If you think domestic violence won't affect you then this may change your mind. We hear from people all the time that are involved in abusive relationships and those volatile relationships - you never know what might happen next. We are here to share the facts with you as well as one girl's story of domestic violence that turned to tragedy. We also will share with you, where to get help and how to help someone that may be a victim of domestic violence.
Larsen was in her home when her violent ex-boyfriend showed up with a gun. She called 911, and the dispatchers said they heard gunshots while she was on the line with them. When police arrived at the scene, they found Larsen shot to death.
Here is Larsen's story:
Larson was 25 years old and worked at Tampa General Hospital as a NICU Nurse. She loved her work and loved that she was doing something worthwhile. As a single mother, she devoted her life to finding a cure for her autistic son, Aidric. She spent countless hours doing research, taking him to doctors and therapy. She had him on a gluten-free casein-free diet. Her dream was that Aidric would grow up to be a functioning adult. In fact, her drive to be a nurse stemmed from his autism and the hope to go into a specialized field to not only help her son but others. She was an amazing person. She was a force of nature that drew you in and drove you crazy! She was incredibly beautiful, kind, funny she had a contagious personality. She had a ton of friends and people just wanted her around because she could light up the room.
One day, she met a guy who owned a barbershop where she took her son to get his hair cut. He wooed her for a good 6 months before she agreed to go on a date. They were only together about 7 months and the very first time he became violent with her, she grabbed her son, left and never looked back. She filed for a protective injunction immediately after and got it. During the injunction process, his background came out. It turns out that two other women had restraining orders against him, and he had a list of charges against him, including cocaine trafficking.
She had a restraining order against him and had no contact for about a month. He had been stalking her and she filed reports with the police, but they couldn't prove it was him. She was a strong, smart woman and did everything within her power to protect herself and her son.
Larsen's murder was preplanned. He intended to run but only got one city away. He was running from the police, after the shooting when he lost control of his car and crashed it. The vehicle exploded and he burned to death.
Larsen's sister, Tracy says the only way she and her family are getting through the pain is by lots and lots of prayer. They are a large, very close and loving family. They have all been leaning on each other and they have many close friends who have shown them love and support. Tracy says: We seem to work in cycles, so when one person loses it, someone is there to pick them up and then we switch. If it wasn't for the strength of my family, I don't know if I could deal with this. We try to remember how much we loved her and laughed with her, and we are holding onto those memories I think that is the best we can do. (details shared by the victim's sister, Tracy, adapted from Tracy's interview with blogger, Sarah Von Bargen)
Here is Tracy's advice to a friend or family member that may know someone experiencing domestic violence:
Get in their business. WAY IN. Tell them the truth, hurt their feelings, get angry with them. Be real with them. I think the situation of my sister was very different than most domestic violence cases so it is hard for me to compare what she did to what others may be going through. All I know is that we knew something was off with that man and we let it slide because he was full of excuses that Larsen believed. No one ever thinks that someone they know, or love will kill them, but it happens ALL THE TIME.
My family is now those people' and as cliche', as it is, if it can happen to us, it can happen to you. Think about a little boy who no longer has his mother, think about your sister or daughter or best friend being murdered because you wanted to support their decision to stay. And please, follow your instincts. You don't need to stay with anyone that is violent or abusive. Don't let shame or pride keep you in a bad situation or keep you from talking to someone who is. Our hope by sharing this story is that someone will learn from our tragedy.
- 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will be a victim of domestic violence in their lifetime
- Women ages 18 to 34 are at the greatest risk of becoming victims of domestic violence
- More than 4 million women experience physical assault and rape by their partners
- In 2 out of 3 female homicide cases, females are killed by a family member or intimate partner
Here are 10 signs of domestic violence and abuse (published by safehorizon.org):
Does your partner ever...
- Accuse you of cheating and being disloyal?
- Make you feel worthless?
- Hurt you by hitting, choking or kicking you?
- Intimidate and threaten to hurt you or someone you love?
- Threaten to hurt themselves if they don't get what they want?
- Try to control what you do and who you see?
- Isolate you?
- Pressure or force you into unwanted sex?
- Control your access to money?
- Stalk you, including calling you constantly or following you?
If any of this sound familiar and you suspect you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, you are not alone. There is help for you.
You can contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at: 1.800.799.7233 or CHAT with them HERE.
And here are a few ideas, according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline that you can do to help end domestic violence and
- Be non-violent and non-judgmental in your interactions with others.
- Challenge attitudes and beliefs that promote a culture of violence and victim-blaming or shaming.
- Hold the abusive person, not the victim, accountable for their abusive behaviors.
- Learn how to support a friend or loved one if they tell you they are being abused.
Larsen's parents gave ABC Action News an exclusive interview. Watch it here:
How To Find a Meaningful Relationship
How To Know It's Really Love
4 Ways to Avoid Heartbreak
8 Signs Your Relationship Is Unhealthy
Bargen, S. V. (2011, April 11) TRUE STORY: I LOST MY SISTER TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic Violence: Statistics and Facts, Safe Horizon, Retrieved October 26, 2015.
10 Signs of Domestic Violence & Abuse, Retrieved October 26, 2015.
How to Find Help from Domestic Violence, Safety.com.
Needing prayer fir my husband Mike, he has deep anger issues from his childhood and our marriage is in jeopardy because he takes his anger verbally out on me. He is Christian but this is not how a Christian husband would speak to their Christian wife. He told me today he wants me to just leave because I was no longer willing to let him continue his treatment, he called me a crazy, useless, psycho for crying when he hurt my feelings. I am having multiple health issues, lupus, diabetes so cannot contribute to our finances, he doesn't give me any money at all. I need advice,
I am fighting Satan through Christ and ordering his unclean spirits out of our lives. Amen.
I'm not sure where to begin, I've been married 8 years and it's just been really hard. My husband is verbally abusive and always blames me for everything wrong in our marriage. I'm angry and always feeling anxiety even depressed. For years it's been like this. I feel alone and depressed. I actually feel hate, anger and deep dislike for him. I try to be sweet and show kindness but I'm on pins and needles. When he's in a mood I get nervous and don't eat. I'm worried about what he's mad at , did I say something or did I do something. It's just stressful. His work has him away from home and you would think with him gone most of the time, I'd feel more relaxed. It doesn't matter, he finds something to be mad at. He goes off, and yells a lot over the smallest thing which to him is huge. Now pretty much anything I say or do OR don't say or don't do sets him off. I actually hate talking to him on the phone. Every time the phone rings my stomach knots up. I automatically get anxious. I don't know what mood he'll be in. He clearly has anger issues and is in deep denial. I can't even suggest something he goes off. I'm afraid to set him off. I'd rather not talk to him about anything for fear I might say something wrong. Tonight he went off on me over the phone when I mentioned something about some mail we received. He just snapped and lost it. It's such a turn off, I don't have a clue how to stay in love or like with this man anymore. He's always mad about something it seems or maybe its just me. It's like he's mad at the world and he takes it out on me! I'm just sick of it and I can't help but feel resentment for him. It's been this way for years and all I hear is it's all my fault our marriage is such a mess. I'm sick of him casting blame on me for everything yet he demands respect...it's a joke! How do I respect and love him when he continually blames me for everything.? I'm so tired, so done. I don't even think marriage counseling would help.
I know how you feel. I've been married for 2 yrs and I can't deal with my husband waking up and going to bed annoyed. You always hear give people say."Give your situation to God ". So I have been praying for my husband for the last 3 days. I already see a change so I suggest we pray for our men. Also, God did not put me nor you on earth to be miserable and never enjoy life, I also say trust yourself you will know when it's time to leave. Its scary but, worth it if you are losing the life God has for you. I will pray for you. I hope you're not the punctuation police, because I suck at it. lol
I'm really sorry that you or anyone has to live like this, because I've done my share. It turned around with God's hands and His hands alone. I started praying like a mad lady! I couldn't take it anymore. I felt like I was going crazy. I prayed hard and long; funny thing is that I feel most of my prayers were like "God only You know our hearts. Please do something because I can't take it." Then finally the truth was revealed to me and the blame was stopped being put on me. A lot of times people who are struggling, ashamed (basically having something that they're emotionally having to deal with) will blame other people for their misconduct. It's terrible, but once he confesses his feelings to God and/ or you, he's open game for God to heal his wounds and provide freedom for whatever his struggles have been. I have said a prayer for your marriage and as long as I can remember you I will continue to do so. Even if you have to separate never lose hope that God will prevail and if you don't feel that you are in harms way - stay and love him with every beat of your heart. Fights take two and the first to learn to control their tongue and become a peacemaker the quicker it'll be to marital harmony despite who's fault it is. It's your life, but trust that God is good, God loves you, God loves your husband (if he's a child of His) and He loves that you're married to your husband regardless of what's going on. Please remember that God hates divorce, so if at all possible seek counseling.