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Orlando and Domestic Violence

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, I sit.

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, I read.

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, I watch the response on Facebook.

What do you see?

Pictures of those left behind, holding each other, tears streaming. Angry articles about how a reality show host took a victory lap or a politician is using this to take away our rights or blogs about how our community will triumph over this adversity, the tone of the article meant to be defiant, yet still heartbroken. Profile pics changed to “We are Orlando” in solidarity with the community.

All of this is dancing around the question, “Why?”

The by-product of a “radical Islamic extremist radicalization?”

A self-hating gay?

Quick and easy access to assault rifles?

Mental health issues?

Maybe it’s all of the above, but before he was a mass murderer, he was a person who committed acts of domestic violence against his wife.

Since that Sunday, this fact has been mentioned but drowned out by other elements. “‘At this point, it’s clear that there is some correlation between domestic violence and mass shooters and we have statistics that show it,” said Samar Kaukab, the former director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. “People who experience a loss of control in the home often try and express their anger about that loss of control against society on a larger scale.’”(Hussain, 2016).

There are no simple answers as to why, there are only pieces of a complicated puzzle, but a big piece is that he committed acts of terror against his family before he attacked the nightclub, the LGBTQ+ Community, and our country. As we examine how to prevent mass shootings in the future, part of the conversation must involve the prevention of domestic violence and how to hold those accountable who offend.

Hussain, Murtaza. “WAS ORLANDO SHOOTER’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HISTORY A MISSED WARNING SIGN?” The Intercept. June, 2016.