Domestic Abuse In Region 8


Two murder-suicides this week in Craighead County focuses light on the problem of domestic violence in Region 8, where most homicides are domestic-related.

So far this year there have been 41 cases of aggravated assault against a family member filed in the city of Jonesboro.

Police say over the past four days three people have died as a result of domestic violence.  Officers said that the violence may start out small in the beginning but can quickly change.

"It's such a gradual cycle that often times the victim doesn't realize how dangerous the situation really is," said Detective Mike Branscum of the Jonesboro Police Department.

Why do so many women stay in abusive relationships?

"One of the main reasons is fear.  She's afraid of what will happen if she leaves," said Vicki Crego.

"It's not uncommon for the victim to have the opportunity to get out of that situation but for a lot of different reasons they choose not to leave," said Branscum.

Arkansas is in the top 15% of states that have women that are killed by their intimate partner.

"If an abuser is threatening his partner that he will commit suicide if she leaves him chances are he is going to do that but he's probably going to take her with him," said Crego.

This is one of the many reasons women stay other reasons include loss of spousal support and a fear of being alone, that's where the crisis center can come in.

"If there is someone who is in a situation like this and they don't have a safe living environment there may be something the crisis center can do to help improve their living situations," said Crego.

For instance they can help install better locks, and a peep hole in the door if necessary.

"Recognition is a big factor.  If there's someone you know that you feel is experiencing some type of domestic abuse in their home you do need to get involved," said Crego.