In the name of the common good, stand up against abuse

This Editor’s Word makes frequent reference to suicide and abuse. Please read at your discretion.

Within the last few days, disturbing details have been reported about an investigation into the death of Alexander Urtula. Urtula, who was slated to graduate merely hours after his death on May 20 of this year, was allegedly coerced into taking his own life by his then-girlfriend Inyoung You, according to NBC Boston. 

Reports say that Urtula was abused by You, and according to Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins, You created “life-threatening conditions for him that she had a legal duty to alleviate.” Reports say that You had been sending texts telling him to “go die,” and statements of the like for months.

The would-be Boston College graduate jumped off a Roxbury parking garage at 22 years-old with You watching nearby, according to the Boston Globe.

The allegations against You, and the criminal case as a whole, are terrifyingly similar to that of Michelle Carter, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017 for her role in the death of her significant other Conrad Roy III, according to NBC Boston. You is currently in South Korea and the U.S. will take action to get her to return to the U.S. to face the charges if she does not on her own, according to NBC Boston. 

In a nation that believes in due process, the allegations accusing You of coercing her boyfriend into committing suicide are indeed allegations for now. But regardless of how this case plays out following the conclusion of said due process, a lesson can be learned from the Carter case as well as the You case, that goes without saying.

In the words of writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it’s indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.”

It is often difficult to recognize the signs of domestic violence and abuse, but it is crucial that those who observe toxic patterns in the lives of their loved ones speak out. While intervention can be challenging, it is necessary. It is about more than just making a tremendous impact — it could literally save lives.

The Carter case shocked millions around the world and we hoped that such an incident would never happen again. Despite the lessons we should have learned from the Carter case, the atrocities and injustices behind domestic violence and all types of abuse continue to plague the lives of millions around the world.

Neither domestic violence nor emotional abuse should ever be condoned in any fashion. Period. 

The lives of those around us are incredibly valuable and as citizens of this university, this city, this nation and our planet as a whole, we must stand up against domestic violence and emotional abuse.

No matter the form of abuse, whether by words, actions or some combination of both, those who stand idly by indirectly allow traumatic and horrifically harmful behavior to prevail — while not directly participating in it themselves.

While it may be difficult to discuss or reach out to others about these very deep, complex and often dark issues, whether you are a survivor or a witness, know that you are never alone. Resources are available through the city of Boston through the Samaritans Statewide Hotline which can be reached at (877) 870-4673. Suffolk’s University’s Counseling of Health and Wellness, police department and Title IX department are also available to students.

If you are having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to to learn about other care and support options.

~The Suffolk

Journal Staff