Statement Regarding the Domestic Violence Homicide of Vicky Sonevong
By Deborah DeBare, Executive Director, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Vanessa Volz, Executive Director, Sojourner House; and Channavy Chhay, Executive Director, Center for Southeast Asians
[Providence, RI – March 2, 2018] We are devastated by the domestic violence murder of Vicky Sonevong, who was fatally shot by her boyfriend, Steve Soundara, on Thursday in the Providence apartment where Vicky lived with their 4-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter. Soundara then fatally shot himself. We extend our deepest condolences to all who have been impacted by this heinous crime, the first domestic violence homicide of 2018.
Domestic violence murder is rarely an isolated incident, but is often the final act in a pattern of abuse that has escalated over time. Certain factors indicate an increased risk for domestic homicide; for example, when a firearm is present in a domestic violence situation, the risk of homicide for women is five times greater than when a firearm is not present. This tragedy is a stark reminder of why we must continue to advocate for common sense gun safety measures, including the firearms safety bills that have been introduced at the Rhode Island General Assembly this legislative session. We urge our elected officials to take critical action to save lives.
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