Five people have been killed in domestic related attacks in just the past ten days.
On November 3, Oklahoma City Police responded to a home on NW 21st street. They discovered a man shot to death in his backyard, killed by his ex-wife who then turned the gun on herself.
On November 8, Rebecca Elizabeth Diaz-Martinez was shot and killed by her husband Humberto, just shy of their one-year anniversary.
Then, on November 11, Oklahoma City Police arrested 20-year-old Long Du for stabbing and killing his father in the family's SW 79th Street home.
These situations are something the YWCA says they see far too often.
“It breaks our heart to see that happen anytime,” said Deb Stanaland with the YWCA. “Because it’s important for people to know where to come to for help.”
Stanaland sits on the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. She said the board did a 10-year study and discovered in all of the domestic related homicides that took place in Oklahoma, 98% of the victims did not receive any kind of domestic violence assistance. It’s something that could have saved their lives.
According to the YWCA, Oklahoma ranks 6th in the nation for domestic-related murders. And domestic violence calls cost the Oklahoma City Police Department more than $8.5 million every year.
Right now, Oklahoma County has the highest number of deaths due to domestic violence, with Tulsa County coming in a close second. And though domestic violence can happen anywhere at any time, it does tend to spike this time of year.
“If someone's pattern of behavior,” said Stanaland. “And to feel like they are in control is to beat someone else up; we may see that more during the holidays.”
Stanaland said deadly encounters between loved ones can be prevented if people would just be willing to reach out and get help.
The YWCA offers counseling, a hotline, safety plans and even a safe place to seek shelter should the need arise.
Stanaland said children who grow up in abusive homes are 700 times more likely to become violent in their relationships, or accept violence in their relationship. Something the YWCA said does not have to happen.
If you or someone you know needs help, call the domestic violence hotline at 405-917-YWCA.