It’s been more than a week since I sat outside Yeardley Love’s apartment in Charlottesville wondering what happened. I finally felt comfortable sitting down today to process my thoughts. I’ve covered a lot of tragedies and murders over the last decade, and for some reason the acts of violence on college campuses hit me hardest. Maybe it’s because I still yearn for the days of being a carefree student at the University of Maryland. Maybe it’s because covering the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, left an undefinable hole in my heart. Maybe it’s because college kids are literally on the cusp of adulthood. Whatever the reason, my drive to Charlottesville last Monday was sad.
At the time, I knew that a student athlete was dead. I had no idea it was a woman; that she played lacrosse; that she was a fourth year, three weeks from graduation. I had no idea her ex-boyfriend was in custody. I had no idea he too played lacrosse, was a fourth year just weeks from graduation. All of that information makes the story all the more heartbreaking; but it also shines a great big light on a topic people often whisper about, gossip about, but don’t always take seriously. Domestic violence issues in young relationships are now in the limelight. And if that’s the one thing that helps us make sense of this terrible tragedy, so be it.