RALEIGH, N.C. — A Raleigh woman died from a brain hemorrhage Sunday, but a preliminary autopsy could not determine how it happened. People who knew her are clear on how she lived, under the constant threat of domestic violence.
After finding Teresa Tysinger's body this week, investigators charged her boyfriend, Bradley Larsen, with assaulting her in connection with her death.
"I wasn't surprised. It's sad. You don't want it to happen to anybody, but surprised I wasn't," store owner Mike Halim said.
Although family and friends say Tysinger was a domestic violence victim, she never called police.
"Some of the victims feel that the justice system doesn't help them," said Lt. Calvin Dunn works with the Domestic Violence Unit of the Wake County Sheriff's Office.
Dunn walks victims through everything from taking out a restraining order to going to court.
"We're here to help you and we're here to help you establish your life again. We realize people make a mistake in life and may choose the wrong mate, but they can suffer some serious consequences if they don't get any help," he said.
Dunn hopes to encourage more victims to get help before it is too late.
"To gain confidence within themselves that they can survive, they can overcome this obstacle that's happened in their home," he said.
Investigators say Larsen has not been charged with murder because at this point they do not have enough evidence to prove the assault caused Tysinger's death.
Since March 2003, Larsen has been charged with domestic violence assault three times against victims other than Tysinger. In all three cases, the charges were dropped.
According to federal crime statistics, at least three women are murdered every day by a boyfriend or husband. A Justice Department study shows that 84 percent of women taken to emergency rooms with violent injuries were hurt by a loved one.
Each year, an estimated 1.5 million women are victims of domestic violence. According to one study: about 75 percent of the calls seeking help occur only after women leave their abusers.