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Addressing issues of domestic violence in Pinellas

Lariana Forsythe

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Pashun Jeffery, 20, and her 2-year-old son Taylen Mosley were murdered last week in St. Petersburg. Photos: St. Petersburg Police Dept.

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The recent tragedy involving Taylen Mosley and Pashun Jeffery is a heartbreaking reminder of the devastating impact of domestic violence on families and children. As an organization that advocates for the well-being of survivors of domestic violence, CASA Pinellas is deeply saddened by this tragedy andstands in solidarity with Pashun and Taylen’s family and loved ones.

This tragedy has gained considerable media attention, yet the news stories have focused on sensationalizing the horrific details, not the domestic violence that claimed the life of a mother and her child. Domestic violence is a recurring theme in cases where children are harmed or killed and is a common factor in many of the mass murders across our county in recent years.

As we mourn the loss of Taylen Mosley and Pashun Jeffery, we should also recognize the urgent need to address the domestic violence that occurred. Domestic violence is not a private issue; it is a public health crisis that affects families and communities across the country. One in three women and one in four men will experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Despite its prevalence, in our culture domestic violence remains a taboo topic, often shrouded in shame and secrecy. Victims of domestic violence are often blamed for the abuse they have experienced, and their experiences are minimized or dismissed. How do we expect a mother and child to seek help under these circumstances, knowing that 77% of domestic violence homicides occur when a victim is attempting to leave their abuser?

As an organization that works with victims of domestic violence, CASA Pinellas recognizes the importance of supporting victims and survivors. We provide victims with the resources and support they need to leave an abusive relationship safely, and work to hold abusers accountable for their actions before a tragedy like this double murder occurs.

To prevent tragedies like these, we must support victims of domestic violence by helping to remove theshame and stigma caused by blaming victims for their abuser’s actions, and providing the support that will prevent further incidents of abuse. We need teach our community’s children that violence is never the answer, and that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. We must challenge cultural attitudes perpetuating gender-based violence and promote healthy relationships and respectful behavior.

I am devastated over the murders and horrific details surrounding the murders of Pashun Jeffery and Taylen Mosley, but I am not surprised. As the domestic violence organization serving Pinellas County, every day CASA serves large numbers of people seeking help from domestic violence, many of whom share unfathomable details of abuse thatthey have kept hidden from their families and friends out of fear, embarrassment, frustration, and a sense of “there’s no way out.”

This is why last year CASA launched the CASA’s Family Justice Center, to provide free and confidentialwrap-around services supporting survivors with victim advocacy, civil legal attorneys, legal advocates, government victim assistance, prosecutors, law enforcement, and representatives from community-based organizations in one place to make sure that victims can find their way to safety and peace.

The tragedy of Taylen Mosley and Pashun Jeffery should serve as a wake-up call for our community. Domestic violence thrives in silence, and so we ask that you take a pledge to #StandUptoSilence. Together, we can raise community consciousness around domestic violence prevalence, prevention, abuser accountability, and supportive services. Together, we can help survivors and their children escape abusive relationships, preventing tragedies like the murders of Pashun and Taylen.

Together, we can achieve a Violence Free Pinellas.

Lariana Forsythe CEO of CASA Pinellas.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Ryan Long

    April 6, 2023at6:00 am

    Great idea. ^

    How about writing an article on the impact of fatherless households? Domestic violence is a weak man’s option. Never raise a hand (or a gun) to your loved ones. Try hugging instead.

  2. Avatar

    Shirley Hayes

    April 5, 2023at4:25 pm

    I am hoping that Mr. Mosely can tell us why??What happened???The young lady threw a birthday for him and later he murders her and their child.His story might make it possible to help others. Were there any prior reports of violence where he hurt the young lady??It appears that many times Domestic Violence goes unreported.

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