The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence statistics show that women ages 18-24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner. Thirty-three percent of women statistically have been victims of some sort of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime. We know this. But numbers do not mean anything until there’s a victim.

The murder of Lauren McCluskey, the University of Utah student-athlete, is a tragic example of the domestic violence epidemic that plagues the state of Utah. She went from a simple statistical report on Utah’s domestic violence epidemic to the face of it.

As three female college students, we not only want to expose this epidemic, but we want to remind our fellow Utahns that domestic violence knows no bounds. It penetrates every socioeconomic status, every race, every gender, every age, every religion. No one is safe from its grip.

The outrage over the murder of Lauren McCluskey should not be limited to “thoughts and prayers,” but rather should awaken the call to action that Utah so desperately needs. Education and awareness should be at the frontlines against this epidemic. There is endless support and resources for those of us who encounter this terrible reality.

Even though help arrived too little, too late, for Lauren McCluskey, it is not too late for us all. Domestic violence is a grave issue, and as such, should be taken seriously. We cannot forget Lauren McCluskey. We cannot allow another Lauren McCluskey to occur.

Quincy Haisley, Jaycie Banks and Sara Vallejo Zamora, Provo