Take a stand against domestic violence, attend Wednesday’s vigil

Melissa Batten just wanted to move on with her life. Joseph Batten didn’t allow that to happen.

Melissa Batten just wanted to move on with her life. Joseph Batten didn’t allow that to happen.

Joseph, Melissa’s estranged husband, defied a protection order and gunned down Melissa last month in the parking lot of her Redmond Apartment complex in broad daylight. He then turned the gun and killed himself.

It was yet another domestic violence — there are average of 90,750 domestic incidents per year in King County — but this one had the worst possible ending.

Eastside Domestic Violence Program (EDVP), the largest support service provider in north and east King County, is holding a vigil in memory of Melissa on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center at 5 p.m. The address is 16600 NE 80th Street.

The main purpose of the event is to honor Melissa, a 36-year-old Microsoft manger who was on the rise in her career. But looking at the bigger picture, it’s an opportunity for the community to come together and make a stand against domestic violence.

I encourage every Redmond resident to attend this important community event. A lot of times a tragedy can make a community stronger. The residents at Archstone Redmond Campus Apartments are moving forward after getting a first-hand look at the wrath of domestic violence. I’m sure the incident startled residents and made them wonder about their safety. But you can also bet the Archstone neighbors have become more connected and aware or their surroundings, which ultimately is the best form of crime fighting.

Domestic violence is one of the most ruthless crimes committed because of the emotions involved. And it’s one of the most common because almost every person has some sort of domestic relationship whether it be husband and wife or parent and child.

Last year, EDVP served nearly 10,754 people, including 5,644 domestic violence victims. It’s an agency that needs — and deserves — all the support it can get from the community. EDVP’s main purpose is to help women like Melissa Batten move on with their life, rather than lose it.

By attending Wednesday’s vigil, you will be honoring a Redmond neighbor and showing support against one of the nastiest crimes around: domestic violence.