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According to media reports, those were the four words actor Michael Jace told an operator when he called 911 to report that he had shot his wife, April. Prior to the story breaking, I had never heard of Michael Jace. I watch very little episodic television, so I was unaware of his numerous television roles.  What gave me pause was the charge that he had allegedly shot his wife. In fact, anytime I hear of stories about domestic abuse, it gets my attention. The last thing you expect to hear from a husband is that he shot his wife. “I love my wife.” “My wife is pretty.” “My wife is everything.” Those are the kind of words you’d expect to hear from a husband--not, “I shot my wife.” Apparently, Michael had been experiencing financial woes and many speculate that the later was an impetus for his meltdown. Recently, reports of alleged prior acts of violence against his ex-wife have surfaced. What would cause a man to shoot his wife multiple times?

Domestic violence is as old as time immemorial, and the devastating ripple effect it has on society is far-reaching.  I can’t help but think about the children involved and how they will be emotionally and psychologically impacted. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, three women are murdered by their boyfriends or husbands each day. When little girls are dreaming of Prince Charming and big girls are fantasizing about meeting “The One,” the last thing that crosses one’s mind is that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with is the person who will end up taking your life.

In my novel, “Married in the Nick of Nine,” (being released by Soul Mate Publishing July 2), the protagonist, Cassandra Whitmore, wants to meet “The One” before she turns 30. She meets Nicolas Harte. Nick seems too good to be true. Could he be hiding something? Underneath his charming exterior, could there be a man full of rage? Can any of us really be certain who we’re dealing with in a relationship? We all put on our best behavior in the beginning. Sometimes it’s difficult to identify the red flags. Sometimes, love is blind.

I’ve known my husband for sixteen years and things haven’t been perfect between us, but overall it’s been great. He’s never laid a hand on me. He’s never called me out of my name, and he said he would give his life for me. I believe him. I know I’m blessed—some say lucky. But when I reflect on our relationship, I take note of the fact that while we were courting, he spent a lot of time visiting his sister and taking care of his mother. I met his family and his interactions with them were positive. He was loving towards me. I’ve never seen him lose his temper. Those are all good signs.

I pray for April’s family and the children she had with Michael. I even pray for Michael, that if he did indeed kill his wife (he hasn’t been convicted yet), that justice is served and that he gets help. I pray that the children involved will get the help they need and that both extended families find the strength to get through this devastating incident.