Thursday, 20 December 2018 12:20

Advice for those trying to leave abusive relationships

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STATEWIDE (WGME) - Three women were killed -- allegedly by their boyfriends -- during the month of December.

A week and a half ago, the daughter of a Chebeague Island family was found murdered in Connecticut. Police said that Emily Todd tried to end a relationship with Brandon Roberts, who is charged with her murder.


Last week, police charged Rondon Athayde with the murder of his longtime girlfriend, Ana Cordeiro, at their home in Hartford. Their two young children currently are in the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.


Four days ago, police say Niomi Mello was shot in the head by her longtime boyfriend, Kirk Alexander Jr., who then shot himself in the head. Police say Mello's 11-year-old son found the bodies.


"The news every day has included, seems like, one more," said Rebecca Hobbs, executive director of Through These Doors, formerly known as Family Crisis Services, which serves Cumberland County.


Hobbs said that three out of four domestic violence homicides occur when the person who is being victimized tries to end the relationship.


"When someone who's being victimized is attempting to leave, that is the most dangerous time," she said. "When the person who's trying to be controlling, who is being controlling, feels like they're losing that control, it's a very dangerous time."


Hobbs wants victims of domestic violence to know that help is just a phone call away.


"It might be someone who is being victimized who needs help with safety planning. It might be someone who is seeking shelter and is trying to get out," she said.


"Sometimes making a plan to leave without any way tipping off the person who's being abusive is the thing to do, to take some time to make that happen," she said. "Sometimes it's pick up the phone and call 911 immediately. Sometimes it's leave out the back door."



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