I do not know any of your family members or your friends. I do not know any of you personally but I feel like I have a piece of each of you living deep down inside of me. I started Standing Courageous in October last year. I didn’t even have it going for a month and one of you lost your life to the hands of a violent man. You were only 22. I cried that night. I spoke about the loss of your life at my first board meeting. I asked my board of directors to join me in making changes that way what happened to you would not happen to others.
I was asked a few weeks ago to be the key note speaker for the Silent Witness Project. I stood in a room with 62 silhouettes that represented each of you who lost your lives in Northwest Ohio to the hands of evil men and domestic violence in the last ten years. I could hardly breath in that room. The room felt like it was closing in on me and I felt sick to my stomach. I was haunted by what I saw that day. Again, I cried. It hit me in the pit of my stomach and I have not been the same.
Then last week happened. You were only 20 and so beautiful. I have not been the same since I first read your story. You changed me, just like the others did. I feel guilty somehow. I feel like we the people have let you all down. Why would we not already have a law that seems so necessary and common sense? Why did we let evil live amongst us to prey on each of you?
I am so sorry that this happened to each of you. I wish I could give your families comfort. I can not go back and change what has happened but I can take each of you in my heart on this journey. I beg each of you to help me be your voice. Help me fight for this law and registry so no more lives join you and no more families live the tragedy your families are. Please open the hearts of others to remember what truly matters. America is the greatest Country and our sons and daughters deserve the right to live their lives free from those who violently offend and reoffend. I will make this happen, first in Ohio and then in our Nations Capital. Please help me stand strong and courageous and represent each of your lives with honor.