KGUN 9News


Domestic violence spikes post holidays

Posted at 5:19 AM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 07:19:52-05
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Two cases of deadly domestic violence took place in the last week, within days of Christmas. But it's after the holiday season when experts say a spike in domestic violence typically happens. 
The first incident happened last week when Levi Parker shot and killed his two young daughters before turning the gun on himself. 
The second incident happened Monday when 53-year-old Kimberly Shelton was shot and killed by her partner of 15 years, Michelle Butler. 
"Lots of people try to hide or conceal this information and most of the time domestic violence is never reported," said Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu. "Sadly, tragically they end up in cases like this."
Anna Harper-Guerrero with the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse says they offer a 24-hour bilingual crisis hotline and will develop a plan to keep anyone who calls them safe. 
"There's a good number of people who are sort of living in silence," she said. "[To those people] I would say that you feel the way that you do for a reason and if you feel like you need support I would just encourage you to reach out and ask for that help."
She sayd domestic violence takes place all year long but people have a tendency to reconcile around the holidays in abusive relationships, creating a false sense of safety. That's why they see a spike after the holidays are over. 
She says red flags indicating violent behavior tend to be subtle like if the person is controlling, exhibits any kind of stalking behavior or makes verbal threats. 
"In a lot of the relationships where someone is killed, you don't see a significant history of overt violent behaviors," she said. 
Emerge! also offers counseling and legal help and takes an individualized approach to each person's case. 
"We can help someone talk through their situation, talk about possible safety risks, plan around those risks," she said. "Every situation is unique."
If you are in danger please use a safer computer, call 911, your local hotline at 1-888-428-0101, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224.