The day was October 8th and the news had just reached us: Lucy Ponte was dead.
Ponte was a 54-year-old woman who, on August 13, 2012, was found strangled and severely beaten in her home with all indications being that the violence was committed by her husband, Mario Ponte. However, authorities would never know for sure: the same day that Lucy's body was found, police also found the body of Mario, who was dead of an apparent suicide. What was known was that Mario had a history of domestic violence charges in his background. It was also known that Lucy was planning to divorce her husband, an important and troubling clue since one of the most dangerous times for domestic violence victims is when they decide to leave a relationship.
Sadly, Lucy Ponte's story matches too many others. Upon her death, she joined the more than 80 Rhode Islanders who have died as a result of domestic violence since 2001; she illustrated the numbers showing that 1 in 4 women nationwide experience violence from their partners in their lifetimes; and she showed the deadly consequences associated with strangulation. One study found 43% of women killed by their intimate partners had been strangled by them in the year before they died.
Lucy Ponte was the mother of two adult sons. She could have been your next door neighbor, the person you confided in at work or a member of your book club. But now she is gone. This is unacceptable.
It's time to say NO MORE, and your generous contribution will help. [Read Letter]