Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rest in Peace, Krista.

I didn't know Krista Dittmeyer, but I am haunted by her disappearance and death. The circumstances of her disappearance, specifically, the fact that her young daughter was found alive in the car, are so awful, so painful to think about, that I cry every time I do. A 14 month old is old enough to know that her mother isn't there. As a woman, especially as a mother, it just breaks my heart. In a strange way, I'm thankful she was found so quickly, that her family doesn't have to live with the agony of not knowing.

It also just enrages me. Perhaps I am jumping to conclusions, but there's no evidence that I've seen that suggests she was suicidal or mentally ill. There's no evidence to suggest she put herself in that pond. So someone - no, let's be clear, most likely some MAN - put her there. Not to say that women don't do awful, abusive things, or commit horrible acts. They do. But typically women don't kill other women this way.

I, like so many women I know, live with that undercurrent of fear. Now, I'm a survivor of violence, so I'm probably more wary than most, but I think most women in the US know that they can be victimized. Either by a stranger, or much more commonly, by someone they know. This isn't just an individual experience, it's a cultural phenomenon that leaves me so angry I can barely speak.

And, of course, now I'm the mother of a girl. I am coming to believe that just as I think the ability to swim competently is a necessary life skill, maybe self-defense should be seen the same way for young girls and women. My oldest son has started karate, and I am determined that my daughter will study as well. My younger son has loved gymnastics, but told me recently that he wants to study karate as well. Maybe I should join them.

1 comment:

Marushka C. said...

I will never understand how people can do such terrible things.