One in four women will experience domestic violence - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

One in four women will experience domestic violence

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New Orleans, La - New Orleans police say a man ended an argument with his estranged girlfriend Monday night by shooting her and her mother. The mother didn't survive. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one in every four women will experience some form of domestic violence in her lifetime. Many don't survive.

"She'll never know her parents. She's so young," said a Kansas City Chiefs fan in the wake of a high profile murder-suicide. The tragedy left a baby girl without her parents. Police say Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend and then killed himself on Saturday. With a pro-football player at the center, the case grabbed national attention, but most don't.

Monday night police say 22-year-old Keith Phillips shot ended an argument with his estranged girlfriend by shooting her and her mother. The mother was killed instantly. The girlfriend was left in critical condition. It happened just after 10 Monday night at an apartment complex in the 6800 block of Parc Brittany. According to police, Phillips has prior arrests for simple battery, domestic violence and illegal carrying of weapons. Now he's wanted for 2nd degree murder.

"Just because someone says they love you doesn't mean that they're not going to hurt you," said Mary Claire Landry, Executive Director of New Orleans Family Justice Center. The center is a partnership of agencies working to prevent and end domestic violence.

"Unfortunately, our state is always in the top five in terms of the number of homicides by a domestic partner and we've been in the top five for the last 15 years," she said.

Landry says the New Orleans Police Department answers 12,000 domestic disturbance calls a year. She says they can be dangerous and difficult to classify. "We're still struggling in terms of making sure we're getting the right cases, putting the right consequences and follow up," she said. "We have to do better at being able to screen those cases."

She says her office works to screen cases for signs of a potentially deadly cycle of abuse. "I just pulled three random police reports and of the 10 I pulled randomly, three had evidence of choking." Landry says a history of strangulation has emerged as a red flag in these cases and so are threats. "They really mean it when they say, if I can't have you nobody can. They usually will follow through with those threats."

 Landry says if the signs are there, now is the time to take action. Because it's impossible to know when an abuser will reach the breaking point.

If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, you can call the New Orleans Family Justice Center's 24-hour crisis hotline for help. That number is 504-866-9554. You can also visit the center's website at www.neworleansfjc.org.

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