TULSA, Okla. — Domestic violence is at the forefront of the most recent tragedies that shook Green Country.
The growing trend is taking a toll on many in the community, according to Casey Roebuck, director of public information with Tulsa County Sheriff's Department.
In just one week, seven kids and two adults died as a result of domestic violence.
"This is very jarring, all this that our moms and dads are just trying to wrap our minds around how these little people that we would instantly give our lives to protect are being murdered by their fathers," Roebuck said.
Tulsa County Sheriff’s investigators said a woman shot an ex-boyfriend in what she claims is an act of self-defense.
“In this situation, when the initial shot is fired and the threat has ended, you are 100 percent in the right in the state of Oklahoma to defend yourself, but at some point when the aggressor is injured or is no longer a threat then the victim is not allowed to shoot anymore. So, that is what we’re looking at in this case,” Roebuck said.
The sequence of tragedies is sounding the alarm on a deeper issue, domestic violence concerns in our community.
“If you or someone you love is in a very volatile relationship, they need to understand that it may not be just your life that is at risk, it could be your children it could be anyone close to you,” Roebuck said.
President and CEO for Child Abuse Network, Maura Guten, told 2 Works for You teachers report over half of the abuse cases, but distance learning is making it harder to identify and report these cases.
Rose Turner, vice president of clinical programs for Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS), said domestic violence is an issue involving power and control.
“Batters feeling the need and thinking they have the right to control somebody else and they are going to do that through whatever means they find is necessary,” Turner said.
The power struggle has been very common in our state, according to Roebuck. She said Oklahoma tops the nation in terms of domestic violence homicide, prompting the question: What needs to change?
“I think that we have to change our culture, I think that we have to make this something that is absolutely not tolerated under any circumstance,” Roebuck said.
Turner said it takes survivors a lot of courage to seek help, but it's worth seeking, especially when their lives or the lives of their children are on the line.
“Everyone of us deserves to live in an environment that is free from violence,” Turner said.
Resources are available for anyone seeking help. You can call the 24/7 Domestic Violence Intervention Service Hotline at 918-743-5763 or 918-7HELP-ME. If you suspect child abuse of any form, you can also contact the Child Abuse Network Hotline at 1-800-522-3511.
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