Domestic Violence

By: Eric James
By: Eric James

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Police say the man who killed two people and himself on Friday night was no stranger to officers. A domestic violence complaint was filed against him two years ago.
The murder-suicide happened in the 1200 block of Williamsburg Street on Friday.
22-year old Jerri Yates and her 23-year old brother Robert Yates died in the shooting. Their sister Valerie was hurt in the attack.
Valerie says her sister's relationship with her former boyfriend was a violent one. Yates filed a domestic complaint against Darrel Felton two years ago, but the couple stayed together, and even had a child.
But according to Valerie, when her sister tried to leave Felton again, things turned deadly.
Valerie Yates says, "He wanted her to go with him, she said no and he just came up on her and started shooting."
Police say this is one of many domestic violence cases which didn't have to end this way. And with the holidays here, many domestic violence victims will have an even harder time getting away from their abusers.
For many fmilies, the holiday season will bring yet another perfect family gathering just like the ones on TV. But for some families, their joy and peace is broken with the shattering sounds of violence.
It's a sound Mary Jewett lived with for nearly 17 years.
Mary says, "I don't know what it was, he would just take it out on me really bad at the holidays."
Monica Harris chairs the Wichita Violence Committee. She says while the number of incidents may increase over the holidays, most victims are less likely to report them because they cling to the idea of the perfect holiday, and strive to keep the family intact.
Harris says, "It would be a detriment to the family if the victim chose to leave at the that time."
Harris says holiday violence can be triggered by financial pressures, which can cause intensified arguments and agitation.
To avoid problems, Harris suggests avoiding alcohol, talking to someone about the problem, and calling police if the situation gets bad.
Harris says making the decision to leave is the hardest decision a victim can make. But seeing situations like Friday's shooting sometimes pushes victims to make a decision, or at least re-evaluation the situations.
If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence who is looking for a way out call 267-SAFE.

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