These types of shootings, carried out in public, are not the rule for mass shootings. They are the exception.

The majority of mass shootings where 4 or more victims are killed (54%) include the murder of an intimate partner or a family member. The majority of these cases (70%) also occur in the home, not in public. The story of mass violence in American is not one of religion or race or politics; the story of mass violence in America is a story of domestic violence.

To have a meaningful discussion of violence in America, especially of mass fatal violence, we need to have a meaningful discussion about domestic violence. We need to talk about why more than 11,000 of our St. Louis area neighbors had to seek services after being victims of domestic violence and why more than 500 sought services but were unable to receive them due to program capacity. We need to talk about why there are only 130 domestic violence shelter beds in St. Louis and why, even with 40,000 bed nights used in those shelter beds in 2015, over 5,000 people were turned away because the shelters were full. We need to talk about why agencies have to do so much with so little. We need to talk about why there are thousands of our neighbors suffering in silence. We need to talk about why domestic violence is not just a private issue. It is a public crisis.

Crime Victim Advocacy Center serves victims of domestic violence regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. If you have been a victim of domestic violence and would like to speak to an advocate, counselor, or lawyer, please call CVAC’s hotline at 314-652-3623.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Because They Lived

This Saturday, Crime Victim Advocacy Center and the Homicide, Ministers & Community Alliance will host their 7th Annual Vigil of Remembrance for Homicide Victims. As the partnership between CVAC and HMCA has grown, so has the relationship with the police and with the number of referrals. At the first vigil in 2010, we honored 149 victims of homicide at a vigil attended by less than 40 family members. This year, the solemn list includes 270 victims. 

We gather together not because these individuals died, but because they lived. Their life, their laughter and love, their sorrow and joy were shared with family and friends who are left to grieve their loss. Grief is the price that we pay for loving someone. 

This year, we honor the lives of:
Markel Simms
Henry Williams
Tylan Bogan
John Kimble
Patrick Jr Hunter
Jamayha Luss
Lenny Hogan
Antoine Bland
D'andre Robinson
Nathaniel Stansberry
Dominick Chambly
Trevon Chapple
Keith Wingo
Lakeesha Morris
Latrielle Dunn
Victor Ivory
Danesha Barnes
Ricardo Comparini
Ryan McDermott
Jarrett Greene
Lamont Robinson
Jeffrey Williams
Jose Garcia
Andre Montgomery
Brandon Ellington
Mark Scott
Mark Carrol
Charles Newsome
Andre Walker
Jocelyn Peters
Tyrin Williams
Andre Henderson
Kevin McAfee
Steven Sunkel
Isaiah Harris
Kawynn Humphries
Jordon Taynor
Jose Orona
Otis Brown
Clyde Lockett
Karon Little
Marcus Jackson
Gina Smith
Shawn Quinn
Chelvon Thomas
James Pierce
Reginald Johnson
Howard Cooper
Lee Eason
Michael Williams
Dominick Miller
Frankie Phillips
Terry Evans
Courtney Ward
Joseph Recker
Devin Bess
Arlandus Mayo
Richard Graham
Kendall White
Darrell McCoy
Sandra Meraz-Anaya
Janay Noldon
Robert Piffins
Brandi Hill
Melvin Thomas
Marquita Jones-Smith
Madison Thomas
Reign Crockett
Keyla Eberhart
Cherronda Jones
Chavez Mopkins
Londen Brown
Anthony Miller
Omar Villasenor
Willie Williams
Tyrell Thompson
Tyrell Patrick
Kenneth Reed
Damion Alton
John Moore
Jessica Paxton
Shawn Clark
Jarod Rucker
Leon Wilkes
Raymond Casseus
David Times
Ricky Gillespie
Eric Jones
Demon Williams
Edward Tammons
Quintin Lawrence
Verse Johnson
Samuel Jackson
Jamie Connor
Terrenzalo Walker
Reginald Wilkes
Eunice Cain
Reba Battles
Emmitt Dawson Jr
Tywan Smith
Jacara Sproaps
Maurice Partlow
Travis Jones
Justin Hubbard
Latroyn Swopes
Robert Paden
Isadore Jr  Spruell
Christopher Dutton
Patrick  Wilhite
Marquetta Toran
Cerone Baker
Tyra Shannon
Lawrence Strawbridge
Shannon Orr
Dominick Reece
Huston Jr Martin
Cory Goodwin
George Calmese Jr
Gary Peters
Sigaria Shanklin
Caylin Hudson
Romaine Rodgers
Michael Mason
Dexter Pitts
Christopher Catanzaro
Alexander Thomas
Christopher Cooper
Erol Cizmo
Darian Knox
David Baker
Michael Johnson
Devontay Bell
Stacey Griffin
Jean Gibson
Deanthony Curry
Daimond White
Rapheal Peal
Christopher Crawford
Malita Wings
Shawndreaka Lakes
Antoine Bronner
Shaun Hawkins
Lewis Grant
Ronsonie Scott
Joseph Bantle
Monica Shaw
Timothy Grice
Edward Jones
Jerome Courtney
Joe Martin
Antonio Perkins
Christopher Nelson
Erica Young
Aaron Woodson
Shawn Fields
Dwayne Jackson
Nathaniel Dieckmann
Taylor Lane
Lemmuel Williams
Dontay Jordan
Terry Lowe
Lindell Browden
Jamarr Mack Jr
Alexis Conley
Paul Schneider
Sylvester Kendrick
Geremy Brooks
Jonathan Warren
Lonnie Middlebrook
Stacy Isreal
Douglas Coats
Kenneth Jacobs
Patrick McVey
Andrew Wesley
Michael Murphey
Charles Gray
Joseph Hults
Don Clark
Nathaniel Dawson
Joe Mottley
Robert Collins
Rolando Bolden Jr
David Bryant
Jarrell Foster
Damani Aitch
Janae Johnson
David Bewig Jr.
Michael Griffin
Martez Ceasar
Kevin Brown
Keith Armstrong
Arnold Adams
Dwayne Clanton
Sammie  Tabor
Milloria Washington
Jonathan Deturk
Stacey Aubuchon
Maleah Talton
Kiron Carter
Travis Jones
Ronnie Johnson
Albert Stewart III
Gerry Smith
Kevin Moore
Erako Burnett
Dorwin Overall
Michael Hawkins
Keith Harris
James Martin-VonKast
Joseph Reise
Kenneth Allen
Crystal Chapman
Alex Winston
Erick Daugherty
Dannon Smith
Darrion Nelson
Roderick Williams
Dkori Haron
Jirah Campbell
Carole Comer
John Comer
Rebecca Comer
Mussie Gebregziabher
Keith Freeman
Keith Winston
Robert Nelson
Lorenzo Fowler
Linda McLaughlin
Deon Smith, Jr.
Tommie McDowell
Wesley Hughes
Deyon Smith
Samuel Lee
Shannon Larock
Robert Hall
Dana Robinson
Tracy Nailor
Tonya Friziellie
Antoine Quinn
John Wilbourn
Patrick Kinnard
Maurice Parker, Jr.
Jorell Cleveland
Daren Seals
Marvell Kindle
Steven White
Alphonse Williams
Anthony Randle
Darrion Simms
John Trevillion
Jerel Minor
Michael Gales
Owen Cadenbach
Ethan Cadenbach
Faith McCoy
Patricia Pendleton
Denise Opperman
German Sanders
Korrey Miller
Jacobi Boldon
Kenna Daly
Howard Griffin, Jr.
Tommie Tyler
Larry Woods
Sheena Engstrom
Darrikus Tipler
Daikel Fletcher
Dorian Whitlock
Maulik Patel
Phabion Harshaw
Toni Stevenson
Ricky Shields
Michael Townes
Tiandra Johnson
Lawrence Wheeler
Larry Jones
Shabazz Thompson
Kieloah Phoenix
Lamarcus Turner
Jarel Mays
Brandy Morrison
Donald Marks
Carolyn Garvin
Kenisha Davis
Jarrett Richardson
Travis Scales
Cheryl Williams
Dwight Gray
Albert Bass
Kenneth Spalter
Dwayne Gibbs
Mi’Kenzie Bostic
Zeke Clark
Lendell Palmer
John Frost
Larry Barnes
Shun Berry
Jimmie Jones
Tony Portis
Jerome Fleweller
Shooting Justified
Shooting  Justified
Mac Sr Payne
Antonio Womack
And Officer Blake Snyder, St. Louis County Police Department

For more information on the vigil, visit