POSTED: Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 4:20pm
UPDATED: Friday, November 2, 2012 - 11:14am
In the last week we have seen two incidents of domestic violence end in death.
Wednesday, the murder of James Calvert’s ex-wife Jelena and the kidnapping of his son.
And, just last week in Flint, Karen Malone returned home to retrieve papers for her divorce from husband James, when he met her, and apparently killed her and then took his own life.
Angela Hale of the Texas Council on Family Violence says that is the most dangerous thing she could have done.
“The most dangerous time for a woman is when she is in the process of leaving an abusive relationship,” she said. “You need to take those important documents with you and not go back to the house. Sometimes that person will be laying in wait and then the murder or murder-suicide would occur.
Thankfully though, these kinds of crimes are on the decline.
“Spousal murders are on the decline for our latest statistics which are for 2011,” says Hale. “We had 102 women killed last year across the state of Texas. The year before, it was 142.”
Keisha Morris of the Crisis Center of East Texas says, “‘In a lot of cases where there are kids involved, the kids do become a pawn. It’s a tool. It’s a tool to gain control and nothing can gain control of a mother like the fear of losing or harm coming to the child.”
Divorce is sadly fairly common. So why do so many resort to violence?
“It’s all about power and control in an abusive relationship,” says Morris. “And that loss can trigger just about anything. And that’s where most of these tragedies come from.”
“Have a safety plan before you leave that abusive relationship,” Hale added. “Because if you go back, sometimes, you might not make it out alive.”