In February 2017, a school nurse in this Dallas suburb began counting women murdered by men.
Seated at her desk, beside shelves of cookbooks, novels and books on violence against women, Dawn Wilcox, 55, scours the internet for news stories of women killed by men in the U.S.
For dozens of hours each week, she digs through online news reports and obituaries to tell the stories of women killed by lovers, strangers, fathers, sons and stepbrothers, neighbors and tenants.
“I’m trying to get the message [across] that women matter, and that these women’s lives mattered, and that this is not acceptable in the greatest country in the world,” Wilcox said.
Her spreadsheet, a publicly available resource she calls Women Count USA, is a catalog of lives lost: names, dates, ages, where they lived, pictures of victims and their alleged killers, and the details that can’t be captured by numbers.
For Wilcox, these women are more than statistics.
She wants you to know Nicole Duckson, a 34-year-old Columbus, Ohio, woman whose friends “remembered her as a prayerful person and a loving mother.”
And Duckson’s 4-year-old daughter, Christina, who was stabbed to death alongside her mother, “a polite, happy little girl.”
And Claire Elizabeth VanLandingham, 27, a Navy dentist fatally shot by her ex-boyfriend. She had appeared in a video for Take Back the Night, the organization known for fighting dating violence, sexual violence and domestic violence on college campuses nationally. Her mother said, “Her heart was kind; her spirit generous; her soul wise. She gave her smile to everyone who needed it; to everyone who hadn’t even realized they did.”
Those are just a few of the nearly 2,500 women listed in Wilcox’s album during the past two years.
“Where is the outrage? Where are the marches, the speeches? I know where the silence is. It is everywhere and it is deafening,”…