Ending violence against women speaker hits message hard

Grace Dorsey

Dr. Buck Blodgett spoke here today on the topic of ending violence against women.  His personal experience with violence against women involves his daughter Jessica Blodgett, who was attacked and murdered more than two years ago when she was just 19.
While he said the talks help him with his grieving process, he also stresses the importance of urging others to make an effort in order to stop needless violence.
“I hope that some [audience members] are spurred to action, that all [audience members] are spurred to action in all their different ways. For some it will just be the first step to their own healing, because people in the room today are victims. There are [victims] in every crowd; there are perpetrators, too,'” Blodgett said. “For those who weren’t or were I also hope there will be somebody in those 25 people sitting here who is going have a great idea. It may not be that spectacular, or might be even more. There might be somebody sitting here who is going to do something like ‘Oh, my God, unbelievable.’ So that’s what I hope for, just to galvanize people to unite,  know that they can make a difference and go out and make one.”
As far as Blodgett’s experience at RBHS goes, he said the energy here was sky high, and he would like to return for a school wide speech. He observed RBHS’s diversity, noting the importance of a message of non-violence in times of tension such as Missouri’s recent history.
“Purpose, forgiveness, uniting and healing. I know the subject I talked about was different, a different issue,” Blodgett said. “But it’s really the same in my opinion, the same thing, just loving each other instead of hating each other.”
Freshman Deaja Kelton came to the speech because she was interested and left with new knowledge surrounding the families of victims.
“It was sad that his daughter got beaten. I wouldn’t have forgave him if he did that to my daughter,” Kelton said “We can keep Jessica in our hearts.”
His appearance was organized by Lesley Thalhuber, who was contacted by Mizzou’s Department of Psychology.  This was his 25th speech, one year and one month after he started giving talks.