Casualties of domestic homicide: Children


Within two weeks the lives of countless people have been changed. Two women from different backgrounds were murdered by their husbands.  They both had ties to Hendricks County. The common thread for these women is they left behind children. 



Not only have they lost their mother, they have also lost their father.  Their lives will never be the same.  They will never have her to help with homework, to teach them to drive, to watch them as they leave on their first date, to shop for their prom dress, see them graduate, attend their wedding, see their first grandchild born… and the list of firsts goes on.  

More than this there is another person in the mix.  An often forgotten person in these tragedies is the caregiver to the children left behind.  Not only are they dealing with the death of their daughter, planning the funeral, digesting the fact that their son-in-law is a killer, going to court to obtain custody, possibly finding a larger home to care of these children, and now becoming not only a grandmother, but also a parent.  I cannot imagine the pain, anger, confusion, stress, and burden they now carry.      

As shelter staff each time we hear of a domestic violence homicide we are affected.  The first thing we think about is, was she one of ours?  Did she ever seek help with us or our sister shelters?  Did anyone know of the secrets she held within?  Could we have done more?  When it hits close to home, we go into action.  What can we do to provide support to the caregiver?  You might ask yourself what can we do?  How can we help?  Right now we are in the beginning stages of creating a support group for our region for these caregivers and the children left behind.