Wake nonprofit: Recent cases show uptick in domestic violence
Posted December 5, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County nonprofit that provides help to domestic violence victims says their caseload has tripled in recent years.
"Three years ago, we saw seven families a day. Now, we are seeing 23 families a day," said Christina Brewer, spokeswoman for Interact of Wake County.
Domestic violence cases continue to make headlines in North Carolina as well. On Monday, a Holly Springs couple was found shot to death in an apparent murder-suicide. Amber Seymore called 911 about her husband just 10 days before she was killed.
"My husband has a gun and a bad temper," she told the dispatcher. "He shoved me and got in my face and was yelling at me when I was holding the kids."
Officers said the couple's 2-year-old child was home when Robert Seymore fatally shot his wife and then himself.
"It is very heartbreaking," said Brewer.
Also on Monday, a pregnant Roanoke Rapids convenience store clerk was repeatedly stabbed during an attack by her boyfriend, police said. She had recently ended their relationship.
"When someone leaves a dangerous, violent situation, or shortly thereafter, they are 75 times more likely to be killed," Brewer said. "So it is extremely dangerous times for these women."
On Tuesday, Nash County deputies say, 65-year-old David Leonard shot and killed his girlfriend, 41-year-old Leasa Smith.
Brewer said these recent cases show how important it is to get away from abusers as early as possible without risking one's safety. For many women, the abuser has made them feel isolated and threatened, so it can be hard to leave the relationship.
But organizations like Interact can help women make the transition.
"(We are) letting the community know it is everybody's issue, not just someone's issue," Brewer said.
She added: If someone expresses fear for their safety at home, believe them.