It grieved us to discover, that 16-year-old high school junior, Maren Sanchez, was fatally stabbed in Milford, Connecticut this morning, because she simply exercised her human right to say "no."
Just hours before prom night, Maren was stabbed by an angered ex-boyfriend, after she declined to go to the prom with him. The police reports are abhorrent; witnesses said that the suspect shoved Maren down the stairs, attempted to choke her, and then proceeded to stab her in the neck with a kitchen knife.
Although the altercation was deemed an, "isolated incident," this does not absolve the suspect's unnecessarily violent and inexcusable actions. Maren was a talented, kind, and well respected individual in her community and, like every other innocent victim of murderous rage, she and her loved ones certainly did not deserve this.
State Senator, Gayle Slossberg, expressed her condolences and announced that Governor, Dannel P. Malloy, "stands ready with any and all resources the state can offer to help us heal."
Healing from incidents like this one, is the first step towards changing the way society often underestimates the severity and prevalence of violence against women. During this moment of deep sadness, we must recognize that acts of aggression like this happen every single day, and often go unreported due to a lack of access to safe, reliable communication channels. These acts of violent outrage are also not always fatal, resulting in continued violent abuse. Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention has been designated a full month because these issues continue to prevail and effect the lives of too many to count.
Words fall short of expressing our sorrow for the loss of Maren Sanchez, and our heartfelt condolences go out to Maren's loved ones.
Let us remember that it should not take the publicity of one incident of assault after the other to understand the intolerable nature of any sort of unwarranted violence and abuse of women and men.
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