Hidden epidemic affects 1 in 3 American women

Columnist Amira Dabbas

Columnist Amira Dabbas

Jason Easton went to visit his girlfriend Wendy Sabatini at her home in Indiana last week with the intent on proposing to her, but instead, he ended up killing her. Easton murdered his girlfriend because she rejected his proposal.

Nearly 1 in 3 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime according to the IRIS Domestic Violence Center. They also stated that every 9 seconds a woman is battered in the United States, and 2-4 million American women are abused each year. This is a startling statistic when the numbers are played out in front of you. When it comes to your classmates, coworkers and loved ones, that 1 in 3 sounds a little too close to home to just brush off.

But what happens when domestic violence turns into murder?

On Oct. 25, Easton went to the police station to confess what he had done, and now faces a murder charge in connection with Sabatini’s death, according to the Greensburg Daily News.

He told authorities that he retrieved a firearm from a nightstand, and shot her in the head.
What does this tell us about our society? Hearing about cases such as the murder of Sabatini is really disturbing. We are living in a world wherewomen can’t reject a marriage proposal without the fearing for their safety.

How many times do we hear about women being abused or even murdered because they’re not doing what their significant other wanted them to? This truth is a harsh reality that women in our society have to live with. This unspoken fear that so many women must live with, or else they could potentially end up like Sabatini.

There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million in injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, and homicide is the second leading cause of death for pregnant women, according to Safe Voices, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. Safe Voices also reported that most cases of domestic violence are never reported to police, so this tells us that numbers are even higher than we think. This isn’t something we can take lightly.

It wasn’t released if Easton had a history of domestic violence, so we don’t know if there were any warning signs to look out for.

However, in many cases involving domestic abuse there are instances that stand out such as acting overly possessive or controlling. The website liveyourdream.org is a resource with an entire list of warning signs, and offers ways to find support. Other organizations, such as the

Joyful Heart foundation and the National Domestic Violence Hotline, also provide resources.

For someone to go as far as to kill their significant other for rejecting them, there must’ve been some red flags. The sad part is that so many women are too afraid to speak up about these red flags, and are too scared of what might happen to them if they did stand up for themselves. We must change the dialogue that surrounds domestic violence.