I need help, please help me

Three months ago Lisa Williams, 20, filed domestic violence charges against her live-in boyfriend Larry Burns, 31. Reportedly they had lived together about two years. The charges were for allegations that he had choked her. A restraining order was granted at the time. Williams was due to go back into court 9 days ago, but she didn't show up for court, so the order was cancelled.

Monday morning about 10:30 am a witness says he was making deliveries in the area when he saw a woman running out of an apartment building.  "I heard gunshots from the third floor," "I pulled down. She come running out the door. She grabbed me, and she said, 'I need help. I need help. Please help me.' … She had been shot in the head."

Police responded to the area and when they arrived Williams was able to tell them who had shot her. Police went to the apartment she had indicated and found Burns unconcious. He was transported to the hospital where he later died. Police say that after he shot Williams he shot himself.  

Lisa Williams was transported to the hospital, nothing about her condition has been released but she remains in the hospital.

http://www.channelcincinnati.com/health/9340685/detail.html

http://www.wkrc.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=C6F1053D-0A49-4317-8671-0C164DD37D24

I am not seeing anything to say if the couple had reconciled or not. Certainly it wouldn't be unusual. If you have read here before, you would have seen a disscussion on the "honeymoon cycle of abuse". The cycle tends to run as an episode of abuse, apologies maybe gifts and compliments the "Honeymoon" period, then maybe a period of somewhat "normal" time but there is a building of tension, then another episode of abuse.

Or maybe she wasn't aware of the importance of the court appearance. Many times in the legal process, because it is a process that is begun during a time of crisis for the individual, they may not always be familiar with the "process" and may not be really clear on what is expected of them.

Or it could have been that there had been a quiet period and maybe she hoped that if she didn't pursue it then maybe he would just forget and go his own way.

However it happened, as has been said before- a piece of paper doesn't stop a bullet. People who have been abused should file all the police reports and file for the restraining order. But they should also enact a safety plan. This might include moving to a shelter, moving to a new address, or even in some circumstances assuming a new identity.

There were some interesting statistics in the article. There have been about 120 domestic violence murders in Hamilton Co. Ohio since 1989. Now I am not strong on math, but by my calculations that is about 17 years and works out to just a little more than 7 domestic violence murders a year. According to epodunk.com Hamilton County had a population of 814,611 in 2004.

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