Domestic violence within the LGBTQ community is a taboo topic. Much like family based violence, it is something that we disregard and shoosh off to the side of the conversation around the epidemic of violence sweeping through our community, particularly among QTPOC.
In January, a 20 year-old young woman of color named Candra Keels was stabbed to death by her 31 year old girlfriend, Sherrita Crumpler. Crumpler was arrested at the scene and charged with murder in the 2nd degree. This week, Crumpler was convicted of manslaughter and will be sentenced later in the month. I’m trying to make it my style to come back to these stories and explore what happens next.
Candra was 20. She is survived by her daughter, Ny’ree Keels (3) and her mother, grandmother and extended family. To my knowledge, they have made no public comment about Candra. My heart once again breaks for their terrible loss, especially for Ny’ree.
As if often the case, the media coverage on the verdict includes a photo of Crumpler (a goofy photo of course because we can’t miss a chance to dehumanize anyone.) I admit that I wonder what led her to commit such a terrible crime, but I also know that resources and supports for women who abuse their partners or spouses are not plentiful.
All we really have now are questions – did their respective families accept their identities as lesbian, queer or bi women? did either have history of domestic violence? was there anywhere to turn for help? is there any remote chance incarceration will help Crumpler turn her life around and make amends for her terrible decisions?
If you or someone you love is experiencing intimate partner violence, NCAVP is working withAlternatives for Battered Women (ABW) to raise awareness of this homicide and to offer support to local communities. ABW is a resource to all survivors of intimate partner violence and domestic violence and offers counseling, education, support, and advocacy for survivors. ABW operates a free and confidential 24-hour at 585-232-7353.