Sandra Galas, and her heartbreaking death, have been the subject of speculation and headlines for many years now. This is due in large part to her parents and her brother’s efforts to keep her story alive to ensure she’s never forgotten. To that end they have been extremely successful. Sandra is once again in the news because her estranged husband recently pleaded no contest to Assault 1 in connection with her death.
What is important to highlight is that an abuser is finally being held accountable for domestic violence. It is imperative that perpetrators of domestic violence crimes be held fully responsible for their actions. What is equally important is that Sandy — the mother, daughter, sister, and friend, is not forgotten. We must remember how precious and valuable her life was, how all domestic violence victims are precious and valuable.
As a community, we cannot lose sight of how domestic violence affects us all. We have lost other community members, like Sandy, and that loss is deeply felt. Obviously, not all domestic violence ends this tragically, but the impact is still wide reaching and long lasting.
Domestic violence can occur in any relationship and takes many forms. Domestic violence does not discriminate — it affects all races, ethnicities, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. The Center for Disease Control has identified domestic violence as a serious public health problem, and it remains a daily threat to the health and well-being of women on Kauai.
The YWCA wants Kauai to know that victims do have a voice. You will be listened to and you will be believed. The YWCA invites the community to join our efforts to end domestic violence. Be another voice calling for full accountability for domestic violence perpetrators and don’t excuse their actions.
Help a neighbor, friend or family member who is experiencing domestic violence. Intervene by calling the police if you witness domestic violence or hear it happening next door. Call our 24-hour crisis line 245-6362 for help or more information.
Never forget Sandy G. #justiceforSandy,aDVvictim
YWCA Executive Director: Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh
Board President: Heather Singleton
Advocacy Committee: Chia Granda, Emiko Meyers, Linda Vass