Statement from Independence House, Inc. Executive Director,
Hyannis, MA, February 16, 2021 —According to news reports, on Monday February 7th Mashpee lost a member of their community to an act of domestic violence, and members of Ms. Taylor’s family lost someone they love. All her potential and future, extinguished by an act of violence. The violence took place in the town of Falmouth and the person charged with the killing of the victim Danielle Taylor is someone she dated, who has engaged in the final and concluding act of power and control by allegedly killing her. Ms. Taylor’s family and friends no doubt are mourning her loss as they try to make sense of something senseless. During this time of grief, Independence House extends sincere condolences to Ms. Taylor’s family and friends.
Sadly, on the same day that Ms. Taylor was reportedly killed, three more women across the United States were killed by an intimate partner. These killings, along with Ms. Taylor’s draws our attention to the undeniable reality that intimate partner violence is a critical, long standing, a life-threatening and life ending, public health, societal, civil and criminal justice problem. A problem beyond deserving of all our efforts and attention as a community, and nationally. We may never know the names of these women (Jane Doe) because their deaths are not reported nationally or even locally and these killings are not always reported as domestic or intimate partner violence-even though they are.
In the same way, we may may never know the details of how Ms. Taylor’s killing came to be, but we do know she did not deserve to have her life snuffed out.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, there is accumulating evidence of an increase in the incidences and severity of domestic violence/intimate partner violence incidents; there is no way to determine the impact of this pandemic on this domestic violence/intimate partner violence killing in our community, but we are certain that the stressors of the pandemic present further breeding grounds to support tactics used by abusive partners or former partners to abuse and control the victims/survivor.
Ms. Taylor’s killing is the second incident of someone being killed on Cape Cod over the past two months by someone with whom they had a close/related relationship. The first tragic incident took place on December 26, 2020 where Ms. Cheryl Crowell was killed by her 26-year-old son in Mashpee; while this killing was not by an intimate partner, Ms. Crowell was killed by someone she loved. Independence House extends our condolences to Ms. Crowell’s family and friends and affirm that our homes should be places where we are safe.
Cape Cod is reflective of the United States of America, and as such our community is not immune to domestic violence which impacts individuals from every race, class, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status. We are also mindful that people of color, LGBTQ individuals and individuals with different disabilities have the worst outcomes and least access to support and services. Cape Cod is comprised of people from all these groups.
If anyone is aware or suspects that a person they know is experiencing domestic violence, check in with them and tell them about Independence House and other domestic and sexual violence resources which are listed on our website.
As the year progresses and the Covid-19 pandemic remains firmly in our midst, Independence House is meeting the challenge of helping survivors find safety and meet basic needs, and creatively offer safety solutions and promote protective factors within the community and families as much as possible.
Independence House’s 24/7/365 domestic and sexual violence hotline for domestic violence and sexual assault victims/survivors and our 365 day/year emergency domestic violence shelter are fully available. All of our community-based services, including our SAFEPLAN court-based services are available remotely and can be accessed by calling our hotline-1-800-439-6507 answered by a live person. All our services are free for residents of all cape towns. Available resources and services are also found at www.independencehouse.org. Please reach out to us if you are in need of help, support or assistance.
“Grief does not demand pity; It requests acknowledgment.” ― Jude Gibbs