Holidays can be followed by domestic violence

JONESBORO, Ark. – Before the Thanksgiving holiday had arrived, a woman found herself losing consciousness while a man she lived with was pressing his foot into her throat, a police report detailed

It happened Wednesday evening at an apartment at the 4600-block of Nettleton Avenue in Jonesboro. The suspect, 51, 6’2″, and 330 pounds, held his foot on her throat to the point that the victim, 50, said she felt like she was going to pass out. She could not breathe. The man also kicked her repeatedly on her right side, tossed her to the ground multiple times and struck her in the face and head before she could get to her feet.

One of their young sons attempted to help her by punching the large man – but to no effect.

Jonesboro Police Department was called when a child from the apartment came to a nearby resident and said his father was beating his mother. Officers arrived to find the man blocking the doorway to the bedroom, preventing the female victim from leaving the residence. She was screaming for officers to let her out. When officers told the man to come out, he shouted, “F**k you,” the report said. However, at the time, the woman ran out of the residence.

Police observed the victim visibly upset and crying. Officers noted she had red marks on her face and forehead, a slight swelling to the forehead, redness and light abrasions to her neck, arm, and lower right abdomen. Her right side was in pain and she was checked out by Medic One EMTs but refused to be transported. Photos were taken.

When police told the man to sit down, they said he refused, walked toward them and pushed an officer. The officer pushed back and pulled his taser, the report says. Back up arrived and officers then grabbed the man’s hand. He appeared to stand up with his fists clenched, so the officers tased him. He was arrested on charges of domestic battery in the second degree and refusal to submit but those charges could be enhanced or upgraded by prosecutors. Alcohol was listed as the suspected cause or factor.

Recognizing The Signs

Domestic violence calls are the most dangerous officers can respond to, a legal source familiar with domestic violence cases told NEA Report. Holidays, and especially the days that follow, can be a catalyst causing an eruption. Tensions are high, people are home and nerves can be pushed.

Domestic violence is about isolation and control, our expert said. Isolation from friends and family. Control as in control the money. If they don’t have friends or family or money, the victim can’t go anywhere. If they are scared to leave the house, he’s controlling them by keeping them there.

Domestic violence doesn’t happen overnight, in most cases. The aggressor does not begin punching someone on a first date with the person making the choice to stay through that. It’s slow and and gradual. It happens with someone who may have child together with the victim. The relationship could be long-term. Advocates say it starts as mental abuse and can lead to physical abuse.

And when the control is lost by the aggressor, they may resort to threatening children or pets to regain it.

What Can Be Done

Have a plan of exit or a safety plan. Know where to go, call them and set up a safety plan and talk about it. Be sure you hide this from the controlling abuser. Know where will you go and how will you get there. They’re something recommended by all domestic violence advocates, we’re told.

One of the hardest parts is getting a victim to go through with the charge. Statistically, a woman, who is the victim in most abusive relationships, will leave seven times before she finally leaves for good. Our source said a victim will often call the authorities just to save their life – but not to get the abuser in trouble. In the case we cited from this week in Jonesboro, a panicked child was the reason authorities were notified.

Thus, this makes one of the hardest steps getting the significant other to pursue a charge.

This can also make it difficult for police who are showing up repeatedly to the same residence to find a victim who will not leave.

The assailant who was arrested was released from jail Thursday morning just before noon. The same day, a detective called the victim but she did not answer, and he left a voicemail.

“They’re not getting beaten 24/7,” A legal source in NEA said. “The beatings are occurring and there are honeymoon periods. They go back and think they’re good. The in-between times aren’t so bad. When it’s good, it’s good. But misdemeanor battery can turn into felony murder.”

The Family Crisis Center of Northeast Arkansas is available for resources and not just as a shelter. They can provide counseling, advice, or other assistance.

Featured photo from Family Crisis Center Website
Story by Stan Morris

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