Vigil held for domestic abuse victims

George D. Maziarz

December 10, 2009

Mother pushes for Kari Ann Gorman Law

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - They are among the silent victims of domestic violence and on Thursday night, a local community gathered to remember them.

Silhouettes stand beside an empty dinner table.

At each place setting is the name of a woman.

They are murder victims of domestic violence.

Families who gathered for this vigil have a shared pain.

Their stories of loss and tragedy weave together.

Many noticed signs of trouble in their loved ones' relationships but they had no concrete awareness or evidence until it was too late.

Kim Davidson said, "You don't see something you are not looking for."

She is on a crusade in the name of her 18 year old daughter, Kari Ann Gorman.

Kari Ann's former boyfriend shot and killed her in July of 2008, one day after she ended their relationship.

"So although there were things in the relationship that I saw that I didn't like about it, I didn't realize what I was really looking at," explained Gorman's mom. "I never heard the phrase teen dating violence before. They're children."

Now Kim is pushing for the Kari Ann Gorman Law to require an ongoing curriculum in schools to educate students on relationships and dating.

"Beginning at younger ages, what bullying is and what healthy relationships are. How they should expect to be treated and how they should expect to treat other people," she explained.

State Senator George Maziarz introduced Kari's law late in this year's session.

He has the support of his colleagues and other victims' families.

"And what we found out in doing research for this legislation is there are incidents like this all over the state of New York," Maziarz said. "Not all end this tragically but there are incidents all over the state of New York."

"To teach the kids at a young age the early signs of a controlling person, to have someone control you, hit you, in any way," exclaimed Raquel Jansma.

Senator Maziarz said the Kari Ann Gorman Act has support on both sides of the aisle in the Senate.