You too can fight domestic violence | Publisher's Desk
Last updated 10/17/2019 at 12:07pm
Kim Goldman had brought extensive notes for a prepared speech she was going to give at the Hope Within Luncheon, a fundraiser for Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County that's held annually during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
But after her arrival here for the Thursday, Oct. 3, event, she realized she would be speaking on the 24th anniversary of the day a jury found O.J. Simpson not guilty of murdering her brother, Ron Goldman, and Nicole Brown Simpson, the murder suspect's ex-wife.
Many called the case the trial of the century, and millions watched it unfold on national TV. After the verdicts, people moved on. But Kim Goldman and her family could not. She and her father continued to pursue justice, getting some retribution a couple of years later when a jury found Simpson guilty of the murders in a civil trial and ordered him to pay the victims' survivors $33.5 million.
Goldman turned her grief and anger into motivation to fight domestic violence and injustice through programs that help troubled teens and crime victims. Still, on dates that dredge up memories of tragic events, she can't help but be overcome. And on this day, speaking to some 500 attendees at the annual DVS luncheon, she set aside her notes and spoke from her heart.
Her pain was palpable.
Besides overwhelming grief over the loss of a brother who was her best friend and who had protected and cared for her during their childhoods, she admitted that she was mostly angry – angry that a man who many thought was so obviously guilty had gotten away with murder, angry that Nicole Simpson had renewed a relationship with her ex-husband after numerous domestic violence incidents, angry that Nicole Simpson's family had not done more to protect her, and angry that her brother didn't run away on that fateful June 12, 1994, night instead of running toward the assailant who was killing his friend, and who then turned on Ron Goldman, stabbing him more than 30 times.
Defensive wounds and other evidence showed Goldman fought back.
Still, she understands that her brother couldn't have – wouldn't have – done anything else. "As much as I'm angry that he stayed to fight," Kim Goldman said, "I'm proud of his heroism."
She ignores people who suggest it's time to put the tragedy behind her and move on. It was such a major public event – books, movies, and other reminders continue to be produced to this day – it will never be "behind her." Instead, she's taking positive steps to make the world a better place, a role she realizes will never be finished.
"So I keep talking and crying and swearing," she said. "I come and speak and learn, because I have to do something."
But it's troubling to her that the issue never ends. And she praises those who rise to the challenge, from the first responders to the social workers and volunteers who step up.
"Those of you who work with the victims and survivors, you're making a difference," she said.
And, while the past haunts her still, she finds strength in looking forward. "Something I've learned in the 25 years since that, despite the horror, my best days are in front of me."
And that was the lesson for all who had the honor to hear her speak. She closed saying, "That makes me hope we can help others so that their best days are in front of them, too."
If you are a domestic violence victim or know someone who is, don't wait to seek help. If the trouble is immediate, get yourself and your children to a safe place, then dial 911. If you want help to find a way out, call Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County. Their 24-hour hotline is 425-25-ABUSE. To learn more, go to dvs-snoco.org.