Apparent murder-suicide brings a conversation in regards to domestic violence

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 5:18 PM EST
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - A tragic incident that developed into an apparent murder-suicide, according to police, has now turned into a bigger conversation about domestic violence.

“We have seen an increase in domestic violence during the pandemic,” said Outreach Coordinator Hope Inc. Kim Nicholson.

According to the national coalition against domestic violence, in West Virginia one-third of homicides are related to domestic violence and over two-thirds of women murdered in West Virginia are killed by a family or household member.

Nationally, 72% of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner and 94% of the victims are female.

“Victims in these situations, until they’re ready to do something, it’s almost impossible for their best friend, for their mother, father, prosecutor, law enforcement, to intervene,” said Harrison County Prosecuting Attorney Rachel Romano.

Romano says that she handles domestic violence cases on a daily basis, with the level of violence ranging from misdemeanor to felony charges.

“The best thing we can do if we know about these situations is help them develop a safety plan, help them understand some things that they can do to alert their neighbors if that’s their confidante or their mother, that I’m in a real bad situation right now and I need quick help,” Romano said.

Nicholson says there are rules when it comes to helping a victim and some include never approaching a victim when they may be with the suspected abuser and provide helpful information discreetly. There also are domestic violence shelters in every county in the state.

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