Statement regarding the domestic violence murder of Kenneth McClain By Toni Marie Gomes, executive director, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, and Lucy Rios, deputy director, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence PROVIDENCE, R.I., Aug. 24, 2021 – Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Kenneth McClain, 33, who was killed in a domestic violence homicide by his roommate. McClain’s life was stolen from him after he was stabbed and succumbed from his injuries, and our thoughts are with the other roommates who were present at the time of the murder and have to cope with this trauma for the rest of their lives.
McClain was killed by Marcus Huffman Jones, who has a history of domestic violence. Domestic abuse homicides are not isolated incidents, and occur after a pattern of escalating violent behaviors. Our condolences will not bring McClain back, and this loss of life affects not only McClain’s family and friends, but the entire community. Domestic abuse can and does happen in every zip code, and creates painful, long-lasting ripple effects on our state.
We are devastated by this murder and by the violence happening in Providence. Abuse and violence do not happen in a vacuum. These issues are not problems stemming from individuals. Community conditions that allow violence to thrive, including poverty and a lack of community connectedness, are some of the root causes of abuse. By investing in the social determinants of health, such as safe, affordable housing, we can better support survivors who have already experienced abuse and also create safe, supportive environments that help prevent domestic violence before it happens in the first place. The Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, a RICADV member agency, has recently opened a drop-in center in Providence at 693 Broad Street to better address community needs. During a time of such loss, we want the community to know we are here and want to help. The drop-in center offers services to victims of domestic violence and their families including safety planning, support groups in English and Spanish on weekends and evenings for accessibility and a Community Action Partnership of Providence County collaboration providing resources including a food bank, assistance with rent and utilities and workforce development. Domestic violence is a community issue, and it deserves a community response.
How you can help: As relatives, friends, coworkers and neighbors, we can help keep victims and their children safe and prevent another tragedy. If you are in an abusive relationship or know someone who might be, or if you are looking for resources for a child who has witnessed domestic violence, call the Rhode Island statewide Helpline for 24-hour support and information at 800-494-8100.
Calling 911 if you suspect or witness abuse is an important step to take, but there are many other ways to help. If you know or suspect someone in your life is a victim of domestic violence, you can help that person stay safe. Listen, and express your concerns without judgment. Ask the person what you can do for them, and check in consistently. Help the person create a plan that will keep them safe when abuse occurs, and connect them with local resources. Additional information can be found at www.ricadv.org.
About the RICADV: The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence (RICADV) is an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence. The RICADV was formed in 1979 to support and assist the domestic violence agencies in Rhode Island. The organization provides leadership to its member agencies, strives to create justice for victims, and raises awareness on the issue of domestic violence in Rhode Island. The RICADV's network of member agencies provides a wide array of services for victims, including emergency shelter, support groups, counseling services, and assistance with the legal system. For more information about these organizations and services, call the statewide Helpline at 800-494-8100.
Statement regarding the domestic violence murder of Kenneth McClain
By Toni Marie Gomes, executive director, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, and Lucy Rios, deputy director, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Aug. 24, 2021 – Our hearts go out to the loved ones of Kenneth McClain, 33, who was killed in a domestic violence homicide by his roommate. McClain’s life was stolen from him after he was stabbed and succumbed from his injuries, and our thoughts are with the other roommates who were present at the time of the murder and have to cope with this trauma for the rest of their lives.
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