Saturday, January 12, 2013
Remembering Her Name: Ka'Sandra Wade
Pittsburgh's first homicide of the year was a domestic violence incident that took the life of Ka'Sandra Wade. Today, I'm participating in an effort organized by my friend Sue, who writes the blog Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and who is an active member of the local social media community, including The Pittsburgh Women's Blogging Society.
Among the goals of today's Pittsburgh Cyber Vigil is to remember Ka'Sandra Wade's name. All too often in such incidents, it is the name of the alleged perpetrator that stays with us and perhaps the circumstances of the crime itself. Today, we're bringing attention to who Ka'Sandra was - a woman trying to escape an abusive relationship, an ambitious worker with aspirations of a better life, and a mother of an 11 year old son named Zaire.
I didn't know Ka'Sandra. I admit that I also didn't know many of the details of this case until I first learned of Sue's efforts with the Pittsburgh Cyber Vigil. (Maria from 2 Political Junkies has a great synopsis on her post, "Remembering Ka'Sandra Wade.) But what I do know from my five years of working in the domestic violence field is that Ka'Sandra knew she was in a bad relationship and was trying to leave - always the most dangerous time for those in domestic violence situations. Ka'Sandra had also reached out to and had the support of coworkers at her job. Finally, she called 911 on New Year's Eve when she was in trouble.
Ka'Sandra did everything that people who work in the domestic violence field tell people to do.
And yet, now there is an investigation into the police response to that 911 call. From the reports, this appears to be rather botched (to say the least) - with investigators showing up and taking the word of a male individual that everything was fine and never speaking to the person who made the call. As Sue writes, "[t]he situation is complicated and tragic and has generated an outcry from the community to push for better investigation of domestic violence allegations, stronger laws to protect women and more awareness on the part of the community."
We start today, by remembering Ka'Sandra Wade's name and by pledging to remember the names of all those lost.
Other posts from bloggers participating in today's Cyber Vigil: