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Remember the Victims of Violence, Not Just the Perpetrators

Kasandra Michelle Perkins and Jovan Belcher (via Clutch magazine)
Kasandra Michelle Perkins and Jovan Belcher (via Clutch magazine)

Dr. Robin Boylorn, writing at Ebony, reflects on the murder of Kasandra Michelle Perkins by Jovan Belcher and argues that we focus too much on those who commit violence and not enough on those whose lives are lost.

I am sure that by now many of you know the name Jovan Belcher. If you didn't know his name (as I didn't) before this weekend, you know it now. He is the Kansas City Chiefs player who shot and killed his girlfriend before taking his own life on Saturday. Headlines and news stories have focused on the tragedy from the lens of the perpetrator (including speculation of potential brain trauma, his involvement, as an undergraduate, in a Male Athletes Against Violence initiative, and his standing as an all-star athlete), in some ways dismissing or overshadowing the lens of the victim, who in headlines is simply referred to as "(his) girlfriend."

Her name is Kasandra Michelle Perkins. She was 22 years old, a new mother, and an aspiring teacher. Her picture shows off a beautiful smile and her friends describe her as selfless, kind, and generous. She was excited about being a mother to her newborn, Zoey, and was optimistic about her future. But her future was cut short, her life was taken away, and I think you should know her name.

This tragic story pushes to the forefront an important issue in terms of domestic violence and murder.  When the murderer is famous, attractive, rich, or charming people don't want to believe that they are guilty …


Read Dr. Robin Boylorn's entire piece at Ebony.

The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.


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