Who was Venus Stewart?

Photos of Venus Stewart show a beautiful young woman with gorgeous brown eyes and a sweet smile. She was the mother of two little girls and she loved them with all of her heart. She did everything she could to protect them.

Eight years ago she was divorcing her husband.  She and her daughters moved to Michigan, from Virginia, to stay with her parents during the divorce process, and one day she walked outside in her pajamas and slippers to put a letter in the mailbox, but she never came back inside. She was missing from that point on until the police found enough evidence to convict her estranged husband of first degree murder and first degree conspiracy to commit murder. He lay in wait for her, dressed in dark clothing, attacked her and killed her, right outside of her parents home. And then he buried her body.

Police and investigators looked for Venus to bring her back to her family for more than eight years. Finally, the cold-blooded killer directed the investigative team directly to the spot where he callously buried her.

A police video shows the killer at the crime scene. It was chilling to watch. He shows no emotion, no remorse, no heartache over what he’s done. He murdered Venus, leaving her daughters motherless, her mother and father and family heartbroken.  And he acts as if he’s the hero in this tragedy.

Venus mattered and she still matters. She lives on in her daughters and I believe she is with her family still. Maybe she communicates with them in her own special way.  Her family has put together a beautiful Facebook page in her honor and it’s focused on positivity and how well the girls are doing.

Venus’s life here was cut short, sadly, but her life goes on, and I believe we’ll see more of her through the love and strength and delight in her girls and her family and friends who knew and loved her. Love never dies, it just expands. Evil can’t kill love.

I didn’t mention the murderers name for a reason.  Sometimes, we focus too much on the them; the Venus Foundation wrote “We are also saddened by the killer getting his additional 15 minutes of fame.”  I couldn’t agree more.

It’s time now to remember and honor Venus and the many others whose lives are ended too soon due to domestic violence.  Let’s think more about the ones who were taken from us too early and figure out how to end intimate partner violence.

One way to start is by educating our police force and judges that the most dangerous time in an abusive relationship or marriage is when a woman is leaving it. Venus was in such danger and she probably didn’t realize it. I wonder, did anyone warn her? Probably not; because we don’t really talk about it all that much.  It is common knowledge to all professionals who work in the field that leaving an abuser is one of the most dangerous times.  I hope professionals can do a better job of working together, psychologists, therapist, judges, and the police, to protect the vulnerable in our communities and put an end to those abusive and controlling men who use the system to further control and abuse their wives and in the worst of cases, kill them.

 

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