Practicing compassion

To the Editor:

We at Next Step Domestic Violence Project join with the larger community in expressing our dismay and sorrow at Mikaela Conley’s death. Her murder is heartbreaking for all the obvious reasons: Her life was taken brutally and inexcusably.

The people who loved Mikaela are left bereaved because someone chose to deny her respect, autonomy, voice and life. Many of us are in disbelief — struggling with pain, unease, anger, numbness and grief — that someone among us could treat another with such impunity and disregard for her humanity.

As friends, siblings, classmates, co-workers, parents, teachers, employers, grandparents — no matter our relationship — we can persist in committing to words and actions that condemn violence and practice compassion.

We can respect each other’s equal humanity and autonomy, starting with the daily gestures and phrases we use with ourselves and in interacting with those closest to us.

We can let each other know that there is help available.

If you would like support for yourself or someone you care about, please call Next Step’s business line, 667-0176, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; or the hotline, 1-800-315-5579, 24-7.


Dorathy Martel, Executive Director and Bonnie Tai, Board Chair

Next Step Domestic Violence Project


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