Amanda Kay Cates was born August 19, 1980. Although she was several months younger than me, I always felt that she was older and wiser. We went to school together. Both of us survivors of Northwest High School, class of 1998. We were in choir together. Treble and A’cap. My fondest memories were the trips. She was always quick with the sarcastic comments, a trait that I can appreciate. We went our separate ways after school, meeting up at functions here and there over the years. With her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and her Master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Lindenwood, she went on to become a police officer. A school resource officer for the Normandy Middle School. Not the best neighborhood, but she loved those kids.
Amanda was a four and one-half year veteran of the Normandy Police Department when her life was tragically cut short. Officer Cates passed away in the early morning hours of August 29th, 2006. I’m not going to tell you how it happened, as there is a pending court case. Instead, I’ll provide you with facts that everyone should know.
Domestic violence is the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior perpetrated by an intimate partner against another. It is an epidemic affecting individuals in every community, regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, nationality or educational background. Violence against women is often accompanied by emotionally abusive and controlling behavior, and thus is part of a systematic pattern of dominance and control. Domestic violence results in physical injury, psychological trauma, and sometimes death. The consequences of domestic violence can cross generations and truly last a lifetime.
Battering is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person with whom an intimate relationship is or has been shared through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence. Battering happens when one person believes that they are entitled to control another.
One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year.
Historically, females have been most often victimized by someone they knew.
85% of domestic violence victims are women.
Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to the police.
Almost one-third of female homicide victims that are reported in police records are killed by an intimate partner.
In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
So there you have it. Chances are you know, or have known, a victim of domestic violence. Domestic Violence is a sickness in this country. It can happen anywhere and to anyone. Education, understanding, and programs like the ones at NCADV are the cure.
Amanda was passionate about her position helping students with school issues and more importantly, after school issues. With the amount of diversity in the Normandy School District, many complex issues interrupt the young, fragile lives of these students. Amanda dealt with student issues ranging from poverty stricken families who could not afford school uniforms to student pregnancies. Amanda was unselfish when it came to these children, spending her own money to buy school uniforms and diapers and formula. She believed in the power of education. That is the reason for the Amanda K. Cates Memorial Scholarship Foundation. The Amanda Kay Cates Memorial Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2007 to honor Amanda, to increase educational opportunities for children in the Normandy/St. Louis area, and to help prevent domestic violence.
July 29th was the 5th Annual Amanda Cates Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament and I was lucky to be able to attend again. It was pretty hot, but the attendance was awesome and I know that Amanda’s family was pleased. Here are some of the photos I got from that day.
The Tournament was at Bear Creek and it was just beautiful!
And I just have to include this photo of Amanda’s brother Brad. It never fails that EVERY SINGLE TIME I get to see him, I manage to get a photo of him doing something like this. EVERY TIME. I can’t wait to hang out with his awesome family again.