(WLNS) – In our review of 2014 homicide numbers, we noticed a pattern.
Three out of Lansing’s ten homicides from 2014 involved relationships. Police say in May, Jose Rodriguez shot his wife, Dr. Kristen Batdorf, then took his own life.
In October outside McLaren’s Orthopedic Hospital, police say Johnnie Conner Jr. shot his girlfriend Bessie Rodriguez, before turning the gun on himself.
In November 39-year-old Michael Jimenez’ life was taken with a trigger pull that has his own brother behind bars.
“It just goes to show that any type of relationship can be affected by domestic violence, it’s a lot more serious than people like to admit,” said Kimberly Kiser, End Violent Encounters.
Kimberly Kiser with the non-profit End Violent Encounters says over the last year EVE’s helped find 218 people homes and answered over 5,100 calls on their 24/7 crisis hotline. Both of those numbers are up substantially from last year.
“We know that intimate partner violence is doesn’t necessarily have to mean that they are romantic partners, but that they are someone in their life on an intimate level and that could be a sibling.”
Which Kiser says could make it more difficult for someone to see or admit they’re in an abusive relationship. In some cases seeing similar patterns seven or eight times before they notice.
“If someone becomes very unexpectedly obsessive and possessive, if they suddenly are controlling.”
And of course if they turn to violence, Kiser says it’s time to ask for help.
“I think the most important thing to do is talk about it and don’t stop talking until someone believes them.”
Kiser says whether people turn to EVE or another organization; seek help as early as possible.
“If we don’t start educating people on a massive scale, the kind of violent culture we have will only continue to escalate.”