(KMOV.com) – A double stabbing of a woman and her son allegedly by her boyfriend in Swansea highlight how big of a problem domestic violence is the US.
Alvin Harris, 38, allegedly fatally stabbed his girlfriend Sharetta Day. He is also accused of stabbing her 9-year-old son, who survived. Police have characterized the incident has a domestic dispute. It was the first homicide in Swansea in many years.
The Executive Director of the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois said domestic violence is more common than people think.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me. It’s really sad, you never get used to hearing that,” said Darlene Jones. “It’s huge. We served 18,000 clients last year, but we fielded more than 9,000 calls on our hotline.”
Experts believe the most dangerous time for a victim is when he or she decides to leave an abusive relationship.
“Domestic violence is about control, so when the victims, male or female, decides to leave, that’s when the abuser becomes panicked because they have now lost control,” said Jones.
Jones told News 4 domestic violence cuts across racial, ethnic, and socio-economic lines.
“There are clues, it could be you guys used to go out as friends and that person doesn’t go out anymore and that person even says it’s their partner that doesn’t like when they go out,” Jones said.
The Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois offers a shelter and hotline for victims, legal help, counseling, and community education. The center serves Monroe, Randolph, and St. Clair Counties and can be reached at 618-235-0892.
There is also a national hotline which can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.