Juanita Natasha Kinsey, 37, is the coordinator for a domestic violence shelter. Daily she works with victims of domestic violence, she sees the results and she knows how it should be handled.

A week ago Juanita Kinsey was in a dispute with her husband Timothy Kinsey, 43. It was perhaps her experience with DV that alerted her. Or perhaps it was knowlege of her husband.

She spoke with her daughter on the phone earlier on Saturday about the daughter bringing the grandchildren for a visit. But Juanita Kinsey reportedly told her daughter that she was concerned about her husband’s behavior and said she did not want the children there. She also asked her daughter to remain close to the phone.

Shortly after that conversation, Timothy Kinsey allegedly threw gasoline on Juanita Kinsey and lit it. Juanita Kinsey’s 14 year old son was standing nearby and some of the gasoline splashed  on him.

The son grabbed a coat and began to smother the flames on his mother. In the process he was also burned. Reportedly Timothy Kinsey left the home.

Juanita Kinsey was taken to the hospital and is reported to be in critical but stable condition with 2nd and 3 rd degree burns on 40% percent of her body, much of it reported to be on her face and back. She had her first surgery on Wed.

Her 14 year old son was treated for burns on his hands and arms and was released. The mobile home reportedly sustained moderate damage.

Police arrested Timothy Kinsey on Wednesday and charged him with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and 1 st degree arson. He was reportedly found at his mother’s home. 

I sit here daily and write about the violence. I write about what should be done, could be done. Yet I am very much aware that writing about it is different than actually being in the situation. I know that because years ago I was once in similiar situations. And I am afraid I survived it more because of luck than because of intelligent actions. I would guess it is much the same in working with DV. It feels different to see it in other’s situations versus being faced with it in your own home.

In the situation things can move very quickly. There may be only brief moments to make life saving decisions. And those moments are clouded with emotion and with previous experiences with the person. We all have instincts for self preservation. Fear is one of those instincts. Yet it is easy to allow the emotion and the previous knowlege of the person to override that instinct.

Telling the daughter not to bring the children over, could have been merely response to an argument. Not wanting to expose the children. But some instinct made her tell her daughter to stay by the phone.

Try to listen to your instincts. If you feel fear or concern over a situation, it is time to get out. If not permanently, then at least long enough to allow yourself to evaluate the situation calmly.

You may feel you know the person, you may feel they would never go that far. But no matter how well you know the person- you don’t know them in this situation, you don’t know how far they will go in this situation. If they are inspiring fear, then it is time to get someplace safe.

Thankfully, she had a quick thinking son present who was able to come to her rescue, to save her life. Only 14 years old, traumatized by seeing his mother set ablaze….yet he had the presence of mind to grab a coat and smother the flames. She would never have knowingly put him in that situation, she would never have endangered him…. if she had known what her husband would do. He listened to his instincts and saved his mother’s  life.

You have instincts for self preservation. You are born with them. Allowing yourself to override your instincts with emotion and with what you think you know about a person can be dangerous.

A big thank you to P.C. for the lead in this case. P.C. also writes a domestic violence blog Until Death Do Us Part which you can find by following the link.

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