The Haven pushes for domestic violence awareness following homicide

Shelter pushes for domestic abuse awareness

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The investigation into a homicide Tuesday night in Blytheville turned out to be a domestic violence situation, police said this week.

Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson told Region 8 News many of their violent crimes, including battery, assault, and even homicide, turn out to be domestic related.

He said one of the worst parts of working those incidents is knowing that many of them could have been prevented with just the right phone call.

It happened in the 1200-block of Hearn Street.
It happened in the 1200-block of Hearn Street. (Source: KAIT-TV)

What looks like a quiet neighborhood was the scene of a homicide investigation Tuesday night.

"When I first read about it, it broke my heart," The Haven of Northeast Arkansas Director Phyllis McClendon said.

Blytheville police responded to a call about a shooting in the 1200-block of Hearn Street.

“After some investigation into it, we were able to determine that it was domestic related,” Thompson said.

26-year-old Brittney Sims was shot and killed by the man she lived with, 37-year-old Eric Bragg, Blytheville police said Wednesday.

Though police had no knowledge of incidents between the two in the past, many domestic violence situations show warning signs, officials said.

"Unfortunately sometimes those red flags are ignored or it's not reported," Thompson said. "And it results in serious acts of violence."

"It could happen to anyone," McClendon said. "It doesn't matter what race you are, age, socio-economic status, it happens across the board."

And that's where The Haven of Northeast Arkansas steps in.

“Often times, we receive calls where they are on the scene with police needing to get out of the situation immediately,” McClendon said.

It's an emergency shelter for women and children suffering domestic abuse.

Its location is kept hidden, but their mission is shared with anyone who will listen.

"Domestic violence is control," McClendon said. "A lot of people just kind of shrug it off as oh he cares a lot about me or he's just being protective, but often times it could lead to something more violent and in this case someone's untimely death."

Officials with The Haven hope, at the very least, awareness about domestic violence can be the light in this dark situation.

"Ask questions, call us," McClendon said. "We will give out information on what the red flags are and what you can do if you're in a situation."

The Haven is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

And McClendon said someone will answer your call.

For their phone number and other contact information, click here.

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