I am very aware of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council's Safety and Accountability Assessment, and the work of all of our heroic (underfunded) advocacy organizations. But all I could say to Csilla Adam about her attacker not being held accountable sooner was, "It's wrong." I am sending her — and all survivors — healing energy for recovery ("Violence Foreshadowed," March 26).
When I worked for Open Door Health Clinic, I worked primarily with people who were disabled, addicted, mentally ill — and people who are battered. I loved my patients.
The reason that I knew that so many of my patients were battered is because I practiced universal private screening. This means I asked all of my female patients 13 years and older, and all of my male patients who were at high risk for domestic violence (men in relationships with men, trans people, men with developmental or physical disabilities) carefully crafted, quick questions about domestic violence and sexual abuse.
I was shocked to find that most health care providers in our community do not practice universal private screening. If you ask, practitioners often say "It's too private." My response? "We ask about specific sexual practices, bowel movements, drinking and other drug use. And asking about partner violence is too private?"
I believe it's about fear. What if the patient says, "yes?" Health care providers are not getting the training they need to appropriately respond if a patient discloses. Survivors need validation, caring, non- judgmentalness ... they don't need a pill or analysis. They need to be referred to our terrific (and chronically underfunded) advocacy organizations.
I know that our health community truly cares — I am challenging us to rise up on behalf of all families affected by domestic violence.
Karen L. March, Eureka
So I went to the vigil for Csilla Adam with my brother Jesse. Please hug the girls for me, please.
My mom told me about Robert Durst (the guy who reportedly admitted to killing his women partners on the mic). I have a soul connection with animals. I have a wolf dog Ivy, who's truly gentle but fierce in defending her wolf pack (my family). I have three adorable cats, Summer Thyme, Mycroft and Dusk. I got a black cat named Soot, adopted when I first moved here. I volunteered at the Sequoia Zoo. I took horseback riding lessons with Elaine, and love riding with my ex-teacher JJ.
Mom has been doing this work for 15 years before I was born. A plaque hangs on her wall — an award from the governor of Michigan for establishing the Guinivere Memorial Fund. The fund is named after her cat. Guinivere's mom, the Kent State Memorial cat, was rescued after an abuser killed a German shepherd puppy by throwing it against the wall. The woman whose puppy was killed loves all animals and is now doing work saving species and sending animals back to their habitats.
So, I've known forever that people who beat and hurt their partners also rape and beat their kids and torture their animals.
When I read professor Burstiner's article ("Media Maven," March 26), about finding Max dead and all the other animals, I threw up — literally — I spewed all over myself and sobbed.
My parents told me if you want to get involved, and make change, you should join the All Species Protection Committee of Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee. Call Sheri at 826-4452.
You can get more info here: www.aspca.org/fight-cruelty.
Love to all. And as Starhawk says, "one act of courage can change the world."
Ellie March, Eureka