Domestic violence related deaths up 50 percent in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Two shootings recently making headlines both involved domestic violence, and the Colorado Springs Police Department says aggravated assaults relating to domestic violence are up in the area.

CSPD said there have been three domestic murder-suicides, and the shooting in Black Forest on Friday marks the fourth domestic violence-related death in the Colorado Springs area this year. 

“Compared to last year, this is a 50 percent increase for us,” Lt. Catherine Buckley with CSPD said. “Being that it is domestic violence awareness month in October, this is something that we do need to get the word out about. This is something we need to be speaking about.”

All of those incidents involved guns. While homicide numbers are down this year, officials said the number of domestic violence-related fatalities is quite staggering.

“It’s very startling and it should be startling to the entire community,” Kristy Boots, Lead Hospital Advocate at TESSA, said.

But in a situation where a victim might feel alone, it is extremely important that they seek out help.

“The first step would be to obtain a protection order from the courts but you also have to understand that that protection order is a piece of paperwork,” Buckley said.

Even with a protection order, there is no way to know when or where an abuser may strike.

“By design their behavior is unpredictable,” Boots said. “If a victim could predict when their offender was going to do something then they could take the necessary precautions to be safe, but they can’t.”

That’s why getting in touch with an agency like TESSA could mean the difference between life and death.

“We are a safe place where they can talk to a confidential victim advocate, 24 hours a day seven days a week,” Boots said.

If you or someone you know is living with domestic abuse, call TESSA’s crisis line at 719-633-3819 or visit their website at www.TESSAcs.org.

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