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Number of Domestic Violence Deaths Remains Consistent in Arizona

Domestic violence deaths in the state of Arizona have stayed consistent over the years, with about 100 deaths a year. Although this data is not what law enforcement officials or people in general would like to see, a steady rate is better than an increase in domestic violence deaths. The checklist of signs we previously discussed (women threatened or assaulted with guns are 20 times more likely to be murdered as other battered women, and woment who have been choked before by an abuser are 10 times more likely to be killed) are so reliable that intake workers at shelters use this information to determine the danger that a woman is in.

These are also the types of questions that Phoenix police officers also ask when they respond to approximately 14,000 domestic violence calls every year.

Licensed social worker Carl Mangold said:

"[There] is a pattern in incidents that end fatally [in that a man becomes] violent, he blames the victim, she resists, his abuse escalates, she tries to leave the relationship, and he punishes her for her defiance.”

What Mr. Mangold stated is true in most cases, however Arizona’s latest incident of domestic violence that ended with fatalities, did not fit this pattern.According to police, evidence in the case indicates that James Butwin, killed his wife and their three children, even though friends say they saw no history of violence.

But this case is the exception, as in most case there are warning signs. The warning signs were there when J.T. Ready shot and killed his girlfriend and three other people. The warning signs were there when Christina Alvarez was shot and killed in Phoenix and when Tekesha Barnes was shot outside of a school waiting for her daughter, and when Amanda Blaies-Rianldi was shot and killed by her abusive husband. The Sojourner Center -- a women's domestic violence shelter with 200+ beds that are consistently full -- always asks a woman upon entry if her abuser has access to a gun.

Connie Phillips, the Sojourner Center’s director, not only assesses the security measures that need to be taken at the center upon intake, but also helps women understand the level of danger they may be in from their abusers, because victims can often minimize the risks they face as a means of coping daily with their abuse. If an abuser has a gun, he does not even need to point it at her to intimidate her. It is a tool to show he has “the power,” and she does not, stated Phillips. She tells the story of a woman whose abuser shot her, but she survived.

The abuser apologized, saying that it would never happen again, and when he brought her home from the hospital he did take care of her for awhile. But then one day she felt the gun against her head again. The abuser pulled the trigger, but fortunately for her, the chamber was empty. She left him for good that time. Unfortunately, however, not everyone leaves their abuser in time.

Make sure that you act now to protect yourself or your loved one from domestic violence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with a Phoenix domestic violence attorney. We can help you get a restraining order and take any additional legal actions necessary to protect you or your loved one from further abuse.