Counselor says domestic violence increases over holidays - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Counselor says domestic violence incidents increase over holiday season

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By Lisa Washington

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - At least five Shelby County residents have been killed in domestic violence incidents in the past three weeks.

In Shelby County, it is estimate that for every domestic violence incident reported, seven are not.  Memphis is one of the top 10 cities in the country when it comes to violence against women.

On November 17, Jacklyn Miller, 21, was reported missing after she did not show up for work.  One week later, her body was found in the trunk of her car.  Miller's boyfriend, Richard Dickerson, was arrested and charged with her murder.

On Thanksgiving night, police said Derek Boykin not only held his ex-girlfriend, Brittney Davis, hostage, but her two roommates as well.

When Davis' father, Edd Davis, showed up at the apartment, one of the roommates said she ran for the door.  Officers said Boykin then shot and killed Brittney Davis and her father.  After a stand-off with police, Boykin later turned the gun on himself.

On December 8, Neighbors said Shea White's girlfriend was moving out of the apartment she shared with White.  White shot her and then himself.

Latoria Parker from YWCA of Greater Memphis sees the faces of domestic violence almost everyday and more of them during the holidays.

"Domestic violence is not a one set, one size fits all," said Parker.  "Typically around the holiday season, there is a spike in domestic violence for so many reason."

Parker said many women do not leave their abusive relationships because of fear and shame.  She said the current economic situation also makes matters worse.

"Funds are low, emotions are high and you gravitate toward just lashing out," said Parker.  "One hit should be all it takes.  Love shouldn't hurt you at all."

Parker said verbal abuse and control issues from a partner are signs that can lead to physical abuse.  She said women should not be afraid to seek help.

Women are not the only victims.  Parker said that only one percent of men who are domestic violence victims report the crime.  She said the reason so few are reported is shame.

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