Domestic Violence on the Rise During Holidays

Domestic Violence on the Rise During Holidays

According to the Memphis Police Department, a large percentage of the 78 homicides in the city so far this year were domestic violence cases.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - Family violence is out of control in Memphis. According to the Memphis Police Department, a large percentage of the 78 homicides in the city so far this year were domestic violence cases. Several domestic violence awareness groups say many victims do not know how to escape an abusive relationship.

"I think things have become worse because people think domestic violence is a joke and they don't want to face reality," said domestic violence survivor Barbara Love.

She cringes every time she hears about domestic violence. As a victim herself, she's made it her life mission to help others. She's starting "The Love Foundation" to help battered women and children. It'll also become a shelter to help women become more independent.

"If you are in a dangerous situation, the best thing to do is to tell somebody. If you can't tell somebody, email, text, they have so many things you can do to get the word out," she said.

But many times it's too late to get the word out. Less than two weeks ago on June 22, Patrick Spencer was charged with second degree murder. He is accused of shooting and killing his wife in their East Memphis home.

MPD says 10 women have been killed so far this year. Even Memphis's finest find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Officer Steven Saffold is suspended after assaulting his girlfriend last Saturday on June 29th. On Fourth of July a man was shot in the leg during a family dispute in South Memphis.

"Holidays are very stressful," said Damon Morris, founder of the Memphis Commission of Domestic Violence. "A lot of domestic violence situations happen during the summer time."

Damon Morris' sister, Utoria, was killed in 2005 by her boyfriend in south Memphis. No one knew she was being abused. Morris says the first step to get out of an abusive relationship is to open up.

"I can help for free. Call me," he said. "We will point you in the right direction. There are shelters out here, there are organizations that can help you out other than ours about how to do it right. Going in guns blazing, that's not going to work."

You can contact the Memphis Commission of Domestic Violence at (901) 452-4714 or (901) 649-5827. If you would like to get in touch with Barbara Love and her organization, you can call (901) 502-6125.

To reach the YWCA of Greater Memphis call (901) 725-5861 or (901) 458-9907. Or you can contact the new Family Safety Center at (901) 222-4400 or email olliete@familysafetycenter.org
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