The Shooting In San Bernardino Reminds Us That Domestic Violence Doesn’t Stay At Home

By Linda A. Seabrook, General Counsel, Futures Without Violence (4/12/2017)

Unfortunately, San Bernardino is back in the news for yet another horrific tragedy, 17 months later. An 8-year-old student is dead, along with his teacher, Karen Smith, and ultimately, her estranged husband, Cedric Anderson. It’s baffling to me that when a husband comes into his wife’s workplace to kill her and then himself, the media hesitates to characterize it as domestic violence. Is it because it didn’t happen at home, behind closed doors, like it should?

To those of us who work to end violence against women every day, we recognized a tragic, but all too familiar story. We weren’t surprised to learn that that Anderson seemed nice at first to his stepson but slowly grew “paranoid and possessive.” Or that Anderson had a history of domestic violence, arrests on gun-related charges, and a fascination with guns. We understand why Smith recently left Anderson and was planning to divorce him. And we knew that Anderson could easily find and gain access to Smith at the place she spent the majority of her daily time: her workplace.

Domestic violence and guns: the hidden American crisis ending women's lives