How to spot and prevent domestic violence

What are the signs of domestic violence?

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - In the last week, six people have been killed in domestic violence incidents in Hinds County.

On February 14th, a woman was shot and killed on Alexander Street in Jackson. Her husband is now charged with her murder. A hostage situation in Clinton Saturday ended with 5 people dead including the suspected gunman.

Then on Monday, a woman was shot and killed near Edwards by a man investigators believe she had a relationship with.

The Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence has been assisting victims of abuse since 1980.

They now support the 12 domestic violence shelters across the state’s 82 counties.

According to Wendy Mahoney, the executive director, one in four women and one in seven men may experience domestic violence in their lifetime.

Most of the time domestic violence and abuse happens behind closed doors. So what are the warning signs and the keys to spotting abuse out in the open?

“The abuser wants to isolate the individual from people that they care about. Being in places where they realize that the abuse can be identified. And so if a person is even in a relationship talking about ’oh things are just so wonderful, you know everything is great’ or putting the focus on the abuser in a grandiose manner,” said Mahoney.

Mahoney says there are no “cookie cutter” clues to abuse. They can vary, the most obvious can be bruises or even character changes with individuals. People not being social, or blatant changes to their mood. Abuse can change a person over time.

If verbal or physical abuse happens in front of you. Mahoney says you can always use the four D’s of intervention.

“Delegate, you know you’re going to delegate to someone of higher authority such as call the police. And distract, you know distract them from what they’re doing. Break up the monotony that you see. Direct, directly intervene. You directly intervene if you have that particular relationship with those individuals. And delay it, that after the situation has occurred you go back and check in with them to say is there something I can do to help,” said Mahoney.

If you know anyone or if you’re struggling with domestic violence you can always call 1-800-898-3234 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233), for assistance.

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