Man arrested on battery charges, latest in holiday season domest - KMOV.com

Man arrested on battery charges, latest in holiday season domestic violence cases

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Scott H. Hefflinger, of Belleville is charged with 3 counts Domestic Battery – Subsequent, all Class 4 Felony, bail set at $30,000.00. By Daniel Fredman Scott H. Hefflinger, of Belleville is charged with 3 counts Domestic Battery – Subsequent, all Class 4 Felony, bail set at $30,000.00. By Daniel Fredman

(KMOV.com) -- Officers arrested Scott Hefflinger of Belleville on three counts of domestic battery earlier this week after an alleged assault.

Hefflinger's case is just the latest in a recent rash of domestic disputes, which led to the question: is the holiday season the cause of an increase in domestic violence?

On Christmas day, 26-year-old David Hampton Junior allegedly used a cardboard roll of wrapping paper to choke his wife, according to St. Peters Police.

Just a week before Christmas, a Wellston woman was beaten and she and her children were kidnapped. Police arrested 29-year-old Maurice Baylark, the woman's estranged husband, in the attack and the abduction.

St. Martha's Hall is a non-profit organization that assists and houses abused women and their children. Despite many recent cases of domestic battery and disputes, Michelle Schiller-Baker of St. Martha's Hall told News 4's Alissa Reitmeier that there is no statistical evidence which shows that domestic violence cases increase over the holidays.

In reality, Schiller-Baker believes many women actually wait until the holidays are over to leave a dangerous domestic situation.

"It is something [a woman] had been planning on doing, but she just wanted to stay where she was for the holiday and then try to make the move to be safe after that," Schiller-Baker said of a woman in an unsafe domestic situation.

While many see the New Year as a chance for a fresh start, Schiller-Baker believes it is a myth when it comes to ending an abusive relationship.

"Living in peace is not something you come up with once a year. It is something that most of the women we work with are striving for on a daily basis," said Schiller-Baker.

While none of the recent domestic violence cases in the area ended with a death, the process of leaving an abusive partner can be very dangerous.

"How many times have you heard of a woman who's murdered because she left?" Schiller-Baker asked. "Every day in this country--everyday--three women are murdered by their male partners."

Schiller-Baker and organizations like St. Martha's Hall encourage women in situations who want to leave a dangerous relationship to reach out to organizations that help women so they are able to do so safely.

St. Martha's Hall provides a 24 hour crisis hotline, which can be reached at 314-533-1313.

 

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